Manufacturer: Pessoa (View all products by Pessoa)
Model: Gen X Close Contact (View all Gen-X Close Contact Saddle reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle, on sale from Dover for $1200.00 because it would fit my horse, and had the grippy buffalo flaps. I loved my old saddle, but it's seat and flaps were too slick, making me feel too loose when jumping. The Pessoa performed just as advertised - I sat GLUED in any situation. Even while hunting on very hilly country, or doing the jumpers in shows, this saddle never budged from it's position; no breast plate needed.
Likes: The fit for me and my horse was perfect. The seat is secure and comfortable while not feeling confining. It's attractive, and the knee rolls seem to be just right, not too big or small. It doesn't have rear rings for sandwich cases, so it's not ideal for hunting in that respect.
Dislikes: Hummm. Where to begin. First is it scratches too easily. Even the slightest brush against any part of it causes the leather to mar, but I am able to soap/oil those out OK. I don't at all like the bottom seat panels - they squash flat and HARD. After a few uses the underside feels like iron. The thick unyielding billets are still so stiff, making girthing up a chore. What are they made of??? No amount of oiling softens them. The flimsy billet guards covering the buckles are a joke. Already they are seriously damaged, and the overlying inner flap is showing hard use from this problem. I always condition my tack carefully before use when new, and maintain this - but the Pessoa still squeaks too much for the first 1/2 hour during rides, even after applying baby powder in the recessed areas.
Quality: This remains to be seen. I have a Daalman that is over 60 years old, and there isn't a stitch out of place, the leather is soft, the tree/construction is like new. Same with my 30 year old Stubben. The Pessoa, by contrast seems cheaply constructed. It's just a feeling I get. The jockeys on it are like card board - hard and flaky looking/feeling. It's absurd that the buckles on the billets are trying to poke through after only a few rides. I don't expect to get but maybe a year's worth of use out of it, and while I ride a lot, I also take excellent care of my tack.
Summary: It makes me crazy that we have to pay over a grand for Argentine saddles!!!! They weren't any good at all in the olden days, and maybe they are better designed today, but the quality is still poor. If I could find a Stubben with a narrow gullet, I'd ditch the Pessoa in a heart beat.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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