Test Ride: Sommer Esprit Flextra

Confession: My latest test ride has been an ongoing love affair that’s lasted quite a bit longer than the typically allotted trial period of 10 days. It’s a Sommer Esprit Flextra and it is magical.

esprit1

What I like most about this saddle is the seat. It’s very deep without feeling restrictive. It helps me sit squarely on my seat bones and makes it easy to stay tall and straight. Even Johnny noticed the difference the Sommer makes (he rides Moe in a dressage saddle); he commented that it made it easier for him to sit up. The knee rolls are big, but not outrageous. My leg hangs perfectly; I had to let my stirrups down two holes to get the right feel.

esprit3

The Flextra tree means the saddle moves well with the horse, which means I move well with the horse. I can easily feel every step of the canter. Cues given with my seat are responded to, which is a nice change. The half-flap means I have a great feel through my legs and can use my aids more effectively.

esprit2

Like the other Sommer saddles I’ve ridden in, the Esprit has beautiful, supple leather and a softly padded seat. It’s comfortable even after a couple of hours of sitting around at a dressage show. It has wide panels for better weight distribution; both Moe and Gina seem to find it comfortable. The tree’s short points don’t interfere with the shoulder, which is great for behemoth Gina.

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It’s a fantastic saddle. New, it retails for just over $4200 (more if you customize it with special leather, colors, piping, or purple crystals). The used one I’ve been riding in is consigned for $2400. I figure if I sell the King’s and a kidney, I ought to be able to afford it. Right?

11 Comments

  1. Amanda

    I need y’all to pack up all your dressage saddles and come to Austin for a couple days. That’d be easy, right?

    Reply
    1. Stephanie (Post author)

      If you can get a group together who need saddle fittings, re-flocking, or want to try a bunch of them out, I’ll try to persuade the dressage trailer to make a trip down there when they are back in Oklahoma next month!

      Reply
  2. KateRose

    That saddle is lovely! You only need one kidney 😛

    Reply
    1. Stephanie (Post author)

      I know, right?!

      Reply
  3. Alli & Dino

    OH THAT IS VERY PRETTY. I have been sort-of thinking about buying a dressage saddle but my budget is definitely nowhere near Sommer-levels!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie (Post author)

      The people whose budgets are near Sommer levels are like some kind of alien to me. (They are the same people whose budget allows for a $1200+ pair of boots. For schooling.)

      I will check out some not-ridiculously priced saddles soon, I promise. 😛

      Reply
  4. Erin

    You probably don’t want my opinion… I’m the girl that walked into a tack store for boots and came out with a new saddle. Buy the saddle, you need the saddle, rice and noodles are a balanced meal.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie (Post author)

      Haha, I’ll probably start saving a little more aggressively for it and get the King’s up for sale soon!

      Reply
  5. emma

    aaaaaaaand i’m drooling haha

    Reply
  6. Laura

    I am awaiting the arrival of my Sommer Esprit I bought on Ebay, coming from Germany. Hoping it fits us well and am SO excited. I sat in a Savoy at a local tack shop and loved how it felt (how it put my legs in the perfect position), but it wasn’t quite the right size for us. So this one on Ebay should be the right size for both horses and myself and I am just assuming I’ll love it even more than the Savoy based on reviews I’ve read. One more week wait…

    Reply
    1. Laura

      Saddle arrived. I don’t like the narrow twist at all. Beautiful saddle though.

      Reply

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