Manufacturer: Carlyle (View all products by Carlyle)
Model: Close Contact Saddle (View all Close Contact Saddle reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: This was the first saddle I bought, and it was the only saddle I looked at. It was used, slightly, but still in wonderful condition. I needed my own saddle after riding in rock-hard schooling saddles much too long. It was acquired for $500 from a friend of mine (came with stirrups, stirrup leathers, two girths, and a cover).
Likes: This saddle has been pretty indestructible. I've ridden in it through snow, rain, mud, and layers upon layers of stone dust. A quick wipe with a cloth and its perfect. It fit almost every horse at the schooling barn. The cantle of the saddle is very soft and comfortable. When I use it for jumping I found it very easy to get out of the saddle.
Dislikes: For trail rides or long shows the saddle can get a little uncomfortable. The fact that this saddle is so easy to get out of had its bad qualities too. The sitting trot in equitation classes seemed hard (dropped irons is impossible). There isn't a lot of support for your seat, which makes falling out of it a whole lot easier too. This saddle seems to fit horses that are built down-hill better. Didn't fit my Arab after his back muscles started to develop.
Quality: It's been pretty sturdy. I haven't noticed any stitching coming out, and everything seems to be standing up to its job. The leather does have a tendency to crack near the pommel and on the flaps a bit, but I believe that comes with age for any saddle.
Summary: The Carlyle Close Contact saddle is best suited for someone that does the hunters or jumpers. If you're looking for a saddle that will stand up to any element, this is the one. This saddle is perfect for doing local circuits and small state shows. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone that is very into equitation.
Author: V. Henderson
Usefulness Rating: 3.1875 out of 5.
16 reader(s) voted.
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