Manufacturer: Max Benz
Model: Grand Prix Special Monoflap with exposed block
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle from e-bay for only $500 including all fitting and Prestige dressage girth. It was such a great deal for the saddle which is extremely expensive in Germany (retails for approximately $5000), and they DO have many good saddle makers. I guess, the American riders are not familiar with this brand, because each saddle is made as custom fit on the basic model, and their website is written in German
Likes: This saddle is truly amazing. Max Benz company, based in Munchen, Bavaria (South part of Germany) was the first saddle maker introducing the saddles with monoflap. It means, there is only one layer of leather between you and your horse, and it gives you such incredible close contact and comfortable sit, that you fall in love with this saddle from the first ride. First, the saddle is very light. The spring tree has metal (steel) feathers, but the monoflap design reduces the weight of the entire saddle almost in half. The leather is fantastic! It is not glossy, slippery, barely taking oil, fading leather, used for mass production, even for manufacturing so called high end saddles. It feels like calf leather, but it is much stronger. It is very grippy - apply some leather balsam, and you sit in this saddle like glued on. I saw this leather on Hennig saddles. There is no sign of fading or even leathers marks! The saddle has black flaps and panels and dark brown seat and blocks - looks terrific on the bay horse! The sit is extremely compact, soft, supportive, with long moderate twist, so you really can drop your leg down. The long exposed block is big enough to execute that half-halts and keep the leg beautifully aligned, but it is not restrictive, because it is anatomically shaped. Unlike in many other monoflap saddles, the Max Benz billets are stitched to the tree web, and not to the flap - great feature for the secure fit and weight distribution.
Dislikes: Actually, i like everything in the construction and quality of the saddle. The only thing i would mention here, there is no stamp or any inscription on this saddle about size, width or year of manufacturing - so i have no clue about the backgrounds. But taking in consideration, this is truly custom made saddle, it is not so bad.
Quality: As i said, this is a masterpiece. It is used saddle with absolutely no signs of wearing out - the leather is nice, supple, delight to touch, the stitching is perfect, all the metal parts have no rust and billets are like new. It is very beautiful and unusual saddle, fits great to all of my horses (spring tree and soft padding) and gives you perfect ride on all gaits. The exposed block is very fine and trendy feature.
Summary: I'm extremely happy with this saddle. After years of riding jumpers on close contact french saddles it was hard to find the right saddle for me, especially, I'm very tiny, and well, my legs are not so long. The monoflap design helped me to feel my horse trough the sit, without struggling with barrel-like feeling. The leathers used for this saddles will last forever. Great saddle, great master, great rides. The only thing is you get used to ride in monoflap so quick, so you feel it is way too much leather in the traditional two-flap design!
Usefulness Rating: 2.83333 out of 5.
12 reader(s) voted.
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