Manufacturer: Collegiate (View all products by Collegiate)
Model: Convertible Diploma Close Contact Saddle (View all Convertible Diploma Saddle reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: Purchased this saddle at Dover Saddlery for 995.00 Bought it at "Michelle the saddle expert" at Dovers advice as I needed something for my skinny long legged niece who outgrew her saddle (a week after Christmas) in knee length but still had plenty of room in her 14'' seat. Came with a free bridle that is actually a very nice bridle. Why Dover - still had some balance left on the Dover Credit Card after Christmas.
Likes: The leather is very nice - the dark color is quite pretty and matches well with most Oakbark and Australian Nut colors despite being called Havana. The stitching is tan and a classy look. The leather is also very soft and rides instantly as if broken in. I bought this saddle as soon as I knew she was going to need one to give her time to break it in before show season but she could have just climbed on and rode with the softness of the leather. Although this saddle fit our 15.2 Morgan just fine as it came, the saddle does have the easy change gullet if we would need to fit it another horse in the future. This saddle is very well balanced for the flat and equitation. I was kinda' worried about the adjustment time for my niece as she had been on her HDR A/O for some time. The Morgan is a new horse being readied for show season so she didn't have lots of time to struggle with her seat - no problem - ride two and she was as comfortable in it as if it had always been her saddle. Kinda' like the new horse - just instantly made for each other despite her moving from a 11.3 pony to the horse. The fit for her is also great. The flap is very forward which will allow her knee room as her long legs get longer. It is also a longer flap as this saddle comes in both the standard and a long flap. Hopefully this will last her a few years since there is lots of room in the seat and some extra room for her legs due to how its made. I really like this saddle for both the horse and rider. Its very worth the price. I have looked at saddles much pricier that were not made near this well.
Dislikes: There is not too much too say here. I really like this saddle. Especially for the price. The only thing I can think of is that I went through several conditioners trying to find one that did not darken the leather. Finally I gave up and used my good old "Bienenwachs Lederphlegecreame" that I always use on my own saddle. It did darken it a little but it just made it a little richer looking and it actually matched the stirrup leathers better. At least I know it will be well protected with the creme. It is a soft leather and it scratches easily but so far they have just wiped off with some rubbing. I am fully prepared for the day there is a big spur mark across the seat though and I will just chalk it up to a child who just had a good ride and was too excited to remember to watch the spurs when dismounting. Better the saddle than the horse on a dismount.
Quality: The saddle appears well made. NO flaws to my eyes. Stitching is strong and pretty. Billets well made and attached. It is wool flocked which I believe is unique for a saddle in this price range.
Summary: Well, I am not the rider of this saddle so I feel the need to say that I have never experienced the ride. But I can tell you what the 8 year old says - she thinks its "awesome". As the buyer of the saddle I believe I got a lot of saddle for horse and rider for a reasonable price. So we seem to be all happy. In my closing comments I have to also thank the good advice from Dover staff. I sat in the bathtub looking at their catalog for days and could not decide which saddle to buy. I am very pleased in the saddle they recommended. There were several other saddles cheaper and a few more expensive in the youth sizes but I know I ended up with the best saddle for horse and rider.
Author: Dev's aunt
Usefulness Rating: 3.1 out of 5.
20 reader(s) voted.
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