1. THOROWGOOD T4 COB GP SADDLE
Price at time of review £445
Reviewed by Lisa Johnson from Hampshire who used the saddle for three years
This all-round saddle has been designed to suit the rounder build of a cob-type horse. It offers close contact to avoid that ‘perched-on-top’ feeling and the medium depth seat is ideal for a range of activities. Four girthing options maximise the saddle’s stability, and the suede-effect seat covering and knee pads are non-slip and comfortable.
Lisa’s review: This style of saddle really suits my Anglo Arab (as many Arabs lack wither,
a bit like cobs) and it’s really useful that if your horse changes shape the saddle can be easily adjusted thanks to its changeable gullet system.
The soft suede-effect seat and knee rolls makes it hugely comfortable to ride in, as well as offering good security. I did, however, find that the cut of this saddle can push your lower leg position forward. The leather-look synthetic material is really easy to care for – just wipe it over with a damp sponge.
2. ALBION K2 GP SADDLE
Price at time of review £1,499
Reviewed by Nicola Tym from Derbyshire who has used this saddle for 12 months
The K2 GP has been designed for riders looking for an extremely comfortable, high quality, all-round saddle, suitable for all major disciplines.
Whilst offering amazing comfort for both horse and rider the K2 GP also offers numerous fitting options, including the highly sought after Adjusta-Tree Technology. Riders looking for a secure, supportive seat and leg position love the K2 GP.
Nicola’s review: From new this saddle has fitted my horse well and been hugely comfortable for me too. My horse doesn’t have any particular conformational quirks, and the fit’s been good from day one.
The GP style means I can use this saddle for all disciplines. It’s great for both hacking and jumping, and I find it easy to maintain a correct and secure position when riding. The saddle’s always been very comfortable to ride in.
The leather is easy to care for. With regular conditioning it’s still in excellent condition.
3. WINTEC 500 ALL PURPOSE SADDLE CAIR
Price at time of review £449
Reviewed by Vicki Squire from Southampton who used this saddle for 10 months
Ideal for multiple disciplines, this saddle has a slightly deeper seat that offers support and a strong balanced rider position. The Equileather seat offers superior grip and softness in a leather look material that’s easy to care for and highly durable offering immediate comfort. The Adjustable Flexibloc system enables you to individually tailor their thigh and knee support and the CAIR Cushion system combined with an anatomically shaped tree and performance panel, ensure your horse’s maximum comfort for freedom of movement and your peace of mind.
The saddle features the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution enabling your saddle to be custom fitted in minutes to your horse’s changing shape for optimal comfort and performance.
Vicki’s review: The Easy-Change Fit Solution is great if your horse changes shape through the year, as mine does. It would also be great for a young horse who’s still developing. The wide panels mean your weight is spread across a wider area of the horse’s back for comfort.
This saddle is lightweight and very comfortable to ride in. Whether I’m hacking, jumping or doing dressage it makes me feel secure
Unlike leather, the Equileather material doesn’t need much cleaning. A quick wipe over with a damp sponge is all that’s needed.
4. BATES ISOBEL DRESSAGE
Price at time of review £2,299
Reviewed by Fiona Scott from East Sussex who used this saddle for five years
The deep seat of this saddle positions you in a central and balanced position that ensures correct rider alignment. The anatomic shaping of the tree, generous panel design and CAIR Cushion system will provide comfort and freedom of movement. The EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution allows the saddle to be altered quickly and easily with its EASY-CHANGE Gullet System, and EASY-CHANGE Riser System. An adjustable ergonomic stirrup bar and Flexiblocs knee roll provide comfort and security.
Fiona’s review: It’s great that the fit of this saddle can be altered if your horse changes shape, thanks to its Easy-Change Fit Solution, which ensures it’s comfortable year-round.
The position of the stirrup bars on this saddle is set back a little, which I’ve found
puts my leg into the correct position. It’s very comfortable to ride in and a big plus for
me is that it makes me feel secure, but not restricted.
After five years of use there are no signs of wear, but I’ve always made sure it’s cleaned and conditioned regularly to keep the leather looking good.
5. IDEAL IMPALA PROFESSIONAL JUMP SADDLE
Price at time of review – from £1,780
Reviewed by Rebecca Bullock from Lincolnshire who used the saddle for 2 years
This single flap saddle gives a close contact. The tree has a flat rake cantle for a more open seat making it ideal for cross-country riding. It also has a free-swinging girthing system allowing greater flexibility when fitting.
Rebecca’s review: This saddle is hugely comfortable for me, and my horse works very well under it too. This could, in part, be due to the single flap design, which definitely gives a closer feel with your horse.
I have long legs and the forward cut of this saddle means I can ride with shorter stirrups comfortably (the flaps were made more forward cut for me). I always feel secure in it. In addition, I find the flatter seat gives me room to move, especially when riding cross-country.
This saddle is easy to care for and the leather always cleans up nicely.
6. HEATHER MOFFETT FLEXEE FINESSE DRESSAGE
Price at time of review £649
Reviewed by Lucy Harvey from the Vale of Glamorgan who used this saddle for one year
This saddle is built on a leather tree, a very old method of making a flexible saddle. It’s ergonomically designed to allow the rider, even a total beginner, to sit in the correct ear/shoulder/hip/heel alignment with ease. The Finesse synthetic material is almost indistinguishable from real soft hide. Each saddle comes with a full set of gullet plates.
Lucy’s review: This saddle offers a versatile fit due to its flexible tree, and my horse has always found it comfortable.
The design of this saddle really does help to put you in the correct riding position and it’s very comfortable. It is worth noting that the holes on this saddle’s girth straps are quite small so it can be difficult to adjust your girth.
As the manufacturer says, the material looks like leather but is actually synthetic, which is easier to care for. A quick wipe over with a damp cloth and it comes up looking like new
7. GFS MONARCH DRESSAGE
Price at time of review £702
Reviewed by Louise Haydon from the West Midlands who used this saddle for three years
Suitable for all levels of dressage to help the rider improve their seat and leg position. It has a very comfortable and balanced seat with a supportive block and extra padding on the knee. Built on a lightweight, flexible tree with an easy fit gullet syetem so the saddle can be easily adjusted.
Louise’s review: Being able to change the gullet in this saddle means that if my horse changes shape the saddle can be altered to fit him. I’ve found it also allows my horse good freedom of movement.
The shape of the knee roll and seat helps me sit comfortably and in the correct position. This also gives me a feeling of security when I’m riding.
The leather cleans easily and after applying conditioner it comes up looking like new with very little effort. You’d never think it was three years old.
8. KENT AND MASTERS S-SERIES DRESSAGE SADDLE
Price at time of review £895
Reviewed by Kate Ingram from Hampshire who used this saddle for one year
The low profile panel design of this saddle offers the rider a closer contact with their horse and good stability. It has moveable under-flap thigh blocks, which can be repositioned as required. This saddle has a changeable gullet bar allowing you to have your saddle adjusted if your horse changes shape.
Kate’s review: The changeable gullet of this saddle is great, especially if you have a young horse who’s changing shape, as it makes adjusting the fit far easier. I also think that my horse finds it comfortable, giving him freedom to move.
I find this saddle really comfortable to ride in, and I like the fact you can move the knee roll to suit you and support you where you need it.
After a year of use there are no signs of wear and, when it’s cleaned, the leather cleans well and comes up looking like new.