Horse Tack Review

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Ovation Monarch
Nottingham / 470406BRN 175
Close Contact Saddles

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Manufacturer: Ovation Monarch (View all products by Unknown)

Model: Nottingham / 470406BRN 175 (View all n/a reviews)

Category: Close Contact Saddles

Purchase: I purchased this saddle new from Stateline Tack and paid $899.99 (MSRP is $1650). I think it has since been reduced to $825 (as of 12/13/2018). I was looking for an adjustable saddle with wool flocking for my hard to fit Morgan gelding.

Likes: I feel like I found the Holy Grail when I tried this saddle on my hard to fit horse. He is very "broad across the beam" and most saddles restrict his shoulder movement. I have tried other adjustable saddles, but because they had more of an "A" shaped tree, they did not work. The Ovation Monarch Nottingham is almost like a hoop tree, especially when you install one of the wider gullet plates. The plates range from Narrow to 4X Wide, and I am using the 2X plate since my gelding is a little chubby right now. I have the 1X Wide plate on standby for after the winter. I really like how I can adjust the tree and have a saddle fitter adjust the wool flocking for a custom fit. The covered leather is soft and a beautiful dark chocolate brown. Interestingly, the designers of the saddle made the covered leather look printed rather than smooth, and I'm not sure if it will wear to a smooth appearance with continued use. The underflaps are printed leather and come very stiff but have already started to soften up with conditioning and use. The seat is cushioned and is soooo comfy! I felt very secure in the seat. My horse moved very well in this saddle, which is the best "review" of all.

Dislikes: There is A LOT of velcro on the flaps due to the (re)movable knee and calf blocks. I ended up taking both sets of blocks off the saddle because I don't feel they do anything to help my position. I already have a pretty steady, secure leg, so the blocks, for me, are really unnecessary. But the velcro makes cleaning and conditioning the flaps awkward. I think I would like it better if the saddle just had pencil knee rolls, but that is not popular right now.

Quality: The Ovation Monarch saddles are made in the U.K., so that right there tells you the quality is going to be better than saddles made in Argentina or India. I have only ridden in it once, but I am really impressed so far and hope that the saddle continues to work for me and my horse.

Summary: I'm really suprised that more people haven't discovered these saddles. Based on the discounted price (only at Stateline Tack - other retailers are selling them for $1200-$1600), I wonder if they are going to be discontinued. If so, riders looking for a quality mid-range saddle need to snatch these up before they are no longer in stock.

Rating: 4

Author: Caeldi

Date: 2018-12-13

Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
1 reader(s) voted.

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