In my relentless pursuit to know about all the products available to us, I just started demoing saddles again because Mercury and Phoenix are hard to fit and I have been battling personal “soreness” issues due to time in the saddle and unfortunate shaped seats. I thought it would be helpful to pass on my experience with different products so when I can, I will “review” things I try. I’ll write about supplements, equipment, whatever I come across. So here’s my thoughts on the Fhoenix Saddle(I had to try it, I have a horse named after it). First here is a link to the inventor so you can get some background Fhoenix Saddle.
Anyhoo, I like to really test a saddle. I rode several horses in it with several conformations. Here’s my report.
First Impression: Funky shape as with all treeless saddles but with an attempt to look like a “conventional” dressage saddle which is why I gravitated toward it. For showing, I need something that wont draw more looks then me and my horse. And you know how show people are about anything “different”.
Quality and Craftsmanship: Beautiful Soft Italian Leather. Very well made.
Comfort and Fit: UNEQUALED!!! This is hands down the most plush and comfortable saddle I have ridden in so far. I could trail ride for months in it. I rode in a 17.5 and it fit me well.
Horse Fit: I rode this on several different conformations and found it easily adjustable because it has no tree. It has removable panels that are soft and different thicknesses so you can lift the back if need be. I put it to the ultimate test of my super uphill, long withered warmblood gelding ( my saddles slid back on him)and my level narrow shouldered, long withered mare( my saddles slid forward on her neck). It stayed put on both. Amazing! They both performed well in it. It was balanced easily with proper padding on any horse which allowed me to sit in a perfect relaxed dressage position. Since it has panels, It does not “roll” from side to side or slip, a common problem with treeless saddles ( it may on flat backed horses but you can order a special design for them).
Price: The one I tried is about $2500.00 but different models are available as well as an older version for less money. However, 2500.00 is quite reasonable compared to some and high compared to others. I say it falls in the medium range.
This is a very nice saddle. I give it a 8 out of 10. It lost 2 points for being actually bouncy to sit in? ( maybe the foam material?) If it compresses with time, that would be good. I actually had to work to sit and I can sit a trot very well. The other downside was, I could tell that because it was so plush, The horse actually couldn’t feel my cues as well. That was a surprise as treeless saddles are supposed have a close feel to the horse. So there are my thoughts. I wont decide whether I buy this one until I try a couple more. But it is a possibility.