Manufacturer: Courbette (View all products by Courbette)
Model: Magic CC (View all Magic Close Contact Saddle reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I bought this on sale through State Line Tack for $450.00. I had previously owned two other Courbette Close Contact saddles and liked them very well. I was intrigued by the "E-Motion concept" spring tree and thought I'd check it out on this inexpensive saddle.
Likes: The all weather leather is nice. Not super soft, but OK to the touch... really lovely visual texture which I've been told wears extremely well.
Dislikes: Everything else. The seat runs small, the flaps run short, which for this tall rider just won't do. There are a lot of oddities about the fit for the horse as well. I'm not sure if the saddle I got was defective or not, but the channel was ridiculously low and offered less than half an inch for spine clearance without being girthed up and a rider's weight in the saddle! The gullet is also quite wide... more than a fists width across. The gullet width and the low spine clearance indicates to me that this saddle would only fit only barrel-shaped horses... they best not be slender, have any indication of a spine or withers. Needless to say, I didn't even bother trying this saddle on my horse. The shape of the cantle is tapered and squared. It is a nice looking shape, but if you are self conscious about having a large bum, this saddle won't help flatter that area for you.
Quality: The quality of the leather, stitching, etc. seems to be excellent for a saddle in this price range. That said, the stitches are a bit uneven and the union of the flaps to the cantle leaves a bit to be desired. There is a small gap at each side of the cantle where the flap leather should have been cut 1/8 an inch longer... but again, this is a very inexpensive saddle and is far superior to the saddles made in third world countries for the same price. What you typically get for a saddle in this price range is either synthetic or leather that feels like cardboard. Not the case here. The seat seems to have a nicely cushioned seat which is a plus.
Summary: If you're on a tight budget and you have to have new versus used, you might as well try this saddle and see if it works for your horse. You can always return it to your local Petsmart if it doesn't work for you (which I did). Know ahead of time though that the saddle does run on the small side, so get 1/2 inch larger seat size than you would normally order. It also will not work on a typical Thoroughbred or horse of similar build. Some people have lost respect for Courbette for making entry-level saddles when they used to be much more exclusive. But I really can't bash a company that is attempting to make this sport a bit more affordable.
Usefulness Rating: 2.875 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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