Manufacturer: Courbette (View all products by Courbette)
Model: Magic Close Contact (View all Magic Close Contact Saddle reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: Purchased through Stateline tack catalog, for $659, with tax and shipping (summer special price of $8.95). I was and still am looking for a new saddle that could fit a wide variety of horses, as I don't own my horse but lease. The saddle I currently own is a Pessoa Gen X which I love but it is a med. tree and doesn't fit the wide backed/high withered arab that I am now leasing.
Likes: There is honestly nothing I like about this saddle! It looks fine from far away, but the quality is so poor that I am astonished that Courbette even charges $650. I am however, very grateful that my local Petsmart has a Stateline Tack inside the store so when I received the saddle, it was very easy to return in to the store and get my money back without having to pay for return shipping.
Dislikes: The supposed "E-Motion concept tree and AWD gusseted panel system" certainly did not flex enough to fit the 15.2hh high-withered and wide-backed arab I am leasing. The saddle was only offered in one tree size, which shows that Courbette has way too much confidence in the "e-motion" tree to expect it to conform to every shape and size of horse there is. The tree is actually very stiff and not flexible at all, it really pinched the horse's shoulders. The "magic" leather looks a bit like plastic, and the stitching is very poor. The quality of workmanship (or lack thereof!) in this saddle should be an embarassment to Courbette.
Quality: The quality is way too poor to justify the cost (however little) of this saddle. This saddle should be priced for $350 or less, not $650. Let me explain... The stirrup bars are not recessed enough, and the stitching all over the saddle looks shoddy. The knee rolls are a very funny shape and not very functional. The overall shape of the saddle is a little off, and my guess is that some hunter/equitation judges might look down upon it. This saddle looks very ugly and cheap up close, my trainer took a good look at the saddle and said that if this is the type of saddle that Courbette is currently producing then the quality of their saddles has really "gone down-hill". Perhaps the higher-end saddles they produce in Germany are of better quality, but based on this experience I will never buy a Courbette saddle again- although I have to say that I do love their bridles.
Summary: Do not purchase this saddle! If you want to get your money's worth, just spend a little extra and get a Pessoa Gen-X (I got mine about a year ago from Four Winds online for $999) or a high quality used saddle. If you are like me and need a saddle that can fit a wide variety of horses, I would suggest getting a saddle with the convertible gullet system like the collegiate, which is what I plan to try out next.
Author: 1st year UC Davis Veterinary Student
Usefulness Rating: 2.8 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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