Model: Innova Extended Bloc
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: Because I have cervical spinal problems and technically shouldn't be riding, safety was a big priority when starting to ride after 10 years. After considerable research, I bought the Bates Innova on ebay for $900.
Likes: I love the quality, the CAIR panels, and the big contourbloc. It made a huge difference when riding a bucker and saved me from falling off more than once. Even when a horse spooked, the Innova kept me in place. It also makes you ride with a correct, straighter leg for dressage.
Dislikes: There wasn't really anything that I didn't like about the Innova. It was very secure and quite comfortable. The only reason that I sold it was because I needed money for my horse rescue.
Quality: The construction is really good. The leather is not the softest, but it is durable. The easy-change gullet wasn't "easy" for me to change, but I have nerve damage and my hands aren't that talented for precise tasks.
Summary: If you want to feel secure when riding, it is difficult to beat the Innova. I have heard of people ending up in front of the contourblocs on a bucking horse, but never had that problem. The saddle definitely kept me safe, even on a bucker whose hind end went higher than my head! :-)
Usefulness Rating: 1.66667 out of 5.
3 reader(s) voted.
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