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It seems I’m a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to getting my reviews done. Spring break is coming up, so I promise I will get my review up of my lovely Perfect Sit of Sweden bridle and my Total Saddle Fit dressage girth, in addition to a couple other items. Unfortunately, midterms, papers and life have been getting in the way (I really should be studying right now).

I know. Excuses, excuses, excuses!

Now to the subject of this post. I’ve had this saddle for a little over a year and am just getting around to writing up a review. Horrible! It didn’t help that I didn’t get a chance to ride in it as much as I would like and it doesn’t fit my new, narrow little OTTB mare at all.

I purchased this beauty from Matt Marlow’s Heritage Saddlery as a custom saddle made to fit a typical Thoroughbred back (no tracings).

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In Matt’s defense, it was exactly what I had requested at the time. The roomy medium tree fit the stockier Thoroughbred polo ponies I was riding wonderfully. It also offered me a comfortable saddle to work in, instead of drowning in the huge, old, slippery Stubbens that the owner had (she does have a couple newer saddles, but none really felt right).

The saddle is really gorgeous. The buffalo leather is grippy and wears like iron, yet soft (not as soft as calf skin though). The flap, made to measurements I supplied, fit my leg wonderfully and, despite being a dual flap, gave a great close contact feel.

I truly feel the straighter cut of the panel and sweat flap allowed the large shouldered polo ponies to really move out and do so willingly.

As you can see, the panels are straighter than the top flaps. This had no affect on my leg whatsoever.

As you can see, the panels are straighter than the top flaps. This had no affect on my leg whatsoever.

This saddle is just great to look at. It’s comfy! It didn’t make me feel like I was fitting the saddle anymore. My leg was exactly where I wanted it to be.

One of the other customizations I request were Wellep adjustable stirrup bars. This allows the rider to adjust the bars for flat vs jumping or to share the saddle with a different rider who may not be made the same way. Very handy little option!

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All in all, I was quite happy with this saddle. I’m extremely disappointed that it doesn’t fit my new girly, but it is what it is.

I’ve had people ask me about my experience ordering from Matt and I can say that I had no issues. Sometimes he wasn’t immediate in responding, but he did always respond within a few business days. I will say, make sure you know exactly what you want if you are buying long distance and can’t have Matt come out in person. And make sure you are very specific. Being specific will make sure that what you think you’re and asking for and what Matt thinks you are asking for are the same thing.

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