Manufacturer: Equi-bette (View all products by Equi-bette)
Model: Close Contact (View all Close Contact reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: After outgrowing my old saddle, I rode for three years in the owner of the horse I ride's butet. When she moved to Florida, I found myself stuck with nobody else having a saddle I fit in. I finally had to go and hunt down a saddle I could afford that would fit both my fat behind and the fat back of the oaf of a warmblood I ride. I went to Libertyville Saddle Shop and bought an Equi-bette close contact on clearance there for $475.
Likes: It's fairly comfortable, with pretty good balance and a comfortably narrow twist. The leather is pretty good quality, although when I bought it the leather was so cardboard stiff that I was very worried I was making a mistake. Several hundred oilings later, and the leather is much nicer. The saddle is made in spain, and certainly was worth the price.
Dislikes: The billet leather is pretty cheap, much less quality than the rest of the saddle. There's already been some cracking on the billets, which, considering the short time I've owned the saddle, concerns me a little. The rest of the saddle is made of much better quality leather. The seat is a little too deep for a flat flapped close contact for my taste, but that's just my preference. The pommel is cutback, which I don't like, again, preference... the only saddles in my mind that should have a cut back pommel is a Lane Fox!
Quality: Not bad construction, but wouldn't compare to a Beval. Nice tree with good balance, mid-line leather quality which gets nicer the more it breaks in. The wide tree fits Ivan really well, and the 18" seat fits my behind nicely.
Summary: Overall it was good for the price and is a workable saddle for me to use. If I had $2000, I'd buy myself a Butet, but being a college student struggling to pay for her share of board and lessons, this is a nice enough saddle to use and ride without sending me to a debtor's prison.
Author: Cara Litberg
Usefulness Rating: 3.4 out of 5.
25 reader(s) voted.
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