Manufacturer: Duett (View all products by Duett Saddlery)
Model: Companion Foxhunter (View all Companion Fox Hunter reviews)
Category: Jumping Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle directly from Nancy at Duett in spring 2008. The model retails for $1200. This is my second Duett. I also have a 36cm Duett Encore dressage saddle that I purchased in spring 2007. I like the Encore but wanted a jumping/all purpose saddle for trail riding and schooling over small jumps.
Likes: I like the secure but open seat. It's nicely balanced and puts you into a nice position on the flat -- not a chair seat which can often happen in AP/jumping/CC saddles. Likewise, I find when I stand up in my stirrups, I am immediately and effortlessly in the proper position for small jumps. I love the removable, positionable knee and thigh blocks, plus covers to protect the velcro for when you wish to ride without blocks. That is a nice option not often available outside of synthetic saddles, let alone leather saddles built for board backed, mutton withered horses. Nice amount of rings for breastcollars and gear while maintaining traditional styling. A change of stirrups and leathers could take this saddle from the trail to the show ring. I pair mine with EZ ride stirrups and leathers that buckle at the bottom for pleasure riding. Good quality leather, especially for the price. Nice recessed stitching. I appreciate that Duett makes treed saddles in a variety of widths for broader equines -- and provides a variety of style saddles for various sports and disciplines. The gullet is amply wide and the wool flocking provides great adjustability... which is why my fitter first recommended them last year to me.
Dislikes: No dislikes... but will say that it is nice to be able to try out different models through Nancy at Duett and her dealers like Trumbull Mountain. Trials are great way to find the right fit for you and your horse with less hassle and expense of buying and reselling multiple saddles. For example, I found that for the shape of this particular model's tree in comparison to the shape of my gelding, I needed to go up to a 38cm compared to the 36cm of my Duett Encore dressage. Not all saddles are suitable for every horse and rider combination so be sure to use such generous trials to your advantage to make certain you get what you need and want. Nancy was great to work with. Another tip, you may need to go up a seat size in Duetts because of their padding and slightly wider twist. At 5' 7"+ and a size 8, I found while I often took a 17 inch in other saddles I have owned, that a 18 inch Duett worked best for me. Be sure to get the right sized saddle for your own shape and height, it is kinder to your horses back and to your bum.
Quality: Very nice quality for the price. Nice smelling leather that has broken in beautifully (I use extra virgin olive oil on my tack). Balanced fit. Have looked at the same saddles used and they are in high demand and maintain a good resale value.
Summary: If you have a wide backed horse, look into a Duett. The wider tree sizes, generous gullet, billet placement and adjustable wool flocking can go a very long way in getting your horse the great fit he or she deserves and that cannot be found in most off the shelf saddles. Likewise, used or new, they are reasonably priced.
Author: Susan Montgomery
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
29 reader(s) voted.
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