After hours of trolling saddles for sale, I have come across a super nice Albion Kontact. Searches here revealed they mostly pop up in Eventing discussions. Looking at Albion's website (which is not the world's most informative!) it seems like these are meant to be cross-country saddles (designed with William Fox-Pitt, etc.) I really like the look of this particular saddle and don't want to talk myself out of it--but I need something for flatwork and jumping, and am wondering if it has too forward of a flap for that purpose? (For the time being the jumping is 2' 6" and under.) I'd kind of like to try it but if it's definitely not what I need I should save myself the $100 it will cost to ship it both ways for trial. Can anybody help me out? Thanks in advance, guys!
Hum.. I tried one about two weeks ago - against my better judgement because I just don't seem to get along with Albions - and hated it!
I like a very close contact feel and always feel like there is miles of leather between me and the horse when I sit in an Albion (have schooled a friend's horse who has one and I also got out a K2 in the past to try). I thought the Kontact would be different, but nope - still felt big and bulky. Another thing I was very unimpressed with was the quality. Leather felt hard and plasticky and the removable blocks just seemed cheap (in fact one of the thigh rolls was missing off the demo model I tried.)
So, I guess it depends on what sort of feel you like, but I hated it.
ETA: It is quite forward cut, so if you want it for flatwork and will only be jumping around 2'6" then I think there are many other more suitable saddles around. General purpose saddles appear to be a lot more popular over here than in the US, but I would have thought a GP to be much more appropriate for your requirements than the Kontact?
Yup...a GP probably would be fine for me. I'm OK with a not so close contact feel, and this saddle has some features (i.e. wither gussets, lots of padding in the panels, etc) that might make it a good option for the horse. It probably just really isn't the right saddle for me. Looked at Albion's GP and it doesn't have a cut back head, so probably not a good option for this horse. I guess in terms of Albion I'm probably looking for a Legend or a K2.
For any eventers looking for one...This is an unused Albion Kontact, 17.5" seat, W tree. CWD is selling it on EBay for $1665. It's currently on their website for $2220. Hope this enables someone to give it a good home! I'm going straight to the watch list and deleting it before I break down and buy it to try anyway.
I had an older Albion Kontrol and loved it. Could actually do flat work quite well in it, but I had the same experience with the newer models seeming to have too much between me and the horse and being a bit more forward/aggressive, so have stayed away. I don't usually like GP saddles, but think you would do well in a less forward cut close contact saddle. Not sure what you are looking for. For both flatting and jumping, I found the County Profit very comfortable as well as some of the Kieffers. If you want to try the Kontrol, Pelham has one on their website used, for less $$ http://www.pelham-saddlery.com/jumpingw/Used13125.html
Unfortunately I think you just have to try different saddles to see if they'll work for you. I always have to have a forward flap since my femur is so long. I have a newer style Kontact and I love it. I am able to do flatwork easily in it. But that's me.
I tried an older Kontact like scubed posted and I did not like it. The saddle the OP is talking about on eBay is also different than mine. Mine has velcro blocks front and rear. My one beef (other than the fact it takes so dang long to have a saddle made) is that the rear blocks are long gone on a xc course somewhere. I ended up putting a set of Prestige blocks on it and they have stayed put.
I just got an Albion Kontrol and I LOVE it. It is the only thing that fits my horse so far and it accommodates my freakish legs very nicely! I can do flatwork in it one day and jump 3'6" the next. I personally really like it!
I have a Kontact that's about 7 years old and love it. I got a newer one four years ago for my OTTB and it's a different feel even though it's the same model. It saved me well from BN-T, but now that we're moving up to prelim, I'm either going to try to make my older one work or try a different brand. I've had mine for sale for awhile at various sites, but haven't had one bite! You'd think eventers would have TB's that need medium trees...
You might try the Kontrol, which is more all purpose. If William Fox-Pitt rides cross-country in a Kontact, I think it might be too forward for flat work!
I have a Kontact with the mono flap, long billets. Loved it the instant that I sat in it. Hated the Kontrol. And I have a friend who had the opposite reaction. She loved the Kontrol, hated the Kontact. I bought mine about 6years ago. Great quality leather and etc. I never use it for flatwork, I have a dressage saddle for that. And I hate sitting the trot in the narrower twist of the Kontrol. But the Kontrol keeps my lower leg right where it needs to be. And when I fold in that saddle my butt scoots back, I never have the crotch over the pommel lower leg swing stuff going on in the Kontact.
i also have the mono flap kontact. i had a kontrolrode thru prelim and sold it and got this one. i really liked the kontrol but i love the kontact. ame as above my leg stays where it should and it keeps you in a wonderful postion. i do flat work in it.
You will just have to try it. I had one (for sale). I tried it for me, and didn't really like it much. I was about to put it on ebay, but on a hunch, tried it on a client's horse, and she loved it. Couldn't stop thinking about it, and eventually sold both her dressage and jumping saddles to buy it. (hers were not very expensive saddles ) You never can tell.
I have an older Kontrol with a forward flap option. I bought it used because it fit my somewhat hard to fit Connemara cross mare. It's comfortable, secure, and it's better for doing flatwork than most jumping saddles. The only downside is that the seat is a bit deep for cross country, at least when you are galloping at speed. That said, it's been fine for Training level.