Model: T4 Broadback Dressage
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I'm a Western rider, but thought learning to ride English would improve my balance and my seat. Having never ridden English, I decided to try an inexpensive (but decent quality) dressage saddle. I researched many of the dressage saddles in my price range. I liked that the Thorowgood saddles were adjustable and came in a "broadback" style to fit my Quarter Horse. I also really liked the synthetic suede seat. (Having never ridden English, I figured I needed all the help I could get!) The sizing instructions on the Thorowgood website were very helpful in selecting the right saddle for my horse too. I ordered it from Dover Saddlery for $479 in May 2007.
Likes: It's so lightweight! Without the irons, it weighs almost nothing! Also as a beginning rider (to English & dressage), I love the "sticky" seat. The squared off cantle is a different look that I like. This saddle is fairly comfortable too.
Dislikes: Yes, it squeaks. I haven't made any effort to try baby powder yet as the noise isn't that bad. However, the biggest problem I have with this saddle is that it doesn't fit my horse as well as I'd like. It fits perfectly when I first saddle up. But after riding for about 20 minutes, the front of the saddle has dropped down onto my horse's withers (slid back). I use a non-slip pad and a 1/4" neoprene shim with this saddle now. Those have helped some, but I may try using a bigger shim. (This is despite putting the biggest "FIAH" inserts.)
Quality: The Thorowgood dressage saddle is a good quality saddle. Despite being so lightweight, it seems to be sturdy and well-made. Granted, it's not a top of the line saddle costing upwards of $2000-$3000. But for the price I don't think you can beat the quality. I don't worry about this saddle breaking when riding in it. (This was my concern when I looked at the really cheap $200 dressage saddle packages.)
Summary: This saddle was a good choice for me- it's a good quality saddle at a decent price and perfect for a beginner. I'll never give up my Western saddle, but this is a great saddle to learn in. My only complaint is that it "falls down" on my horse when I ride in it. I think I can solve that problem tho if I experiment a little more. For someone just starting out or looking for a second saddle, I'd definitely recommend it.
Author: Rhonda H
Usefulness Rating: 3.94444 out of 5.
18 reader(s) voted.
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