Model: Grand Prix Event Saddle
Category: Jumping Saddles
Purchase: Saddle has been bought new for GBP 682 (excl. VAT) from Bridlepath Saddlery Inc., UK.
Likes: I've been looking for saddle suitable for tough terrain jumping and daily flatwork, a saddle allowing to sit in correct position without fighting for it. Selection of Barnsby Grand Prix saddle has few reasons, why I chose it: the tree is general purpose, but the shape of seat is correct and has the deepest point in the first half of seat. There are no calf blocks, which allows freedom of leg movement during common dressage work, and the large pencil knee rolls are tall enough to support various stirrup lengths and still being effective. Also their slope, in combination with very adaptable, soft upper part of the flap, are resulting in very secure feel. Nor the rolls nor the strengthening around them interferes with rider's knee, which could be placed very close on the horse - I appreciate this especially. The depth of the saddle is medium - not too flat for everydays flatwork and not too deep for any kind of jumping (the saddle is deeper than Milton Classic model, but flatter than Schockemohle, for instance). Because of quite wide, wool-flocked panels and overall shape of them, the saddle is very comfortable for the horse - during last two years, I've tried three Stubbens and two other minor brands, but my horse likes the Barnsby GP Event saddle most of them all. Despite the soft foam cushioning of the seat, there's a lot of contact with the horse, thanks to design and fill of the panels.
Dislikes: There's nothing I disliked about the saddle. It was very pleasant surprise for me, especially for the price.
Quality: The make of the saddle is not as precise as highest Barnsby models and you can find two or three asymmetrical stitches here and there, or few uneven cuts of leather edges, but these are only minor points - leather is first-rate and of course symmetry in panels, flaps, stirrup bars, etc. is 100%. And one more note - saddle breaks in very quickly and continuously ; gullet and panels will mould to horse's shape within one month.
Summary: Barnsby Gran Prix Event seems to be very successful halfway between general purpose saddle and purely jumping models. Halfway a little bit on the jumping side, I'd say - the seat, the pommel-cantle curve and knee rolls are suitable for any kind of jumping, while open seat, spacious flaps (covering both forward and standard leg position) and absence of calf block allow trouble-free flatwork.
Author: Jaromir A. R. Vich
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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