Dover Saddlery
Circuit Close Contact English Saddle
Close Contact Saddles

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Manufacturer: Dover Saddlery
Model: Circuit Close Contact English Saddle
Category: Close Contact Saddles

Purchase: I bought this saddle used (although the lady I bought it from had only used it for a year before she got a new, bigger horse and sold it) for $400. It retails new from Dover for around $750.

Likes: This is a GREAT saddle for the price. It rides like a $3000 saddle. It's a very balanced saddle with a in-between depth of the seat -- not too deep or too flat. The flaps are a bit longer then some brands, which is great for the long-legged riders. I like that the knee blocks are there, but smaller than most; not pencil style, but not massive either. Mine does not have rear thigh blocks, which is to my personal preference, although I believe these saddles generally come with both. While the leather isn't quite the quality of a more expensive saddle, it is certainly workable and the saddle as a whole has stayed together a lot better than other saddles I've used (not a stitch loose so far!). This model is very comfortable as well. The picture in Dover does not do the saddle justice. It is quite pretty once oiled.

Dislikes: I've only had two small problems with this saddle. The first to be noticed is that it seems the tree (it only comes in one size, regular) is a bit small. It works great on the Thoroughbreds and more slender horses, but on some of the massive Warmbloods it's a little tight. If they made the tree a tad wider or offered a wide size, I think it would fit a even greater variety of horses. The second small issue is the leather. Truthfully, this isn't really a problem; even for a $1000 saddle, it would still be quality leather. As I metioned earlier, though, the leather is not quite the same as the leather you would find on a Hermes or a PJ, so I thought I would point it out. The leather seems to get dirty more easily than some more expensive saddles, although I couldn't say for sure whether this was an actual matter of leather quality or if it's just my saddle soap (I clean the saddle once or twice a week, so it's possible).

Quality: The construction of this saddle is great; not a misplaced stitch, and everything is balanced and proportioned. The quality is good as well; so far, it's proved very durable.

Summary: Overall, this is an excellent saddle for the price. I would expect a saddle like this to cost at least $1000, if not more. I am very happy with my purchase.

Rating: 5

Author: Nikki K.

Date: 2005-09-02

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