Model: Jess Elite
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle for my horse when he was 4 years old because it has an adjustable gullet and I knew he would be growing for the next few years. I recieved the saddle in Jan of his 5th year. I do First level Dressage, school some Second Level, do Training level Eventing as well as Distance Riding. Base price was $2700, I ordered an AP with a dressage tendency. I ordered the Flair panels, an extra $500, as I also do distance riding and I wanted the added comfort for both myself and my horse. French leather cost an extra $500. I also ordered 1/2 panels to conform with his large shoulder wells (Warmblood mix). I also loved the fact that they measured my horse (came to Atlantic Canada for a fitting clinic) as well as myself for leg length, hip to knee length, weight and personal style of riding.
Likes: The leather is beautiful! The sturrip bars have been set back an additional few inches due to my long thigh and I can fnally "feel" that my leg is underneath me properly. The seat fits me like a glove. The flair panels add an additional level of comfort on distance rides for both my horse and myself. I have absoutle comfort on long distance rides of 30+ miles with zero back muscle soreness or tenderness.
Dislikes: The saddle I ordered was an AP with a Dressage tendancy. The saddle I recieved is definatly Dressage, there is no way to shorten my sturrips to jump anything over 3 feet without my knee jutting WAY over the saddle flap. There is no way to determine if the air is leaking out of the Flair panels (this has happened to me). I have had to return this saddle to the saddler twice in 18 months and have had 2 adjustments in the same time period. The first time I returned the sddle was because the air had totally leaked out of the Flair panels resulting in huge white patches along the entire back area of my horse, once the issue was fixed the white hairs went away, hence no permenent damage. The second time the saddle was returned was because of an improper gullet adgustment (in my opinion). The gullet had been narrowed while his shoulders had grown wider. This resulted in heat and swelling below his shoulder wells after long distance rides.
Quality: Quality and construction of this saddle are very professional. Very nice leather, great stitching. Nice leather work. Company responses to problems are not so great.
Summary: Bottom line. Beautiful quality saddle. I am hesitant to recommend the Flair panels. I have not been convienced over the traditional wool stuffing which is easier to reflock to specific areas. Be very knowledgeable about your needs prior to ordering one, and ensure you get proper followup saddle fittings. I am disappointed with the responses I have recieved form the company in dealing with the fitting issues, especially considering the cost of the saddle.
Author: DL Cole
Usefulness Rating: 2.25 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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