I had this saddle shipped from a UK barefoot distributor for 599. I wanted this Limited edition model and It was not available here in the US. After taking equitation lessons for 2 years having tried jump and dressage and feeling confident I bought my first horse. I've spent more time and money in the last 3 years trying to find a saddle that fits both my horse and I. What im looking for in a saddle. Affordable 200-600 Padded adjustable knee rolls Deep seat Med-Narrow twist Built in spinal protection Adjustable stirrup Adjustments No lateral movement
Likes: Amazingly this Barefoot Stella fits my whole check list. First I want to add, there was no breaking in or getting use to this saddle as I have been riding primarily treeless for the last year and a half. Finally I am able to post or sit the trot. The seat is deep and supports me when my 17 hand saddlebred canters and best of all, absolutely no lateral movement. and has ample wither clearance. This saddle is even more secure than my wintec dressage pro that I thought would be my forever saddle.
Dislikes: So as picky as I am the only thing I don't like is barefoots limited saddle sizes. 0, 1 or 2. And its really a guessing game to get the right fit. My suggestions are to measure the seat and length of your current saddle and buy the one that comes the closest. Measurements are available at any barefoot website.
Quality: I have the drytex synthetic so this does not apply to the leather models. I bought mine brand new so As all new tack goes there is a breaking in period. The saddle is flexible but rigid in the important places. All stitching is neat and even. The material used is not smooth nor sticky and gives just the right amount of stick. The underside is sheeps whool and of good quality. The billets are synthetic suede. The wither arch is indestructible. After 1 months there is no visible wear.
Summary: If you could own only 1 saddle this could be it. You can adjust the wither arch from narrow to xw and by adding more shims a treeless pad for the horse with prominent spines you can be 100% sure you are getting spinal clearance with almost any horse. Great for arena work or the trail. My husband even preferred this saddle over my other ones and he is a complete novice. Bottom line this is a awesome saddle at a affordable price.