Manufacturer: M. Toulouse (View all products by Marcel Toulouse)
Model: Candice Double Leather Close Contact (View all Candice Double Leather Close Contact reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I was originally looking for the Pessoa GenX Natural saddle, but determined it was out of my price range when I discovered the M. Toulouse Candice at one third of the price. I ordered it online from 123 Tack for $750, without fittings. They had great customer service and were very easy to work with. None of my local tack stores carried this model so I had a lot of questions for them before I ordered.
Likes: I love the chocolate color and how soft and comfortable the calfskin leather is. It felt broke in the first time I rode in it. It was equally as comfortable as the Pessoa. I love the narrow twist and medium deep seat. The leather is really grippy and keeps you in the saddle, offering a very secure ride. I have an older Stubben and it is really slippery, so this was a nice change when riding my young horse. It is great looking too!
Dislikes: Because the leather is so soft it does scratch very easily, but cleans up well with conditioner. You also need to use calfskin lined stirrup leathers so the leather won't wear on the flaps and I've also heard not to wear half chaps, but stick to regular breeches to cut down on wear too. But these things will happen with any calfskin leather saddle. The only real complaint I have with this saddle is that it is very difficult to get the stirrup leathers on the saddle. It's just a tight fit. I'm hoping that will change as the saddle gets worn in.
Quality: This is my first Toulouse saddle and I was a little nervous because I've seen very mixed reviews. So far with regular riding my Toulouse has held up well. The leather is great quality and uniform in color. I love the slightly darker leather piping that lines the seat. The stitching is tight and even, it is well padded for horse and rider, and I think with proper care the saddle should last a long time. It really has the look and styling of the more expensive brands. The tree comes with a five year warranty too.
Summary: I absolutely love my Toulouse saddle and am so happy to have been able to get exactly what I wanted for a price I could afford. As a result I also bought the matching bridle and girth, both of which have fancy stitching. I can't wait to get into the show arena! I would definitely recommend this saddle.
Author: Shelly M
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
12 reader(s) voted.
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