Manufacturer: Stubben (View all products by Stubben)
Model: Avalon (View all Avalon reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I originally discovered this model in Germany in 2001 while away at a conference and visited the Krefeld store. Out of all the models available, this I found to be the most comfortable, but did not have a horse at the time. In 2004, I discovered that they were discontinuing the model and it was to be replaced by the Maestoso, also an excellent model. Because of the discontinuation, they were on sale and I purchased the saddle in April 2004 at Yellow Brick Farms, Brantford, Ontario for $1800 plus some additional adjustments with the flocking to fit my horse.
Likes: I call it my "comfy couch", all other saddles feel uncomfortable in comparison, and the seat is ultra deep. Not once have I ever been unseated enough, including a few falls & face plants due to slippery spots on ice, to fall off my horse. You can ride for hours in this saddle and be in complete comfort. I also love the fact that Stubben will send you free saddle soap and conditioner, which is very expensive to buy, but it's also top quality for leather care!
Dislikes: I would have liked less leather/bulk under the flaps, this is what the Maestoso model fixes from the Avalon model. The billets are extremely long and it took me a while to find a short girth to fit without punching too many additional holes in the billets, which may stretch the leather.
Quality: The leather is buffalo, so it is already soft and broken in, I would recommend buffalo leather to everyone, it's extremely durable and doesn't wear like other leathers, it stays "new" after repeated use. The billets are double punched, so you can use a long or short girth, which was extremely useful while I was looking to buy a short girth. If you do plan on using a long girth, use one with 'split' ends to increase the stability with the y-billet construction.
Summary: I'm very happy with my purchase, considering I waited until the model was discontinued and I got it for almost half price. If I had to replace it, I would consider the Maestoso.
Usefulness Rating: 3.25 out of 5.
20 reader(s) voted.
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