I was very pleased with this saddle, from the very START, at the fitting, which was performed by using a template of my horse, and THEN placing the un-paneled saddle on my horse. This allowed me to see and feel how the actual tree contoured to my horse's body. The fitting process proceeded as the panels were attached to the saddle in a basic position. Then, during short test rides, the panels were moved further, to contour, flex and provide a consistent large weight bearing area between the horse and rider. The saddle was also adjusted to be balanced from front to back, and side to side.~nl~~nl~The saddle is classical, in it's design and outline. There are supportive, removeable thigh blocks under the flaps. The twist is medium and the seat is medium depth. ~nl~~nl~The stirrup bars are set back. To my delight, I have noticed my teachers don't ever mention my drifting leg position any longer.~nl~~nl~I was intrigued by the four billets on each side of the saddle. Only two are needed, to girth up. But the option of having a "point" billet in front, and the fourth billet in rear was nice to have. I was able to experiment with different billets choices, to see if I could improve stability or comfort further.~nl~~nl~Of course, the PANELS are the awesome part of the saddle! They FLEX and move with the motion of my horse's muscles! My horse's reaction to a change from a traditional saddle was immediate, and progressively positive! I have never seen a traditional saddle with a panel surface of these dimensions.~nl~~nl~The panels are "slipcovered" with quilted white dressage pads. When in use, the overall picture is trim and tidy. I particularly appreciate that the pad does not go over my horse's spine. There is a wide channel of no contact by the pad or saddle all along the gullet of the saddle, allowing free air circulation and movement. ~nl~~nl~Since we changed from a traditional saddle, I have noticed a vast improvement in my horse's muscling and behavior. I know it wasn't JUST the saddle, but I am pretty sure, the saddle played a big role in these improvements.
dressage competition and pleasure riding