Model: Imperial Derwent
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: When I was first getting into english riding several years back, I saved up all of my money (because that's what kids do when they want their first saddle!) and bought this saddle. At the near by tack shop, I purchased a 16" Cavalier Imperial Derwent All Purpose/Eventing saddle, complete with irons and leathers.
Likes: It suited the needs of the younger, beginner rider. The seat is the best part of the saddle. Deep enough for starting out in dressage, yet not too deep for learning to jump. Also, to me it feels like the flocking is wool, but I could be wrong. A nice thing was that the billets were reinforced with nylon webbing, but were too short for my liking. For both flat and over small fences, it served its purpose.
Dislikes: There are numerous qualities that didn't please me, but that's what you get when you pay $300. The stitching on the pommel has started to come apart, and also on the stirrup leather keeper. Actually after a few rides, the keeper fell right off the flap, so I had to stitch it back on. The leather is like cardboard. I have had this saddle for at least 5 years, and it's the same as when I bought it. Also, the black dye rubbed off of the flap onto my half chaps. Basically, the whole saddle is just poor quality. As a 10 year old looking for a saddle to just play around with, it was perfect at the time.
Quality: Poor stitching. Like I mentioned above, in numerous spots it was loose and/or falling out. Crummy leather, hard as cardboard. No matter how much you drenched that saddle with neatsfoot oil, saddle soap and water, it would stay as dry as a soup cracker. The only 'good' leather was the buckle guards on the billets, and some other small parts. The dye job also wasn't good either, after frequent use, the color on the flaps just rubbed off onto you.
Summary: This is an alright saddle for a beginner, kid or just a saddle to kick around. Now that I'm fully into english riding and jumping, I'm soon to purchase a good quality saddle. Please, if you would like a saddle, don't get this one! You can find a nicer used saddle, in good condition for $300, hands down.
Usefulness Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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