Model: Impala Monoflap
Category: Jumping Saddles
Purchase: I was sort of looking for a saddle to fit my new horse, needed a narrower but U-shaped tree, and wanted a monoflap. Had been riding in a devoucoux that really wasn't working for us. One of the reps from Hastilow USA was down doing fittings and had a brand new Ideal Impala with her, marked down all the way to $1800 for no known reason. It was a perfect fit for us both, my horse had never gone so well and I felt secure in the saddle. Since my mother already had an Ideal dressage saddle, I decided to purchase it.
Likes: This saddle is absolutely beautiful. The leather is soft and supple but the flaps are more durable and have yet to show wear from my stirrup leathers. I usually ride in a 17.5" but the 17" in the ideal works, especially with the more forward flap. I have a longer thigh and it fits beautifully, I can finally get my stirrups up where they need to be for XC. The panels are flatter and work for the WB back (broad rather than a-framed) but there are small wither gussets so it works with the bigger withers as well. The seat is comfortable without taking away from the feel of the saddle.
Dislikes: My only complaint is that the billets are a tad stiff and the way they are attached is a bit odd. They tend to cross when just hanging. Once girthed up they don't pinch or anything though. This saddle is also lacking in keepers for the extra stirrup leather but I suspect that was why mine was marked down so much. Does not effect the ride at all.
Quality: The leather is soft and supple, with just enough tack to it to keep me secure in the saddle. The stitching looks secure. No rub marks on the flaps yet from my stirrup leathers and the billets have yet to show any signs of use.
Summary: I don't know why Ideal saddles are not more common in the US. This is a fantastic saddle that fits a wb-type back beautifully without going custom or breaking the bank. As warmbloods become more common in the USA, I hope saddles like this one, and other english saddles, make a comeback over the more expensive french saddles. I absolutely love this saddle, and if I didn't already have a dressage saddle that I love, I would get an Ideal dressage saddle as well. As it is, my mother is extremely pleased with hers. This is a great saddle that I would recommend to anyone who's horse's back is like mine.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
2 reader(s) voted.
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