Manufacturer: M. Toulouse (View all products by Marcel Toulouse)
Model: Claudine (View all Claudine reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I was looking, originally, for a higher-quality saddle that would fit in at A circuit hunter/jumper shows and would be secure enough for larger fences. I was eyeing a few Prestiges, a Butet, and an Amerigo. All at least 3k. While browsing ebay I came across the gorgeous M. Toulouse Claudine and opted for the "buy it now" and snagged it up for 500 dollars, new w/tags, including shipping-it was so low priced due to the water stain on the knee roll-but it's barely noticeable. The saddle retails for 1100 at my tack shop-give or take depending where you are.
Likes: So far, everything. The leather is absolutely GORGEOUS calf-skin that's incredibly comfy. The panels are foam flocked and also a very comfortable saddle for my horse, it fits the two of us well. The color is to die for. At first, I was concerned that the leather would scratch easier because it was so soft-but when I accidentally scraped it with my thumbnail taking it out of the packaging it buffed out perfectly fine with a soft rag. It's also a very secure saddle-which was something I was looking for as opposed to my work saddle which due to the equi-leather gets very slippery over 3'6. It has knee and thigh blocks, a medium seat, and the leather is super grippy, but it doesn't hinder or pull you in like some saddles over the particularly large fences. I also loveee the price I got it for. Even the regular retail price is imo, very good-this saddle is much higher quality than many saddles currently going much higher(Pessoa is a good example).
Dislikes: So far the only thing I dislike is that I have to get calf-skin leathers to not mark up my saddle. The leather is incredibly, incredibly soft, comfy, high quality, and the tree comes with a 10 year warranty, but if you're looking for a saddle that will last for decades then look into Crosby or Stubben.
Quality: Top-notch. The stitching is tight, and I obviously cannot stop raving about the leather quality. The balance is good-especially for someone who's 5'7 with long legs.
Summary: I love it! An excellent, excellent value for the price. If you're looking for a saddle that is high-quality and attractive, but don't want to spend a fortune I'd highly recommend the brand. The best saddle in the price-range.
Usefulness Rating: 3.15385 out of 5.
13 reader(s) voted.
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