Model: Kerry LD
Category: Jumping Saddles
Purchase: After 9 months of agonizing I had this saddle shipped to me in Connecticut from a California Stubben dealer: cost w/o fittings: around $1600. It isn't a saddle you see in East Coast tack shops: in fact, none of the local sources I contacted had ever even heard of it, much less seen one! Stubben categorizes it as an Endurance Saddle. I hadn't jumped in a Stubben since my very first "good" saddle: a Siegfried, purchased brand new for . . .$380! I spent the next 30 years firmly planted (usually ;) in a series of Passiers and would have been content to finish the O/F portion of my life in the last one, even if it was a tad past its prime. But my trainer said it looked like it had belonged to the Crimean War Cavalry. She kept locking it out of the tackroom and covering it up with quarter sheets - in July. And finally she wore me down.
Likes: The ground gets much harder and closer as you get older. When you jump, it's not "if" you fall, it's "when". But at 50+, that "when" could very well be "it". I am past the point where I have any business asking a 1400 lb animal to vault over a large obstacle while I'm sitting on one of those little scraps of leather called a "close contact" saddle. The knee and thigh blocks on the Kerry are so substantial an atomic bomb couldn't blast your leg out of position! The flaps are very well forward - I am 5'10" tall with a 35" inseam and love that I can shorten my leathers to exactly where they're supposed to be without buying an extra long / extra forward flap! The seat is deep and secure, but does not hold you down. It is incredibly comfortable without being "smooshy".
Dislikes: Because it is an "endurance" saddle, it comes standard with a crupper attachment. Obviously, this had to go or my trainer's head would explode. Covering the holes with a nameplate took a little extra effort as the plate had to be slightly larger and the holes aligned slightly differently. The dees are square, brass, a little larger than normal and there is an extra set of them. If your trainer's head is in good shape, these shouldn't be a big problem. Once she saw how well I rode in the saddle it was easier for her to ignore the d-rings. The saddle is made only in embossed buffalo with light colored panels - I could not care less, but it is not a very "traditional" looking saddle and you probably would not want to do the HITS hunters in it. (I would, but most people wouldn't ;)
Quality: Only the highest praise: solid, substantial tightly made saddle of the highest quality.
Summary: This saddle is enabling me to keep doing something I probably should be thinking about stopping. It isn't for everyone: an athletic teenager would hate it. But for a "maturing" rider who wants extra stability - or even for an adult rider learning to jump or just someone who isn't extremely athletic - this is a terrific saddle.
Usefulness Rating: 2.4 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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