Saddle reviews

Discussion in 'Horse Riding' started by Bon & Ted, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    Having tried quite a few dressage saddles lately I thought I would post up a brief review of what I have tried, as so many people (including myself) always ask about different saddles.

    Please add yours...

    These saddles were tried on my big Stockhorse mare. Built like a warmblood and is an elevated mover. Highish wither, and is a wide on the wintec gullet gauge. Oh and I am size 8, not very tall but have longish upper legs.

    Riviera Monaco - Nice looking little saddle, seemed to fit my horse well but I thought the seat was sooo hard and my position was pretty awful in it, made me use my seat less and my stirrups more. Didn't like the quality of the leather.

    Trainers Jessica - LOVED this saddle, lovely soft seat, put me in a nice natural position without locking me in, has big knee rolls but not restrictive. Fitted my big mare well. Very nice quality saddle. Nice wide channel.

    Kieffer Kur - AMAZING to sit in, fitted Jing nicely, but the big knee rolls are a killer if you don't have super long legs!!! Quality was fantastic too. Nice wide channel and lots of wither room.

    Kieffer malmo - very nice to ride in, seat is harder than the Kur but it would soften nicely. This really made me feel like a real dressage rider LOL *#) Doesn't have the big knee rolls, gives you a fantastic position with room to move BUT it does have a narrow channel. So I wouldn't recommend it for wide load horses. I was really upset that this one didn't fit my horse as I would've loved a Kieffer, am disapointed with how narrow the channel is, this has been a problem with older Kieffers and I thought they'd fixed it.

    Anky - Very much like the Jessica for comfort and fit factor, I found that in this saddle on my horse I gripped with my knees big time, and because I was concentrating so hard on not gripping my position went everywhere. I have ridden other horses in this saddle without that problem, so maybe it's just the combination of my horse, me and the saddle :confused: I did alot of no stirrup work and that helped a little bit, but knee gripping is not a problem I have usually.

    I think I am going to go with the Jessica, good price for such a nice saddle!

    Please add yours, I think it could be useful to anyone wanting to look at saddles and not knowing what to get.

    Gee can you tell I don't have much work to do... :)*

    ETA: I know that what works for one might not work for the other, but it's good to share experiences!
  2. Playin With Fire

    Playin With Fire Well-known Member

    Awesome thread.
    Be interesting to see others feedback!
  3. Cheeki

    Cheeki Gold Member

    I admit I do like the Trainers saddles for their price - pretty good IMO :)
  4. lucky

    lucky Well-known Member

    Wonderful post!!!:)*
    Have just started looking as well-so it is great to hear everyones elses views!!!!!
    I was all set to go and buy myself a Kieffer Kur.....until I actually sat in it-the knee rolls didn't suit my leg length at all- I was gutted!!!!
    Actually liked the Kieffer Lech Profi to sit in-didn't try a Malmo-will definitely go and try one!!
    My horse will end up quite wide as well though(Clydesdale/Percheron/Thoroughbred!!)but was hoping since they can be changed to suit "any" horse(salesman talk!!)that it could be adjusted as he grew-I actually didn't realise that the channels would be too different in each brand within a brand(ie Kieffer!)so I appreciate your feedback Bon and Ted!!!!!
    Arggggh back to more research!!!!!!!
  5. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    haha Lucky yep I sat in the Kur and it was gorgeous, then tried to trot and it was too hard. I certainly aint paying in excess of $4K for something not quite right. Shame, though I think it would be wonderful for someone with long legs!

    My girl is wide but not like hippo wide, I imagine anything with clyde and perch in it would be wider. But the Malmo was sooo tight on her. Bringing it back tommorow (trial saddle) maybe the bigger gullet sizes have a wider channel. As this channel I can't even fit 4 fingers accross it :eek: I wouldn't recommend it for anything remotely wide UNLESS the channel can be widened, and I don't want to have to have that much adjusting done to a rather exy saddle.

    Sit trot in the Malmo though was a breeze!

    I really liked the Jessica, it is a really lovely saddle, and as far as position and comfort went, it is a strong contender with the Kieffer (and about 2K less!!!) Oh and the Jessica has a nice wide channel
  6. lucky

    lucky Well-known Member

    Have just been looking at the Jessica's online-sound very nice!!!
    Will go and have a look next week!!!:D
    Would love to know if the Malmo is any wider with a bigger gullet size-will watch this thread!!!:)*
  7. justanothergirl

    justanothergirl Well-known Member

    Currently trying the Riviera Tuscany, which I think will be a go'er for the time being, seems to fit both my horses well. Although I do agree with you B&T the seat is a little on the hard side. :)

    I have/had a Trainers Jessica as well. It is good value for money but unfortunately just doesn't fit either of my horses. :(
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  8. Nickelodeon

    Nickelodeon Well-known Member

    This is a sticky worthy thread, fantastic idea B&T :)* I'll definitely use this in the future as a reference **)
  9. purplepony

    purplepony Active Member

    Can I ask who is the saddlefitter you are using and how have you found their service and knowledge of fitting (not just brands)? PM me if they aren't advertisers... thanks
  10. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    Roosli Pilatus dressage
    I have a Roosli (Swiss made) dressage saddle and LOVE it!
    It has a deep seat without being too deep, short slaps (as my legs arent very long) and beautiful sodt leather. Very nice quality. Hard to find though.
    Passier These are lovely saddles. Good quality, correct position
    RivierasI did thry boththe Tuscany and Monaco but felt they didnt put me in the correct position, the leather wasnt of the best quality and the seat was rock hard. I wanted them to be good because the price is so great however after I sat in my Roosli I made my choice.
  11. norrishbex

    norrishbex Well-known Member

    I have a keiffer lech, and I love it, it has a really wide channel, and I found it really nice to ride in. If has a fairly firm seat, and the quality of them are amazing. I have had my saddle for about 2.5 years, and apart from a tiny bit of rubbing where the stirrup leathers sit, there is no marks on it, and I rode in it everyday. You can also get the lech in 3 different seat depths, and from memory, mine is the middle one.

    I am buying a Southern Stars dressage saddle for Key, and that was an awesome saddle to ride in. I found it really easy to shift my weight in it, but also to keep my weight centered on key. It doesn't allow me to roll onto my fork, and encourages me to sit on my seatbones. I have rather short and round legs, and I found that the knee rolls sit really nicely for me, which is amazing, coz I have never found a saddle that had any kind of medium/large size knee roll where it sits in a good position for my legs.

    I also like the Bates Maestro, it rides very similarly to the Keiffer Lech.

    My jumping saddle is a Collegiate close contact, and it is a lovely little saddle. It is a nicely priced saddle, and the quality is better than the price would suggest. It gives me a felling of security when I am jumping, and I like that about it.
  12. montygirl

    montygirl Well-known Member

    Well I'm in the process of finding a new saddle too.... grrrrr

    Bates Maestro - love love love love love this saddle, but doesn't fit my horse. Puts me in an awesome natural position and allows the rider to move in the saddle for the higher movements.

    Isabel Werth - again, love this saddle and this is the one that I'm most likely going to purchase. I found it really put me in a good position and my horse loved it. Really allowed his shoulders to move and his back to swing. Also found I could get my leg on the horse easily.

    Trainers Jessica - I used to own one of these with my other horse and I loved it, but then sold the horse and it didn't fit my next horse so I got rid of it which I am now kicking myself about. I actually rode in the new one today and I must admit that I do still like it, but I'm not convinced that my horse liked it. I've got a lesson tomorrow and I'll see what my coach tells me. Puts me in a good position and I feel really secure in the saddle. The thing that I am concerned about is the girth points. They are really far back on the flap and I can see the saddle shifting up over the shoulder. (this happened to the lady who I agist with and they tried everything to stop it, but the saddle always shifted up over the shoulder and the girth points went backwards - she had to get rid of the saddle in the end....)
  13. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    I'm getting my new Freeform Classic in brown in a couple of weeks. So will let you know how I go. I have trialed one and they are superb. Looking forward to getting my own.

    I know the Freeform Liberty is the one specifically for dressage. Looks very nice.
  14. Animosity

    Animosity Well-known Member

    What are people sopinions on the Colligate saddles?
    Are they worth it? I currently have an old Bates Olyimpia and i love it but its definatly not good enough for showing.. and if i were to get a newie id ride in a cover, sell my old one and get a second hand jump (dont do much, so second hand is fine).

    Im kinda blabbering. I like the look of them. But would it be better to get a second hand Bates or something like that? Nice-ish brand/quality. I really dont have a clue!
  15. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    Excellent feedback guys!!!

    Purplepony - Have been using Kristina from Saddleworld, have been very pleased with the service so far, she seemed quite cluey on the brands and took into account the sort of thing I was after and my horses shape.

    Monty girl that's interesting about the Jessica riding up the shoulder, can't say I had that problem. But my girl is built big, massive shoulder and a sizeable wither...maybe lower withered horses it doesn't suit as it does provide alot of clearance.

    Am very interested in the Maestro, can't say I asked to try that one out, think it would be worth it though.

    Marianne that's great, I love the freeforms. Such a neat looking treeless I think the newer model have a narrower twist which makes it easier to ride wide loads. Let us know how you go! I wanted that one on Ted, but they aren't really suited to big withers so I went the London.

    hey animosity, best bet is to get a saddle fitter out with a heap of saddles to try on your horse and see if you can both work in them. It's not expensive, and if you can't afford the one you like brand new, get it second hand and get it fitted!
  16. Animosity

    Animosity Well-known Member

    Oooh, Good idea.
    Always forget the trusty saddlefitters:p
  17. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    Yep better than buying something you end up hating!!

    Would recommend Kristina from Saddleworld or Gary from Saddles Plus :))
  18. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    I noticed on the site that you can now get them with the cutback for high withered horses. **)
  19. montygirl

    montygirl Well-known Member

    I've got a stunning 2nd hand one that i'm selling if you want to try it.

    I rode in the Jessica today at my lesson and my coach loved loved loved it! so looks like the jessica :)
  20. Rem

    Rem Well-known Member

    I have the Freeform Classic and LOVE IT!! I've decided to get the Freeform Liberty too but in brown. My Classic is black and fits all three horses but brown would look better on two of them and I like the look of the Liberty, they didn't have it when I bought my Classic.

    The only thing I didn't like about the Freeform is the pad, I ended up getting a Skito pad instead and find that's much better.

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