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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
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    Florida
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    2,112

    Default Kent & Master's review - a fitting with a new horse

    I bought a K&M for my TB gelding; sold a couple of months ago (and doing fantastic in his new home, btw ). I had written a couple of reviews of it when I got it, but I thought I'd update now that it's been a few months and since it's been reworked for another horse.

    I just had the saddle fitter out to tweak the saddle for my daughter's large dressage pony (he's 14.2 and welsh/paint cross - he's really a small horse rather than a large pony). He has a nicely shaped back, but I was kind of worried that even though this saddle looked like a good fit to ME, she would say it wasn't working and we'd be back at square one. The good thing is, if this turned out to be the case, she has a strong market for this saddle (unlike my Verhan, which I've had for sale for months!).

    So we plopped it on him after she did his tracings, and she looked, and I looked, and darned if it didn't look pretty good as-is (of course the gullet is adjustable and it's extremely easy to reflock, but I was worried about panel shape and length for his back). So she put me on him, and we trotted away...

    She ended up doing a bit of adjustment on the flocking to account for some differences between his back and my TB, but she didn't have to change a thing otherwise. I've also been using this saddle on a mare that I'm riding, and it's very good on her, as well, and no need for shim pads (I think I just lucked out with these two particular horses - in that they are both weaker to the left, and so the changes she made seem to work pretty well for both of them). She was also really happy with the way the saddle is holding up, with me riding multiple horses.

    I have the shallower seat option, and REALLY like that it's available in both a shallow and deep seat.

    So several months after, and a couple of different horses as well, I'm very happy with the saddle.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2012
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Glad to see this update. I have been eyeing the K&M saddles myself. How do you think the leather is holding up with the initial wear and does the leather on the seat/flaps have decent grip? I hate slippery leather. Thanks for the feedback!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,928

    Default

    I have one of these.

    My horse clearly expressed a preference for it. We tried several saddles on him that all fit well according to standard fitting criteria, but he clearly like this one the best. I think it is the flexible tree.

    The leather is holding up really well. I maintain it every week or two with Albion soap and conditioner and it is super. I use the synthetic webbers which I was concerned might cause scuffing but the saddle seems impervious. I don't find it to be slippery at all, but if ever a saddle is deemed "too slippery", Stuebben Hammanol will make anything sticky.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    Weeeeelll. I use Lederbalsam on it, so if it were slippery, I couldn't tell . But no, as far as leather saddles go, it's not. It's not like my Verhan, but then that is old as the hills and has been balsamed for years, too. The leather seems thick and substantial, but doesn't bother my contact with the horse. And yes, every horse I've put it on so far has gone much better than in its own saddle. The only saddle I've found so far that I like better is the Black Country. For the price point, it's an awesome saddle.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    16,336

    Default

    I'd be curious to see photos of the saddles with some use. I looked at the K&M about, meh, 2-3 years ago and at the time really liked the design/fit but did not care for the leather. The fitter I was using at the time intimated the company might improve the leather on later editions. I was also looking at the H/J models so brown leather and not black. She had a demo and it really looks awful. Lots of wear on the flap. I was very turned off... but I'd like to consider this as an option for a dressage saddle in the future if the leather either wears better in black or has improved since the demo I tried. I'd love to see photos of how yours are breaking in, particularly the flap.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    Mine does have some scuffing on the flap, and I attribute that to using wintec leathers on it (my daughter is riding in it right now, as it's on her pony). But nothing that I'd consider unusual. I'll try to get some pictures today. And it's totally cosmetic - it's not eating up the leather or anything. And I've seen those wintec leathers on other people's saddles, so I have some basis for comparison. I would NOT let her put them on my Verhan, for example - it would eat right through the calfskin.

    Oh, and FWIW, this is a newer model, so you may be right about them improving the leather.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    Also, what I consider reasonable wear and what you do may be different, too :P. My saddle fitter was very happy with the wear, because the saddle is used 2x a day at our barn, so it's getting a good workout! So it's holding up well for ME, but you may think that it's worn a bit more than you would like, too. But I consider it's worn pretty well for my heavy usage. There are some days it's been put on 3 horses, too.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    689

    Default

    do you think it might fit a muttony xwide withered pony with a curvy back? Also, what is the twist like? I need a narrower twist.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,928

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by artisticgold View Post
    do you think it might fit a muttony xwide withered pony with a curvy back? Also, what is the twist like? I need a narrower twist.
    They come in three different tree shapes (low/reg/high) wither, plus have an adjustable gullet.

    If you have Kate build you a new one it will fit the horse. You are welcome to try out mine if you want to sit in one first, although she carries demos on her truck.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
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    The twist is not as narrow as my Verhan (which has a VERY narrow twist), but it's certainly not wide, either. The tree is not really U shaped, so I can't comment on it fitting a really mutton withered horse. Today I threw it on several boarder's horses just for grins and giggles. There is a morgan here that, would I have to fit her, I would need a Duett or other U tree, but she is truly barrel shaped. She needs to lose a lot of weight, as well, but was the only truly mutton-withered horse I could find to try it on (is not my horse!).

    So it won't fit every horse, but it seems to fit a good cross section of those at the barn, (I'd put different gullets in, and would have it reflocked, of course). For the one with the really big dips in his back I would use shims, but short of a gusseted panel saddle, I don't know what I'd get off-the-truck to fit him anyway. My fitter was able to accommodate small issues with my horses back, but this one has some really impressive behind-the-wither dips :P.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
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    Default

    vxf111, I finally remembered this thread when I was at the barn and had both the saddle and my phone in the same place.

    Here is a picture of it after my ride today.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ps9df4e85b.jpg

    It is currently used on two horses, and I ride in jeans and/or full chaps and use the synthetic wintec webbers so it is not exactly being babied.

    Hope it helps!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2011
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    Vermont
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    530

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    They are not particularly curvy and although they may accommodate the front, they would most likely bridge as they tend to be fairly straight in the cob/broadback model.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    vxf111, I finally remembered this thread when I was at the barn and had both the saddle and my phone in the same place.

    Here is a picture of it after my ride today.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ps9df4e85b.jpg

    It is currently used on two horses, and I ride in jeans and/or full chaps and use the synthetic wintec webbers so it is not exactly being babied.

    Hope it helps!
    Very helpful. Night and DAY better than the demos I saw.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  14. #14
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    Jun. 7, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vxf111 View Post
    Very helpful. Night and DAY better than the demos I saw.
    Yeah, the demo *I* saw (and rode around in while mine was being made) had weird rub marks and an obvious line from the stirrup leather, so I was sort of 'meh' from an aesthetic point of view but my horse went *so well* in it and it sat like a dream.

    Then my new one came and I was pleasantly surprised. It still sits just as great and the horse goes gangbusters, but I did get better leather than I was actually expecting.

    Perhaps the demo is just an early model (since I think we use the same fitter?) and the new saddles really are made with noticeably better leather.



  15. #15
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    Mar. 15, 2007
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    (throw dart at map) NC!
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    Default

    Meupatdoes,

    Which saddle is that? I'm looking at the changeable gullet saddles for a coming 4 year old and a saddle fitter in the area suggested this line of saddles for the formative years.

    Thanks!
    J.
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2008
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    Is that the S-series surface block? I have the moveable block because my daughter and myself both have to use the saddle, but I really looked at that one, and if I buy another (which I will if I sell my Verhan) it will be that one



  17. #17
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    Jun. 7, 2006
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    It is an S Series External Block dressage saddle.



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