Manufacturer: Zaldi (View all products by Zaldi)
Model: New Kent (View all New Kent reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle barely used for $275 online. My old saddle didn't fit my leg the way I liked, and finally got annoyed with it and started browsing online. I think I got very lucky, as I was only looking for two weeks! Retail on these saddles are as high as $1,500.
Likes: I love practically everything! I think Zaldi makes their saddles geared more towards the longer-legged rider, as this is my normal seat size and a standard flap size, but it rides about a half inch bigger, and the flap is a whole inch and a half longer! That was what I loved the most. The contoured thigh block (knee block) is also wonderful; it is perfectly positioned and the perfect size, at least for my liking and thigh length, at least! It doesn't get in the way at all. This saddle also seems to have a really "comfortable" underside, very soft, not hard, and uniform. The first time I touched it I thought of how comfortable it seems like it would be for my horse. And it does fit my horse great. I purchased the 17.5" with 32 cm tree.
Dislikes: At this point in time, I can't honestly say there is anything I strongly dislike about it at all! One thing I've wished was different is that they could change the billets; they are somewhat close together so the don't distribute pressure as well as a "v-system", but there are still lots of saddles that don't have that girthing system, so I don't think that's something that should push a buyer away from this saddle.
Quality: The construction of this saddle is great. I can't see any "cheaping" out, and the leather is wonderful as well. These used to be found on ebay for $600, but now that Zaldi is beginning to become more well known, they are going up and now retail for as much as $1500 in online stores. Amazing craftsmanship and leather. I can't even see anything that will cause me problems in the future yet, either.
Summary: I honestly find this to be one of the nicest dressage saddles I've ridden in, and I've ridden in an Ainsley, a County, and a couple of Stubbens. It is a great saddle for both people starting out in dressage, and people who love to compete in dressage. It is wonderfully made, fits my horse well, and I think it will stay with me for a long time!
Usefulness Rating: 2.625 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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