Manufacturer: Heather Moffett Enlightened Equitation
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle on ebay about 4 years ago now. I paid $1800, it was in basically new condition, it had been a trial saddle but showed NO signs of damage or wear at all. I bought it to try and find something that would work for my hard to fit and perpetually sore-backed mare. I have the suede-covered seat and knee rolls and the pebbled leather model.
Likes: I have to say, after 4 years of ownership, I will likely NEVER own a different type of saddle again. I've ridden in dozens of different brands of saddles (jumping, all purpose, dressage, western) and really only this saddle has proven itself time and time again. I cannot even begin to tell you the improvements I have seen in my horses. They are 100% more relaxed and all go freely forward in it. No more sore backs, random swellings from pressure points, rubbing or chaffing. I use the same saddle for a 22 year old App mare, a 7 year old QH/Morgan mare, and a 13 year old Oldenburg mare, and it fits all of them wonderfully. I randomly tried a Wintec saddle on the App one day and realized that she has gone up from a Medium Wide tree, to a Wide, I believe in large part due to this saddle. My down-hill app is now even comfortable enough to bring herself into self-carriage for a few strides at a time. Seriously, never thought I would ever see the day that happened. It also has been used on countless other horses including a thoroughbred. When the thoroughbred arrived late last summer, she was at best a Medium tree, now, she is too wide for the Extra Wide Wintec gullet (and she's not chubby!). Her owner decided to purchase one of these saddles as well to accommodate her rapidly developing back and shoulder muscles. I like everything about this saddle. The signs of wear are minimal, even after 4 years of extended use. The leather is still beautiful and soft and the billets are in fantastic condition. The two things I love best about this saddle are the set-back stirrup bars (shoulder, hip, heel alignment is EASILY achievable, and you do NOT have to draw your leg back or forward to get there), and I love that it is basically a custom fit for ever horse and rider. It molds to each individuals shape, creating an unbelievably comfortable ride. I am not exaggerating when I say this saddle is as close to a one-size fits all as there probably ever will be- super wide to very narrow, I've tried it on them all with good results- it even worked on a mule! You could not pay me enough money in the world to go back to what I was riding in before. I hate riding in other people's saddles now because my seat bones are usually sore for a week after! Try the Vogue. It may seem expensive up front, but think of what you will save long term. I have not had a saddle fitting bill in YEARS. With 3 horses, I would spend about $1200/year on saddle fitting costs with wool or synthetic flocked treed saddles ($200 every six months per horse). So really, it has already paid for itself several times over! If that doesn't at least make it worth a try I don't know what does!
Dislikes: Nothing, except more seat sizes would be nice, and it would be nice if it came with maybe 2-3 more billet holes punched at the top.
Quality: This is one of the best made saddles I have ridden in. The leather is so soft and smooth, really it's nicer than the leather on my Dooney and Bourke handbag! After 4 years of hard wear and tear, it still looks great. I have in no way babied this saddle. I've ridden in it in the rain, snow, and baking sun for 4 years, it's even endured a solid soaking one day trail riding when on of my horses and I went in a belly deep creek and splashed around. The stitching still looks good. The pebbled leather on the flaps where my leg goes is just starting to show signs of smoothing out a little, but not much, and you can ride with your stirrups under the flap if you choose to.
Summary: Easily, the best purchase I ever made. My horses are comfortable, relaxed and happy in it, and it is SO comfortable to sit in as a rider. Great construction and durability. At the very least, it is WORTH a trial ride. You won't be disappointed.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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