Manufacturer: Henri De Rivel (View all products by Henri de Rivel (HDR))
Model: Competition All Purpose Synthetic Saddle Adjust-to-Fit (View all Competition All Purpose Synthetic Saddle Adjust-to-Fit reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I received this saddle instead of another synthetic HDR saddle I bought due to computer error reporting that it was in stock when it wasn't. I only paid $130 including shipping (score!) through an Amazon store.
Likes: I LOVE the fact that no matter what size my horse ends up being (he's two and in training, no riding yet though), he will most likely still fit into the saddle. Also, I have put the wide gullet into the saddle and fits every single horse I have put it on from a high whithered Appendix to a barrel shaped QH/Clydesdale cross. When I have used it, the saddle is extremely easy to balance in and very comfortable. In the 16.5" size I fit perfectly. Also, the synthetic is nice to just use and put away without worrying too much about it. The havana brown looks much better than the black as well.
Dislikes: The wide gullet was a little more than difficult to put in. Yeah, you can do it at home, but it took my fiance, his friend, and myself to get it screwed in there. MAYBE I did something wrong, but 5 simple one sentence instructions made it look a lot easier than it was. I would be easier to go smaller than wider just because of the alignment of the screw holes. The only other problem I have is that the suede balls up and falls off quite easy. My saddle sheds. It's a little weird.
Quality: The construction was ok, nothing compared to, say, a Stubben, but it wasn't a POS, either. I trust HDR and they have always fit my horses and me very well. The quality is better than other saddles for the same price (MSRP 399.99 something) that are made in China and this has a 5 year no questions asked tree warranty.
Summary: I love this saddle despite its two faults. I bought a saddle for cheap, and I am more than pleased with the outcome. I love the careless maintenance of the synthetic and I love that it works well for me and my horse. I would buy this saddle again. Also, I am giving it a 4 out of 5 because I would consider a 5 to be a big name Euro brand leather saddle that is proven and costs $2000+. Obviously you can't compare the two, but for the price, this saddle is MUCH better than similar saddles of its kind.
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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