Manufacturer: Bates (View all products by Unknown)
Model: Hunter Jumper (View all n/a reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I got this used but in almost new condition for $750.
Likes: The shape of the panels is perfect for a wider flat backed horse. There are only a handful of manufacturers producing flat panels and these fit my horse very well. I like the idea of the adjustable gullet and risers, but they only really work as very minor, fine tuning type tweaks. The saddle itself is nice looking. It had a pleasant design and style. The velcro knee/thigh blocks are great and the depth of the seat is very comfortable (secure but not hard to get out of).
Dislikes: This is a big, bulky saddle. There is not much "close contact" about it. It locked me in a chair seat and I could not get my leg on my horse because there was just so much mass under there. I had to make sure my girth buckles were at exactly the right spot, otherwise I could feel them and they added another inch of thickness between me and my horse.
Quality: The leather is such poor quality it might as well be synthetic. I honestly would prefer synthetic because then at least it wouldn't rub and scuff weirdly from leathers and boots. It does not take oil (they tell you not to oil it anyway), which means it basically is doomed to always be weird plastic new looking "leather". The overall construction is very solid and clean. The gullet system is easy to use and well made. This saddle looks/feels like it will hold up a long time.
Summary: Well made saddle with some nice features. Fit to the rider is very personal, but this one was just not for me. If you don't mind some distance between you and the horse and aren't picky about leather then this is a good option in an affordable price range.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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