Manufacturer: Collegiate (View all products by Collegiate)
Model: Nobility Jump Saddle (View all Nobility Jumping Saddle reviews)
Category: Jumping Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle online through Chicksaddlery.com for $825 after I tried one from a local tack shop. They wouldn't match the price from chick's discount saddlery, so I took it back and bought it online..saving me $100 even after shipping. Their shipping for saddles is only $20!! It arrived directly from the supplier and quickly.
Likes: So far I've been pleasantly surprised with this saddle. I've never been much of a fan of Collegiates or Crosby's..nor Pessoas, so I was surprised when the Nobility met all of my requirements for my new mare. It has wool panels which I needed to be able to customize for her. The knee blocks are large but actually don't seem as big when in the saddle. Despite the blocks, I don't feel confined in the saddle and its very comfortable. The seat is fairly comfy, but I haven't taken it on any long rides yet to test it completely. It puts me in a good position, which I've had an issue with in a few other saddles over the last decade.. thank goodness! Seems like a nice saddle so far. I've owned a Jag monoflap, Ainsley Chester, Northrun Ashland II, Toulouse Annice, and a Toulouse Premia..and the Nobility is just as nice as those saddles if not a little better.
Dislikes: I'm not a big fan of large blocks, and the knee and thigh blocks are quite large and the flap will have to mold considerably..which will take time and plenty of conditioning. Honestly, I may have them cut down some as I simply don't see the need for such huge blocks. However, despite how large they are, I don't feel confined or stuck in one position so its not too big of a deal. As mentioned by another reviewer, the billet leathers are quite stiff and the holes in the billets are a bit small. After only a few rides they are softening up though and will be alright with conditioning.
Quality: I needed something with a fairly thick, gussetted panel for my new mare who is a draft cross. Her huge shoulders and large withers with her overall uphill conformation tilted my Toulouse Annice back enough to put me in a chair position. I didn't want to resort to correction pads, so I found the Nobility. It has 100% wool panels that I can customize to my horse, which is hard to find these days. The panels aren't stuffed too much so they are a little squishy and they have a trapezius panel, which means there is a little jut out where many horses have a hollowed out area behind the shoulder, which would provide some cushion and support there. The medium tree is very generous, also unlike many other manufacturers. The same horse required a wide tree in the Toulouse, but the medium Collegiate is very roomy on her! There is also a point billet included for those horses that have issues with saddle slip. Overall, the leather is very nice and the construction is solid. I like the fact that it has a fixed tree and not the interchangeable gullets.
Summary: I'm impressed with the quality and the fit, especially given the price. It will have to be adjusted a little for my girl, but the great thing is that it can be! I only gave it a 4 out of 5 since the blocks don't need to be that big, for anyone..including high jumpers, and therefore puts undue stress on the flap's leather in its attempt to conform! Also, it would have been better if they just made the blocks detachable like other manufacturers.
Usefulness Rating: 3.4 out of 5.
15 reader(s) voted.
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