Manufacturer: Collegiate (View all products by Collegiate)
Model: Convertible Close Contact, '05 model (View all Convertible Close Contact reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I paid around $1000 for this saddle new at a local tack shop. I got a 17.5 seat with a long flap. The makers of this saddle recommend the long flap for both flatwork and jumping, and the regular flap for jumping or very short-legged riders. I tend to agree, as the "long" flaps are equivalent to most saddles' regular flap.
Likes: This saddle is REALLY comfy! When I first got it, I rode in it once on a trail ride before showing it it. I really appreciated the quick break-in time. It does not interfere with my position with a whole lot of padding and whatnot; it has a small knee block that helps me when I'm jumping, but otherwise I don't notice it.
Dislikes: The so-called "easy" change gullet system. It takes me about half an hour of growling, cursing, and sweating just to change the gullet. Also, while I had the wide gullet in, the leather in the gullet stretched, causing it to bunch up when I needed to change to a medium gullet. Finally, the gauge was not anywhere near accurate, so I suggest you get help if you are not knowledgeable enough to fit the saddle yourself. It is very disappointing to spend all that effort to change the gullet and then realize it doesn't fit...
Quality: Very nice. I have had the saddle for about a year and a half and there is hardly any wear. The grained leather has the perfect amount of grippiness.
Summary: Great saddle, very comfy. However, unless you really ride a lot of different horses, I suggest you just get your saddle fitted rather than dealing with the "easy change" system.
Usefulness Rating: 2.25 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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