Horse Tack Review

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Close Contact Saddles

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Manufacturer: Beval (View all products by Beval Saddlery)

Model: Stamford (View all Stamford reviews)

Category: Close Contact Saddles

Purchase: I bought this saddle directly from Beval for about $750. This was during their annual saddle sale so I got a bit of a discount. I bought the size 17", regular tree.

Likes: This saddle was instantly comfortable! It has a slightly wider seat that is very comfy and is not too deep. I noticed someone said these do best on downhill build horses, but I used it on my big shouldered, high withered thoroughbred and it fit him great! In fact, it fit every horse I put it on. I really thought it was a very versatile saddle. Finally, this saddle just looks nice - it is a two tone color and oiled to a nice deep brown on the flaps and a lighter newmarket type color on the knee rolls and seat. It looks good - someone even confused it for a $3000 Luc Childric saddle once!

Dislikes: The leather quality was my main dislike, which is common for an Argentina made saddle at this price range. However, at well under $1000, it is hard to find a balanced, quality saddle with good leather - I think the Stamford is the best of everything out there. But the leather stayed pretty slick and the flaps were always fairly stiff. It never got that soft, pliable, and supple feel. Also, the seat discolored slightly - I do ride in jeans though which is a no-no for protecting your seat!

Quality: Very high quality - not just for the price either! The leather is about average, as described above - not great, but better than any saddle I've seen for under $1000 new.

Summary: If you have your heart set on a new saddle, ride multiple horses of different "shapes", and are on a budget - this saddle is for you! I tried the HDR saddles and the Dover Circuit saddles and the Stamford looks, feels and fits better. I sold my Stamford (for only $75 less than what I paid for it on sale!) and upgraded to a more expensive saddle with better leather this year, but I still think my Stamford was the most comfy saddle I've owned.

Rating: 4

Author: Pony Girl

Date: 2007-11-13

Usefulness Rating: 3.93182 out of 5.
44 reader(s) voted.

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