Manufacturer: Riviera (View all products by Riviera)
Model: Newport Synthetic Saddle (View all Newport Synthetic Saddle reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle online from www.buytack.com for $179 U.S. Dollars. I bought this saddle because I needed something that I could take out on trails and not worry about. It also has flex points so the horses shoulder's can move freely. I thought that would be a big help since free shoulder movement is needed on the trails.
Likes: It has held up besides one small tear on the right flap. The color has not faded.
Dislikes: I've ridden in this torturous saddle for a year and the bottom panels have yet to conform to my horse. They are still very hard. The seat is foam lined and looks very comfy but looks aren't everything! I actually developed blisters in this saddle after a short 3 hour ride! (Blisters where no one should ever have blisters mind you!) It is synthetic and does not break in like leather or like a Wintec. Those flex points for the shoulder I was talking about seem to give the saddle an all over unstability problem. Now you might be wondering if that was because it didn't fit the horse. I've tried it on many many horses and it didn't fit any of them well. It fit my main mare the best of any but whenever I pulled that saddle out of the tack room she got instant "mean mare face". So I finally gave up and was riding in the bareback pad until I bought my older Crosby. (which is very nice by the way)
Quality: Try and wear it out! I dare you! I put this thing through ponds and rivers. Over muddy, rocky, hilly trails. It's been banged up by trees and bitten and slung across the arena by my gelding. Not a scratch on it from that. I've left it out in a thunderstorm and sat it on the back porch railing in the sun so my cat could have somewhere to lay. Like I said the only thing wrong with it is a small tear on the right flap. When Riviera put the saddle together they meant for it to stay intact. Useless for both horse and rider but it will be holding together long after I'm gone!
Summary: If you are buying this to place on a carousel horse then go for it! Otherwise save up your money for a real saddle. The blisters down south and the looks you'll get from your horse just aren't worth it!
Usefulness Rating: 3.4 out of 5.
20 reader(s) voted.
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