Test Ride: Sommer jumping saddle

Update 08/19/15: Sommer confirmed this is a Sommer Platinum jumping saddle.

While I was at the Oklahoma City show, one of our regular customers consigned a saddle with me. I was very curious to try it, because it’s a Sommer jumping saddle. I don’t see many of those; while my workplace is a major Sommer retailer, we deal in their dressage saddles almost exclusively. I’ve liked the dressage saddles I’ve tried, and the saddle’s owner raved about this one, so I had to try it. (She’s selling it because it’s too big for both her and her daughter.)

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I’m not sure which model of saddle this is; I’ve emailed Sommer with the serial number, but they have yet to get back with me. It looks like it could be an older Opus VS or Diplomat S.

As you can see, this is a very moderate saddle. Moderate knee rolls, moderate flap length, moderate seat depth. It’s used, so it shows some normal wear and tear, but is overall in good condition. Our saddle fitter reflocked it last fall, so it still has a lot of life left in it. The tree is medium-wide; it’s truly a little too wide for Gina, but she didn’t seem to mind.

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For this test ride, I stuck to the hay meadow where I do conditioning sets. Gina and I are headed to a show next month, and both of us have some extra pounds to work off. Plus, after yesterday’s wacky jump school, I thought hacking out might be a nice break.

Gina was perfect, as she usually is. I spent some time fiddling with my reins until muscle memory took over and I remembered how to hold double reins. (I stuck another set on the elevator bit from yesterday’s post. Rubber reins + laced reins = not my favorite.) We hacked out at a walk, trot, canter, and hand gallop.

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I was really impressed with this saddle. My lower leg felt super, super solid- even more than it does in my Ainsley XC saddle. The Sommer is very comfortable; it’s soft without being overly squishy. Both a regular seat and two point were easy to achieve. The saddle has fantastic balance and I felt like Gina and I were moving well together.

Sommers have super adjustable trees. The store’s unofficial slogan for them is “From green to Grand Prix!” It’s true- some riders have bought a saddle for their four or five year old prospect and periodically had it refitted as the horse grows and changes throughout the training process.  I’m confident that our saddle fitter could get this saddle to fit Gina perfectly, and I’m tempted to make an offer on it, have it fitted, and sell the Ainsley. It’s that nice, y’all.

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16 Comments

  1. Heather

    It looks nice! What are the panels like? I’m trying to find a new saddle that fits my mare and it looks like we will probably need some sort of upswept panel for her shortish back. My Toulouse is long and straight and I think it puts too much pressure over her loin.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie (Post author)

      The panels are kind of long, but that’s probably because it’s a 18.5″ saddle.

      We have a 17.5″ Esprit in the store; its panels look a lot more upswept compared the Toulouses we have. If you want to see some pictures of it, just let me know!

      Reply
      1. Heather

        That would be great if you don’t mind! My email is myroxystar@yahoo.com.

        Seems like my trainers Vega fits her shape, but it seems just a hair tight under the stirrup bar. Don’t you just love saddle fitting?

        Reply
  2. Lauren

    Really like the looks of that saddle!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      The seller is a H/J rider; she and her daughter mostly used it in the jumper ring, I think, but it kept my lower leg so solid that I think it would be good for eq!

      Reply
  3. Jacq

    OMG! Let me know if you’re selling your Ainsley and it’s smaller than 18″!!
    If I could get my same saddle in a 16.5, I think I would be in heaven! LOL

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      My Ainsley is an 18.5″ 🙁 🙁 🙁

      Reply
  4. No hour wasted

    Looks nice! Jealous!!! Do it….get the saddle…

    Reply
    1. Stephanie (Post author)

      You’re welcome to come out and test ride saddles on Gina any time you want- you can try all the ones that have a 17″ seat that I cannot squeeze my big butt into!

      Reply
  5. Olivia

    I love the look of that! I’m in the market for a nice used saddle, I’ll def have to check out any Sommers in the area!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      Do it!! The Sommers aren’t SUPER popular in the US and the ones that are here are mostly dressage models. But they are well made saddles with very adjustable trees and all the ones I’ve ridden in are comfortable. On the downside, they’re usually kind of pricey. But totally worth it, IMO.

      Reply
  6. emma

    interesting! i like the look of it. it’ll be super disappointing if i find myself saddle shopping (again)… but if i do, maybe this is a company i should look into?

    Reply
    1. Stephanie

      Girl, let’s hope you don’t have to go saddle shopping again any time soon!

      But yes, look into the Sommers. They are truly nice saddles!! Kind of hard to find in the US, but possibly easier from European stores?

      Reply
  7. Erin

    I really like the look of that saddle. I’ve never heard of it before. If I was in the market for a new one I’d definitely have to check them out.

    Reply
  8. Sarah

    It looks nice! I didn’t even know that Sommer made anything other than dressage saddles until a couple of years ago. My local tack store started carrying some of their jumping and endurance saddles (which are super funky looking). My first dressage saddle was a Sommer. I wish I had held on to it, but I don’t think even the adjustability of Sommer could fit my wide tank of a mare!

    Reply
  9. Melody

    Did you buy it? If so, were you able to get it adjusted by a non-Sommer fitter?

    Reply

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