Manufacturer: Bates (View all products by Bates)
Model: Isabell (View all Isabell Dressage Saddle reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle used for $1100 through private party purchase.
Likes: I love everything about this saddle! First of all, dressage is a second discipline for me. I come from a H/J background and learning the correct dressage seat has been a challenge. Riding in the Isabell changed my seat immediately. The seat is very deep and the twist is wide which encourages you to relax and open your hip angle. This is very hard for someone with 20 years of hunt seat equitation drilled into their brains and muscle memory! But the Isabell gives the absolute best chance at success at mastering the correct dressage seat. The buffalo textured leather is absolutely divine and provides more grip than I ever thought possible in a saddle. It's tougher to clean than smooth leather, but the grippiness is well worth the extra work. This saddle was a life saver for both me and my horse. My horse is a very high withered Thoroughbred and all other saddles sit right in his withers. I will never buy another saddle that does not have the easy change gullet system. While you might pay a little more up front, you will save money in the long run by not having to buy a new saddle every time you get a new horse.
Dislikes: I don't like the surcingle that buckles to keep the flaps down. It's just more leather to clean, it has to be tucked up to keep it out of the way to put the saddle on, take it off, and to store it. And honestly, I can't see why it needs to be there at all. I think my legs do a pretty good job of holding the flaps against the horse, who needs this extra strap? Honestly? I would love to just cut it off, but for resale value I suppose that would not be wise. I guess the only other thing that I don't like about this saddle is that I can't afford one brand new. That's more my problem than a saddle problem, but it's a dislike all the same. I would LOVE to have one of these brand new and be able to break it in for my seat and leg position... maybe someday.
Quality: Awesome quality. Great, supple , beautiful leather. Excellent design. The saddle was ridden daily for three years before I got it and it still looks great. There is flattening of the leather texture where the leathers rub, but the black dye is hard fast and still beautiful.
Summary: Just a great saddle. I can't say enough good things about it. I only wish I could get a brand new one!
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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