Manufacturer: Thornhill (View all products by Thornhill Saddles)
Model: Pro-Trainer Grand Prix (View all Pro-Trainer Grand Prix reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: Purchased, lightly used, from Kelly at Netfilly.com via eBay in 2002. I selected this particular model because Kelly's website showed how well a Wide fit on her wide-bodied QH-type horse.
Likes: I like the fit on my wide, stout horse (14.3, foundation QH.) The saddle sits level and requires no adjustment with special pads or shims. I use a wool-bottom, fleece-top shaped pad and have no problem with the saddle slipping. The gullet is nice and wide and the panels (foam) sits even on his back. No bridging. While it is classified as a close contact/jumping saddle, I feel more secure in it than in other CC saddles I tried. I have hunted 6 seasons in this saddle. It has decent sized thigh block and calf blocks. The padded flap is comfortable and not "balloon-like" at all. The seat is neither flat nor deep, very balanced. It is very versatile and accommodates a typical recreational rider's needs as long as your flatwork is HJ ring work and not dressage. Functionally good for hunting, ring jumping, moderate XC jumping, HJ flatwork. And stylish enough for the show ring.
Dislikes: I bought a 16.5 and should probably gone with a 17 or 17.5. The thigh blocks are fairly substantial relative to the saddle I was replacing which had pencil knee rolls (Smith Worthington Mystic CC). It fits fine for flat work, but when I pull the stirrups up a hole, my knees are riding up on the thigh blocks a bit rather than snugging in behind them. Or, if I shift back a bit, my seatbones are off the balance point and the cantle sort of flips me over a jump. My mistake in sizing, definitely not a design problem with the saddle. But if you are sizing one, adjust for the size of the thigh blocks.
Quality: Very durable. Not a single repair. Billets are in great condition even after 6 seasons of hunting and many, many hours of trail.
Summary: A great choice for someone whose needs AP function with CC feel. The wide is a perfect choice for someone with a wide, QH-type horse.
Usefulness Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
26 reader(s) voted.
Pessoa Pessoa A/O Junior Saddle Long Flap Close Contact Saddles
Henri De Rivel Pro RTF Close Contact Saddles
Arc de Triomphe Gazelle Close Contact Saddles
Synergist saddle Endurance Close Contact Saddles
Mondega Close Contact Saddles
St Lourdes Tango Close Contact Saddles
Beval Butet Close Contact Saddles
Santa Cruz Platinum Justin GPS Close Contact Saddles
Colligate Parfaire 2013 Close Contact Saddles
Courbette Alpina Close Contact Lemetex Close Contact Saddles
Mondega Conquist Close Contact Saddles
Exselle Exselle Debut Wool Flocked Close Contact Saddles
Mondega Augustine Close Contact Saddles
Collegiate Collegiate Convertiable Alumni Close Contact Close Contact Saddles
Greenhawk Vala close contact Close Contact Saddles
Bates Caprilli Close Contact Close Contact Saddles
Beval Artisan Close Contact Saddles
Dover Circuit Premier Apex Saddle Close Contact Saddles
Dover Circuit Premier Special EQ Close Contact Saddles
Forestier Ilium Mono Flap Saddle Close Contact Saddles