Test Ride: Hennig Classic

One of my first projects at the tack store was updating the descriptions of consignment saddles on the store’s website. I remember finding a saddle labeled “Hennig Sofa” and snickering; what kind of name is Sofa? Turns out it isn’t actually a Hennig Sofa- it’s a Hennig Classic. Either way, it looked kind of awesome.

The saddle’s been on my checkout list since. A couple of weeks ago I took it for a test ride. (I incorrectly identified it as a ‘Princess’ in a previous post- we have a Princess in the store, but I definitely checked out the Classic.)

Hennig Classic, with Gina’s butt in the background.

Hennigs are German-made saddles. They’re all custom-made to fit horse and rider perfectly; the trees can be adjusted to accommodate a horse that grows or changes, though. Hennig saddles are very well-made from good quality leather and are touted as having trees that allow for a lot of freedom of movement through the back and shoulder.

Large thigh blocks

The Hennig Classic has large thigh blocks; like the Sommer FlextraEQ, the thigh blocks are much larger than those on my King’s Sandringham. The seat is moderately deep and fairly wide. The whole thing give the impression of being large. I’m not sure it it’s the wide panels, or the seat, or the thigh blocks, but this is a big, heavy saddle.

Although this is an older saddle, the leather has aged well. It’s soft and supple. It’s comfortable and isn’t slippery. The saddle I checked out is a medium-narrow tree, which fit Gina very well. The pommel is cut back to allow for high withers like those found on so many Thoroughbreds.
Cutback head

I had to lower my stirrups one hole from where they normally hang when I ride in my saddle. At all gaits, I felt like the Hennig helped me maintain a good position; I was able to stay balanced and really sit on my seat bones. The thigh blocks weren’t obnoxious or uncomfortable, and they didn’t interfere with my riding. I didn’t feel like this saddle forced me into a certain position; I really felt like it subtly helped me maintain and improve my usual riding.

Gina moved well with this saddle, though I didn’t notice a marked improvement in her gaits. She was forward and pleasant, as she is any time her tack fits and she isn’t being forced to do something she finds unpleasant.

The Hennig Classic is Gina-approved.
I’ll mention that the Hennig Classic has a wide twist: I like saddles with a wide twist, but if you’re more comfortable in a narrower saddle, this may be uncomfortable for you.

Three other people tried the Hennig on Gina at varying gaits: all agreed it was an extremely nice saddle. Richal claimed she’d heard someone describe Hennigs as the “Cadillac of dressage saddles” and also stated she preferred the last saddle I’d checked out- the Sommer- over this one. One person said she enjoyed the wide twist, but liked her own County better.
It’s perfectly broken in.
Personally, I liked the Hennig a lot. If its owner wasn’t asking an obscene amount for it, I’d sell the King’s in a heartbeat. As it is, I’d have to sell the King’s and a kidney to afford this thing.
Unrelated to the saddle, I thought I’d mention that my saddle pad is Schockemoehle Coach Plus pad. I like it a lot because it stays put (for the most part) and looks super snazzy. And Schockemoehle is kind of fun to say. I get a lot of compliments on it, and a couple of people have asked what it is. Go get yourself one! (They also come in all-purpose.)

14 Comments

  1. fromthehorsesmouth.me

    It's beautiful and looks super comfy!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      It's a pretty saddle for sure, and I thought it was comfortable!

      Reply
  2. SprinklerBandit

    What a great resource for you to get to ride in all these saddles. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      It's definitely widening my perspective on what's out there!

      Reply
  3. the900facebookpony

    Really cool that you get to try so many different saddles

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      It's one of the more fun parts of the job for sure!

      Reply
  4. No Hour Wasted

    Was it like a sofa?comfy?

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      It wasn't quite a comfortable as a sofa, but close.

      Reply
  5. SheMovedtoTexas

    I was about to say, I love your saddle pad!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      It's a really nice pad, and I LOVE the colors on it. It looks good on both horses!

      Reply
  6. emma

    I really enjoy reading your posts about testing saddles!! This one looks great (tho I'm repeating to myself over and over again that I do NOT need a dressage saddle lol)

    Reply
  7. Tracy Beavers

    It's so cool that you get to try out so many saddles with your job. Very fun!!

    Reply
  8. Wilbur, Ellie, and Emily

    Looks super comfy!

    Reply
  9. Aoife

    Your job is awesome in that you can test drive all these awesome saddles!
    There is so much choice out there in saddle land getting to test so many different makes is epic. I dread having to restart the saddle search due to there being so much choice; i have no idea where to start. On the plus side after all my furniture purchasing for the flat i have no funds left for saddle shopping so sorry ponies my agonising over decision making shall have to wait for the lottery win…now to buy a ticket!

    Reply

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