Manufacturer: Courbette (View all products by Courbette)
Model: Magic (View all Magic reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I took this saddle on trial from my local tack store. Price was $775
Likes: This saddle is made with a specially treated leather that is weather proof. I really like it for a number of reasons. It is waterproof, of course, and also scratch resistant. If you like the idea of a synthetic saddle that you can get wet, and that takes little cleaning, but you don't like the look of synthetic saddles, the Magic is a perfect solution. It looks exactly like any regular leather saddle, and it is not synthetic, it is real leather. But it is much more durable. I was pleasantly surprised by this saddle. The leather is not as supple as a standard Courbette, but like any Courbette saddle the quality is superb. It is extremely comfortable and put my leg in a perfect position. This saddle seems to be all purpose with a dressage slant, as the flaps are very straight and the seat is quite deep. Excellent if you plan on doing lots of flat work, but if you plan on doing higher level jumping I would recommend the Magic Close Contact model. I ride hunter and hunt seat, and my horse is only 3, so I will not be jumping for a while. For a schooling saddle geared toward huntseat equitation this is perfect. This saddle comes with the Courbette e-motion tree. Both my horse and I LOVE this tree. My horse is very hard to fit, as he is an arab cross and has wide mutton withers. Most saddles either pinch his back or roll around, but this saddle did neither. You need to get on and ride around with this tree, so that it settles down on your horse's back and you can really see how it fits. It really is exactly as they say - it conforms to your horse's back and moves with your horse. He was moving so well and seemed much happier to be saddled and ridden than he is with a standard tree.
Dislikes: The leather does not seem as though it will supple as normal leather saddles will. I have not tried to oil or clean it yet, but I'm not sure it will accept oil very well. However, that is a cosmetic problem and not overall a big deal. Also, I really do not like the billets on this saddle. They are much shorter than standard, and are of the same treated leather. This makes them very stiff and difficult to girth up. Make sure you use roller buckles! I do not have roller buckles on my girth and the first time I girthed up the leather billets cracked. I would prefer if they made the billets of normal leather that would accept oil and soften. They are not flexible. Also, I would not recommend this saddle for medium-narrow horses. My horse is generally a wide or extra-wide, and this saddle fits him well. I do not think it would fit a horse with high withers or a narrow back. It seems like it is a best fit on a low withered, medium-wide horse. If your horse has high, narrow withers, when the saddle settles down it will press on your horse's spine. I think it would be a great choice for arabs and quarter horses. Not a typical thoroughbred saddle.
Quality: Except for the billets, very nice quality. I'd prefer longer billets made of more supple leather. Otherwise, the craftsmanship is true Courbette - very high quality. The treated leather takes some getting used to, but I think it will be very nice during the rainy season. The appearance of the saddle is that of a much more expensive saddle. No one will guess you paid under $1000.
Summary: A quality saddle for the money. A very good choice over Wintec - this saddle is weatherproof AND it conforms to different size horses without having to change out gullets, and it looks much nicer than a Wintec. Best for medium-wide-xwide horses, although it would probably fit a narrower horse with proper padding. I would recommend this saddle.
Author: UC Davis Rider
Usefulness Rating: 4.39216 out of 5.
51 reader(s) voted.
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