Manufacturer: Collegiate (View all products by Collegiate)
Model: Graduate / Plain Flap (View all Graduate / Plain Flap reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I bought this off ebay from a trusted saddle/tack dealer in florida. It was in almost new condition, all leather still super thick, stitching perfect, very slight fading all around. Even had the coating still from when it was first made about 6-8 years ago! All of this for only $230
Likes: It is a gorgeous saddle. It is a plain flap, which people do not make these days, and doesn't restrict your leg. It does surprisingly hold you in balance much more than I'm used to. (I had a very nice older Hermes and after needing repair I used a blue ribbon saddle while searching for a new one.) I also love the color. It is a deep reddish brown color with tan piping around the seat, and the bottom pads are also a light tan. It does slightly pitch you forward, and it is a negative for some people. But in my opinion it is nice because it just barely does so. I also love how padded the seat is! It is by far the most comfortable saddle I've ridden in.
Dislikes: The leather on the flaps and such it very hard even with conditioning. The seat and bottom padding are very soft though. It also squeaks and takes a lot of oiling to get a little bit softer. The saddle was not broken in yet and with the leather not being so high quality its taking awhile to get to where it doesn't squeak anymore. These are just minor and do go away with time! But the other thing is the short billets. They are much shorter than most saddles, and they are a little bit of a pain, but they're not that big of a deal!
Quality: Although the leather is from Argentina, the tree is from England and was made there. This saddle overall is extremely nice saddle for the price. The quality of leather on the seat and bottom padding is fairly nice and really soft. All the leather is nice and thick, the stitching holds up very well as well as the overall saddle.
Summary: It is an awesome saddle for the price! And anyone wanting an inexpensive yet nice saddle should buy one! Though the leather isn't top of the line, the construction is, and these saddles are built to last!
Usefulness Rating: 2.625 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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