Horse Tack Review

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Close Contact Saddles

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Manufacturer: Mondega (View all products by Mondega)

Model: Conquiste (View all Conquiste reviews)

Category: Close Contact Saddles

Purchase: I paid $1195.00 for this saddle at Greenhawk. I bought it because I needed a mid-range saddle that looked good for riding in at hunter under saddle classes at AQHA shows, but other than that I was not planning on riding in it much.

Likes: This saddle has a well balanced seat and a really nice flap shape. I am very short, only 5'1 and I usually have problems finding a flap that will suit my leg, but this one was great. I am also usually offended by knee rolls or blocks because they tend to keep my from putting my leg where I wanted, but these knee blocks were fantastic. They gave me just the right amount of security without locking me into one position. The leather is of reasonable quality for the price and it seems to be well constructed. This saddle has an adjustable gullet as well so I may not have to buy another saddle if I get another horse. The calfskin seat is divine, I won't need any full seat breeches for this saddle. The twist is also nice and narrow in this model. The seat is comfortably padded. The quality of the saddle is comparable to mid-range models in Pessoa and Stubben.

Dislikes: The saddle has an adjustable gullet which is a great feature, but like Wintecs, it can be tricky to actually replace the gullet plate. I wasn't thrilled with the leather the billets are made out of either, but a good saddler can replace these. They also used calfskin for the panels on the saddle, and I don't know why they chose to do that, it seemed like a waste to me. A downside of the calfskin is the leather is quite soft and it scratches easily. A little conditioner takes out most scratches.

Quality: I have not had this saddle long (a month) and I rarely ride English on a day to day basis, so I can't say much about how this saddle would hold up with long term use. But aside from the billet straps being made from less than stellar leather, the saddle appears to be very well constructed.

Summary: This is a great saddle for someone on a budget. The saddle rides great, and provides a very secure seat for most people. You can't beat the quality and ride-ability of this saddle for this price.

Rating: 4

Author: Leah

Date: 2010-12-30

Usefulness Rating: 2.96296 out of 5.
27 reader(s) voted.

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