Manufacturer: Bates (View all products by Bates)
Model: Isabell (View all Isabell Dressage Saddle reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: Found this through M&M Tack Website used, $1300. I was trialing a 17" saddle which was a bit small, and ended up with this 17.5.
Likes: The Isabell has a very very secure seat, and puts you in a proper position, which is especially important for me as a beginner. I didn't want to have to try to figure out exactly how I should be in the saddle. My instructor said of the saddles I had trialed, this one fit the best and placed me exactly how I should be. I am also impressed with the quality of the leather and the grippiness. I had bought a new Nice dressage saddle and it was so slippery I couldn't grip at all. This one is perfect. One of the biggest and best features is the Cair panels so I know my mare is about as comfortable as I can get her in a saddle, plus I can change the tree as she muscles up. I researched long and hard on which saddle to get and this one seemed to fit the bill best.
Dislikes: I don't know what you call them, but this saddle uses a hooked piece of metal to keep your leathers from sliding off instead of the traditional bar to stop them. It's okay when I'm riding, but if I adjust my stirrup length, the leathers keep coming off if I'm not careful.
Quality: I thought the leather, for not being a brand new saddle, was holding up very well. They seem to get a wrinkle after some use, which I don't know is normal or not, but it's under my leg and I don't feel it so it's okay. I've seen this on a couple used Isabells.
Summary: Great saddle if your budget can afford it. I feel confident that I'll get many years of use out of it, due to its flexibility with tree size and its great workmanship. All around a wonderful saddle! Would definitely buy again in a heartbeat!
Usefulness Rating: 3.52941 out of 5.
17 reader(s) voted.
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