Manufacturer: Duett Encore Dressage (View all products by Duett Saddlery)
Model: Encore (View all Encore reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: This saddle came recommended to me by my fitter for my broad backed gelding with low withers and prominent shoulders. I ordered through Trumbull Mountain in Vermont after trying a few models out. They worked with Nancy at Duett to place my special order (I preferred brown over the standard black color). Both Nancy at Trumbull and Nancy at Duett were helpful to work with and squeezed my custom order into the quarterly delivery from the German manufacturer. However, if you go with a standard size and color, you will likely have your order filled right away. I paid around $1250, which included shipping, leather seat/knee blocks instead of nubuck, and an added point billet keeper to work with my gelding's forward girth line, which was not standard on the model I chose.
Likes: For the money, I really like this saddle. It's thoughtfully made and good quality. My previous dressage saddle was a County, and while it was a higher priced model compared to the Duett, I did not feel like I was making much if any sacrifice in quality or comfort. It is well balanced and it's wider sizes (mine is a 36cm-- they can be special order into the 40cms) make it ideal for those who have horses that are wider than most saddles will accommodate, including Arabs, Morgans, QHs, Iceladics, Fjords, drafts and draft crosses, etc. It sits nicely and securely on the back, unlike the party-hat fit of other brands that run too narrow. This particular model comes with removable knee blocks and special covers to protect the Velcro from dust and hair for when you choose to ride without blocks. This is a very nice feature and I find the blocks to be very secure when I choose to use them. The saddle also rides very nicely without them. It also offers a secure but open seat with a nice cantle height.
Dislikes: I cannot really think of anything that I do not like about this saddle. The only forewarning I can provide is that most of the Duett models run a full size smaller than other brands. So if you normally take a 17" like me, you can anticipate needing an 18" in a Duett. Another word of advice, used models are hard to come by so you may need to consider purchasing new if you are on a time line or have special requirements/preferences.
Quality: Well made, with thoughtful details. An excellent deal for the moderate price.
Summary: If you have a wide horse, be sure to check out Duett to find your mount a good fit. Don't assume that a "wide" tree in many of the available brands will be wide enough or have the proper panel shape to fit many of today's broader backed equines. Try a Duett. Many dealers as well as Nancy at Duett, offer a generous trial policy. You cannot go wrong being able to try different models and sizes prior to purchase, so that you can be confident your final selection is the right one for you and your horse. Also Trumbull and Duett can take a look at your wither tracings to help you determine size.
Author: Susan Montgomery
Usefulness Rating: 3.4375 out of 5.
16 reader(s) voted.
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