Horse Tack Review

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Natural Close Contact: Flat Seat
Close Contact Saddles

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Manufacturer: Beval (View all products by Beval Saddlery)

Model: Natural Close Contact: Flat Seat (View all Natural Close Contact: Flat Seat reviews)

Category: Close Contact Saddles

Purchase: I received the Beval Natural for Christmas this year. It was bought within the Beval Winter Sale time, so it cost $2,035. It retails for around $2,700.

Likes: After having a Pessoa, which was very literally an uncomfortable, low quality couch, and a buttery soft but delicate used Beval Butet, I am IN LOVE with the Beval Natural. It is without a doubt the single best saddle on the market, below $4,000. (I prefer it greatly to the Butet, which was infuriatingly delicate, and scratched if you rubbed the leather with your thumbs.) It is a GORGEOUS two tone English calf leather, with a dark/blackish coffee color seat, panels, and knee roll, and the rest of the saddle is a lighter coffee color. It matches all of my dark havana leather tack perfectly. (The Beval staff helps you find the perfect tack to match if you don't already have it, but it will easily match any brand). The Natural is the PERFECT close contact saddle. I feel each movement the horse makes or is about to make, while still feeling cushioned, supported, and secure. The flat seat allows an increased range of movement and freedom for the rider. It is superbly beautiful and efficient in the hunter and equitation rings, but is supportive enough to jump 5+ feet in securely. Beval quality is indescribable. The stitching, leather, and overall craftsmanship is PHENOMENAL. The saddle is built in Walsall England especially for Beval. With proper oiling (Beval gives you the first one complementary to purchase, as well as a free saddle cover) the leather is just as soft, more gorgeous, and much stronger than the Butet's. Boots do not rub off color on the leather at all, and (Beval) stirrup leathers have not even begun to effect it, after 5 months of riding 4 or more horses a day, 6 days a week. I have the regular tree, which fits my warmbloods, including a broad Hanoverian and Zangersheide, a high withered Dutch Warmblood, and a small 15hh Trakehner. It even fits a Welsh Section B! The superb fit has encouraged my horses to use their backs well, and form beautiful bascules over their jumps, with visibly improved flat work and freedom of movement, particularly in their shoulders. (Even my equitation has improved; the saddle supports a solid two-point and proper, secure leg position). The 16" seat is a tiny bit big for me, but with the regular flap it is the perfect saddle for my petite 5'1" frame. The billets are a perfect length, and I have no doubt this Beval Natural will last for many years to come. It is truly the single best equitation and hunter (even show jumper) saddle on the market today, for a more than reasonable price. It is BEAUTIFUL! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT, AND ALL BEVAL PRODUCTS!

Dislikes: Nothing, really. The initial un-oiled color is a bit weird, a chestnut-yellow, but that changes with a deep, proper oiling.

Quality: Impeccable craftsmanship. There is simply no better example of quality. It is perfect in all aspects.

Summary: This is the best saddle for competitive riders seeking an affordable saddle, superior to the acclaimed Butet! It will allow you the best possible base for proper equitation, as well as freedom and comfort for both you and your horse, when fitted correctly. I wish I could give it 10 stars :)

Rating: 5

Author: CHS610

Date: 2011-05-16

Usefulness Rating: 2.44444 out of 5.
18 reader(s) voted.

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