Thorowgood T8 Compact GP Saddle is rated
Rated 1 out of
Design Flaw Keeps This From Being a 5 Star Saddle
I just test rode this saddle and loved how it fit my hard-to-fit tubby pony and how it fit me. It put me in excellent balance. I have the Thorowgood T8 dressage saddle - which I adore after 1.5 years of steady use - and I had high hopes for this being my new pop-over-small-fences saddle but it has a fundamental design flaw that I think would create a pressure point on my pony's back and which is keeping me from purchasing it. The back of the sweat panel connects to the saddle's underside panels at such a low/bad place as to create a pressure point on the horse's back. I'm not sure if this is a problem with this particular test ride saddle only or the whole series. My Thorowgood dressage saddle has the same issue with a bad/low connection point between the back of sweat panel and the underside saddle/back panel but it's not as severe - it JUST avoids being too low and creating a pressure point. Attached are some pictures with arrows pointing to what I mean.
Date published: 2016-02-19
Rated 5 out of
Great saddle for a great price
I rode hunter/jumper and after a break, am now slowly getting into dressage. I do not own or lease, but ride a variety of schooling horses in the breed of quarter horse or appendix. I had already test rode a used Pessoa jump saddle which put me into a chair seat and didn't fit the horse I rode at the time, so I changed my search to find an affordable all purpose that put me in a good position and had options for adjustment.
Of course, in a perfect world, there would be a perfect saddle for every horse and for every rider. But if you do not own or lease, you may be in my situation and stuck with barn saddles that are older than your grandmother. In the end, it's either biting the bullet and buying a saddle you hope will work out, or gritting your teeth while riding on something that is akin to a frozen pancake.
The Thorowgood is an excellent option for someone in my situation. I generally ride in a 17 inch, so I was a bit wary of test riding a 17.5, but it rode perfectly (I am 5'7) and put me into perfect placement. The leather seat and leather knee rolls are an added bonus. The saddle also has adjustable billets that you can move, which helps accommodate girth placement on different horses. The blocks are velcro, which is a great option to keep or remove (I removed mine).
I will say that unlike the other reviewer, the medium gullet that comes with the saddle was too big for the horse I usually ride. It fit another horse perfectly. I suggest buying the narrow/medium gullet and medium/wide gullet to partner with the medium gullet already in the saddle if you are test riding. Therefore you can get a good idea of if you need to go smaller or larger in terms of fit.
I paired the saddle with the Thorowgood synthetic stirrup leathers. I did not like the synthetic Thorowgood stirrups. Good looking, but it was like riding in tupperware. I had to stick with regular irons.
All and all, worth the three month wait! :)
Date published: 2016-02-14
Rated 4 out of
Best synthetic saddle out there!
I bought this saddle after repeatedly striking out with used saddles and not finding any affordable new leather saddles that fit my needs. I was looking for a deep seat GP (I'm a fairly new adult rider leaning towards dressage but leaving options open), black, adjustable gullet and with a real leather feel. This saddle not only has a leather seat and knee rolls, it actually looks and feels like a "real" saddle and does not have any of the issues I've encountered with other synthetic brands. It's lovely to ride in and puts me in a great spot.
My only WORD OF WARNING: This saddle is sold as "adjustable", but they don't sell the changeable gullets WITH the saddle and don't warn you about what size you will get when you buy it. You have to buy the gullet changers separately, for about $40/ea., and you have to guess at which ones you may need. My saddle came with a medium tree, which ended up being WAY narrow on all of the horses at my barn (when I say narrow, I mean it completely bridged the back of the smallest guy in our barn). I ended up buying the medium-wide and wide trees, but the wide is actually more like a medium-wide, so I suggest always buying a size larger than what you think you would need.
Date published: 2015-12-15