Manufacturer: Dover Saddlery
Model: Amateur Owner All-Purpose (Huntseat) Saddle
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: In 2004 I needed a new saddle. My trainer informed me my fanny was too big for my old saddle. I went to the Dover Saddlery store in Massachusetts to try out several of their saddles. After a long search I came down to picking their Amateur Owner saddle. I paid their then sale price of $700, for the brand new unit.
Likes: This saddle is a study in workmanship contrasts:The leather is very high quality, tough, and takes abuse(e.g. leaving it on the ground, in the rain.)Yet, it has broken in like a dream. The leather is buttersoft, pliable. It settles in to meet both you and your horses conformations'. It absorbs shock well. The A/O provides a luxuriously comfortable ride. It sports a long, slightly forward skirt that takes a longer leg. It's softly rounded design is understated but elegant, and flatters most riders. I have been able to ride and show in several disciplines and Dover's A/O has met my needs. This is an actual "all-purpose" saddle and would fit the needs of riders on the flat, over fences, on the trail, at home, at show. This is an attractive saddle and more than worth the full retail price.
Dislikes: I'd like the saddle in black to show in for lower level dressage; Dover doesn't make it in black. I bought a narrow tree and would recommend the medium tree for a broader range of horses to fit.
Quality: Initially what attracted me were the billet straps:the are thick, sturdy and have not stretched out or needed repair. The stitching in equally quality throughout the saddles build. I have watched friends' 2 year old saddles fail in various areas and my A/O has retained its solid craftsmanship. I am not easy on my tack and this saddle has withstood my care(I.E. lack thereof). The leather stays soft and cleans, oils easily. I have no cracks, tears or other blemishes. It has aged and darkened nicely.
Summary: My Dover Saddlery A/O A/P saddle has been a true gift. It's one of their less advertised saddles and this is a shame. The comfort level is unbeatable and the work put into it made it unbeatable in quality- at half the price of supposed 'better' saddles.
Author: Mrs. Gertrude Orman
Usefulness Rating: 2.75 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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