M. Toulouse Premia Close Contact
fit perfectly, great value, quick break in!
I did a trial in this saddle on a recommendation from my trainer because I needed an affordable saddle which would fit both my large, dippy backed, high withered, young, growing TB and me (tall, long legs). The moment I put it on his back I knew it fit. I'd test ridden a few other saddles, the Kent & Masters, the Thorowgood hybrid (from Trumble Mtn)- and both just looked wrong, bridged on his back and in general were terrible fits. I understand the M. Toulouse saddles are "knock offs" of higher end saddles and if that's true then great for me! At this time I can't afford an Antares or Pessoa. The assistant trainer at my barn was drooling over it when I brought my saddle to the barn. The leather is very nice and soft, almost immediate break in; yes the billets are stiff but for the price it's no big deal. I've heard some negative comments about the M. Toulouse and I don't understand why, I'm not expecting it be an Antares but for the price it's exactly what I'd expect, even better. Obviously it has to fit your house, and the Premia did for me! I can not comment on durability as I've only had it about 3 weeks now. I only wish it came in black!
Thank you SmartPak for your wonderful test ride program!!!
January 14, 2013
Best Saddle I've Ridden In
Let me start by saying I've been taking lessons and riding in several different brands, mostly Pessoas. I was looking for a saddle to use at home and on various horses I exercise, and to use on the hunter I'm hoping to get soon.
This saddle is amazing quality. It has just the right amount of stick - you don't at all feel trapped in it, but it's not slick like many other saddles tend to get. It does lose a little stickiness after you use it, but not a considerable amount. I've been cleaning it with Leather CPR conditioner (the tag recommended treating it with a conditioner after each use) which hasn't changed the color and has helped soften it a little. It felt broken in when I rode in it the first time, but once it's broken in I'm sure I'll be better able to feel the thigh blocks. It puts my leg in an excellent position (something most saddles cannot do, even the Pessoas) and I feel very balanced in it. The seat is also well padded and soft, excellent for long trail rides!
I'm planning on moving up to rated shows this year, and am completely confident that this saddle will give me an excellent edge in the arena.
The leather is gorgeous to look at - it looks nicer than a few Devoucouxs I've seen and it hasn't sustained any wear marks yet (about six uses). This is a beautiful chocolate-brown saddle that I would highly recommend.
January 2, 2013
Possibly the most beautiful saddle Ive ever seen (besides my friends Antares) Ive had the opportunity to ride in Prestiege, Devocoux, Pessoa, Bates and Barnsby saddles but this one is my favorite out of all of them. The seat and knee rolls are beautifully padded and its a beautiful rich chocolate color with a few natural blotch spots and the seat is a shade or two lighter than the flaps. I honestly have never been more happy with a purchase ever. The quality of this saddle is amazing and the stickiness is enough to feel secure while not feeling like I'm trapped in my seat. I cant wait to see how it ages!
December 1, 2012
Super Quality for Price
This saddle sits the rider in a correct position, which is your first concern in choosing a saddle. The knee and thigh rolls can be moved, so you can do with or without as needed. It gives a close contact ride. The saddle fit our hard-to-fit Thoroughbred wonderfully and we could tell a big difference in his stride, relaxation, and rhythm within the first few rides (while still on trial). Ridden by a long-thigh equitation rider, I wish it came in a long flap option as going up a size wasn't something we could do. It's a super saddle for the price. The quality of the leather is very surprising in this price range - instantly broken in feel without compromising quality. We are leather snobs and this met our requirements. We highly recommend this if you are staying below the $2000 range!
November 26, 2012
Nice, quality saddle
I did a test ride of this saddle, knowing the seat size would be a little small and I would probably need long flaps. It is a very nice looking, good quality saddle...however, it did not fit my horse. I was hoping that it would, but there were too many things that just made it look off. The only other thing I noticed is that it looks like it has a slight reddish tint to the leather rather than being a rich chocolate, but that can vary for all leather. If it works for you and your horse, I would recommend it!
June 8, 2012
Love this saddle
I have ridden in many saddles and currently own one of these as well as an Ovation. I ride in my Ovation whenever I hop on something a little crazy or ride in jeans. This saddle is by far the best I have ever ridden in, I love how soft the leather is while being sturdy. My leather turned out a beautiful chocolate color! My horse seems to be much more comfortable while I ride in this as opposed to other saddles!!
February 22, 2012