Manufacturer: Ideal Saddle Co.
Model: Jessica Dressage
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle through a saddle fitter for $2,300. The saddle is worth every penny paid for it.
Likes: This saddle's leather quality is superb. Buffalo leather is always soft, but not all saddle makers use evenly cut (sliced) panels nor take the time to carefully smooth the UNDERside of the leather piece. Ideal's buffalo is excellent. The Ideal tree is well made and competes with the finest. The stitching was superb; the leather was stretched and attached perfectly. Excellent flocking. Can find no fault in quality!
Dislikes: There is nothing to dislike about the saddle! The saddlefitter distributor was hard to contact and communication was time consuming because of loooong waits for email replies and even longer waits for returned phone calls. The saddlefitter, however IS knowledgeable and friendly, and tries to please. Just more often out in the field doing saddle fittings than in the shop. I guess you can't be in two places at one time. But better communication would have been appreciated.
Quality: The Ideal saddle compares in quality to County, Black Country, Lovett & Rickets, Smith Worthington. These are all produced individually by master saddlers versus the stamped-out commercial products. Each is a high-end saddle. In saddles, you generally get what you pay for, beginning with the tree, linens, threads, leather uniformity, hardware, and stitching. The major differences between these master-grade saddles are the balance of their trees (and each person's pelvis will determine which tree fits you best), and the options in padding, knee rolls, knee blocks, etc.
Summary: The buyer should be aware that these saddles size run a bit large in the seat, so a 17.5 is going to give you at least that or more. The twist also runs a bit wider than usual. The trees are generous so that a Wide fits more like other saddles' XW. If you order an XW, you'd better be ready for a truly wide fit. If you custom order, take the time to make a template of your horse's back so you get the correct tree-width size.
Usefulness Rating: 2.25 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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