Model: Dressage Saddle - Broadback XL-XXL
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: Purchased from Dover for just under $500. Was in stock and received promptly.
Likes: I love this saddle! It fit my broad-width, short-backed, sloped-shouldered 15'3 Paint Horse like a glove. I find it comfortable to sit in and the "impossible to fit" horse loves it too! It is well-made, easy to clean (just brush the dirt off), and light. My horse is no longer cranky with an aching back - he is a joy to ride with this saddle. I bought the Thorowgood-air girth too. I like the fact that it comes with two sets of "fish" inserts - one thick and one thin.
Dislikes: The "fish" inserts fell out constantly (when we moved from a walk to a trot). We are riding without them now. As his shoulders and back build up, we will need to insert them. Since it is a synthetic saddle, I can sew them in myself when the time comes. Also, the clips for the "leathers" are flimsy, but it isn't necessarily a drawback - I consider it a safety feature. If he goes nuts, the leathers will come off as I dismount at a gallop.
Quality: The saddle is comfortably constructed with padding in the seat and it is balanced underneath (comfortably rests on the horse). The quality is excellent for a recreational saddle. I am just learning dressage for exercise and suppleness for my horse - not competitively. If I was going to compete, I would look for a leather saddle. (We dressage riders can be a snooty bunch.)
Summary: I wish they made a western saddle - I'd buy it in a minute! My husband's cowboy boots just don't fit in peacock irons! My horse is a "saddle-fitting adventure" - I sent drawings, measurements, and pictures to some of the best saddle fitters in the country (again, gratitude to Trumbull Mountain - VT for their efforts). It's easier to buy a horse than a well-fitting saddle. Next time I buy a horse, it will be like Cinderella. If the saddle fits it, that's the horse I'm bringing home.
Usefulness Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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