Anyone have any experience with this brand and have opinions to share? My horse seemed to like the preliminary test ride but I’m generally not an early adopter personality and it’s certainly a very new/unusual design. Would love to hear from others.
No experience but interesting. The big claim on the website is to be monoflap which is no longer unusual. The extreme mobility in the panels makes me wonder if the rider is destabilized. They also say nothing all all about the actual tree.
It’s actually not mono flap it’s no flap at all. It’s basically like a butet practice saddle if you’ve ever seen those. They do have little dummy flaps you can add to be show legal. I definitely felt like it was a little slick under my calf without any flap at first. The tree is basically a naked tree on the underside like you see in a torn apart saddle and then it Velcros on to the foam panels and there are no tree points at all. It’s a very unusual set up but my horse seemed to like it so I’d love to hear from others. He seemed to like the Aviars too which is another saddle with no tree points but I found both models of those to be crazy hard crotch/seat killers.
My horse seemed to like the EQ, but the twist was a little wide for me. I was surprised to find that I didn’t miss theflap at all. I thought I might feel the billets too much, but I didn’t.
Disappointing that both Aviars have hard seats. I tried the Rook, and it was uncomfortable, and am waiting to try the Sparrow. Was hoping it might be better.
The sparrow was definitely better but still very hard. They’re supposedly going to start offering some softer ones but my rep is waiting on those demos.
I’ve rode in RPs for years, and also trialed the EQ. I found it to be shockingly narrower than the saddles I’d previously ridden in, and really liked that. Brand wise - quality and customer service are good. Carmi is a lovely person. FWIW I ended up transitioning to stubben because of the spring tree. The RP panels are good for weight distribution but at upper levels it maybe reduces the precision of aids. They are also harder to resell due to limited market.
People find the Aviar hard? It seems to be individual because I’ve ridden in two and find my personal saddle to be super comfortable in the seat but another in the same barn feels hard at the edges of the seat. Must be a shape thing?
I definitely found both seats hard. The sparrow shape was ok, the Rook felt awful. That said many people seem to like them and my horse seemed to like it. Another barnmate had one on loan while her Custom (sister brands) was repaired and said she got more accustomed to it after 1-2 weeks. I’d say worth a shot if people are wondering about them since everyone’s anatomy is different and honestly my butt has been pretty sensitive since losing a lot of mass there post-baby so maybe I have a diva butt now.
I own one and I’ve gotten less enamored with the Aviar over time. That flap rotation is just not right for my conformation. I love the seat though. I switched back to a wolfgang solo and am just riding in my Aviar until it comes in.
I’ve had Reactor Panels for years and an EQ on trial now. While the tree width is fixed the panels can be adjusted quite a lot via the connecting discs in different tho onesies or locations. They’re a very stable system - never had one of these saddles budge. No rocking, no bridging. And they feel fantastic. I haven’t tried the flaps, but the knee rolls are removable and adjustable too.
The saddles are high quality leather - made in the UK - and will last forever. Since the panels and discs can be replaced it’s very straightforward to update them yourself.
The only thing I didn’t like about my RP was the weight - the new EQs solved that problem.
As mentioned upthread Carmi is amazing - very knowledgeable, patient and truly knows how to read a horses back. She’s a dressage rider too.
Thanks for chiming in. I do really like Carmi and the saddle so far. I feel like she’s the first fitter who has really spent the time to listen to our history and then do a really thorough examination of his anatomy and possible problem areas. That said I’m so wary about committing myself prematurely
Well, know that the technology (design) of the RP panels and discs has been around a long time, so it’s not like a brand new idea. I’m sure you’ve seen this test w Dr Hilary Clayton on stability from 2016.
Carmi will give a generous test ride and even allow you to rent a saddle IIRC by the month. She mentioned to me that if your youngster outgrows their saddle in the first year, they will replace it too, which I think is a pretty spectacular offer.
Way back when, I bought a Port Lewis pad from Carmi to test the fit of all the saddles I owned, and it was enlightening. So much pressure is centered on such a small area for most English saddles. It’s easy to see how the RP/EQ model solves that problem.
Yes we’ve talked about those pads and it seems crazy that more fitters don’t use them but honestly I feel like most fitters are reps so sadly their ultimate goal is to sell a saddle not unearth pressure points your horse doesn’t complain about at the point of sale…
Absolutely! The last traditional fitter who came out for me spent no more than 30 seconds looking at my horses back. What a waste of time and money.
Ohhhh, I was just looking at these and may see about taking one on trial!
Thanks for mentioning this! I am about to get an EQ saddle on their 2-week trial program and was concerned about the twist as most dressage saddles have a way too narrow twist for me, so I’m happy to hear they trend towards a wider twist.
So far, I’ve been very impressed with the trial and purchase policies for the EQ saddles and they were happy to answer my many questions on the phone. My horse has KS and appears to defy “standard” saddle fitting practices (e.g. I’ve had my saddles fitted to him twice with a decent fitter and I think they look like they fit well, but he strongly disagrees!), so I really hope he likes these.
I’m not sure if they are wider than usual, but I tried a model last week that was too wide for me, and another that was perfect. IOW they have several to choose from.
Having a range of twist options is good! Do you mind sharing which models have you tried and what were your impressions of each of them?
I have the Elegance currently which I believe has a slightly wider twist and there’s a version with the same seat but a narrower twist available that I’m hoping to try when she has one back in stock that’s compatible with my horse’s measurements. The Elegance is the moderate depth seat- they also have one with a super deep seat and one that’s pretty flat.
I tried the Tribute first, loved it, but wanted to try a) a bigger seat b) adjustable stirrup bars. So I think it was the Elegance that I sat on last week, and it felt too wide for me. Now I have a Virtu (I think - will check the tag tomorrow) which feels great. Need to make a decision a she has been incredibly generous with this trial.
Carmi said she normally has 30-50 test ride saddles on hand but right now they are FLYING off the shelves so fewer options available. Ordering a new one from the UK would only mean a wait till the end of June though.