Kent and Masters Saddles

holeymoley

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How are these in terms of quality and comfort? I’m used to Ideal saddles which I get on very well with but current one looks like it doesn’t fit at all anymore. Saddle fitter has a real like for kent and masters. Are they at all like Thorowgood? I really don’t like thorowgoods for some reason they just don’t get on with my body shape.

Also, I’m sure saddle fitter will keep me right, but out of interest if they have a changeable gullet do they have the same headplate as Wintecs?
 

HappyHollyDays

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I hate my K&M. It’s fits the horse really well but I have a gel out seat on it because I find it incredibly hard and uncomfortable. Quality wise it’s ok, cleans up nicely and still looks new after 5 years but I do look after it. His previous saddle was a Falcon Hawk Event and I loved it but it wasn’t adjustable. No idea about the headplates.
 

flying_high

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How are these in terms of quality and comfort? I’m used to Ideal saddles which I get on very well with but current one looks like it doesn’t fit at all anymore. Saddle fitter has a real like for kent and masters. Are they at all like Thorowgood? I really don’t like thorowgoods for some reason they just don’t get on with my body shape.

Also, I’m sure saddle fitter will keep me right, but out of interest if they have a changeable gullet do they have the same headplate as Wintecs?

Not the same headplate as wintec, they dont have the dip inwards at the top.

I think Kent and Masters are generally as step up from Wintecs in terms of shape and how well they fit horses.

I think they are a fairly basic modular option, BUT if they fit you and your horse then great!
 

teapot

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Would say they're the a slightly better step up from the Thorowgoods, and coped with RS life well in terms of wear and tear.

Have ridden in a few, reasonable quality and ok comfort; I found regardless of style they always tipped me forward!
 
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hobo

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I did not like my Thorowood made me sore. I love the Ideal that I replaced it with. New horse and as he is young I bought the new type K&Masters and quite happy with it for me but horse not so happy so new saddle will be bought this spring. Total mine field matching saddle to rider and horse.
 

CanteringCarrot

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My friend really likes her K&M saddle and finds it comfortable. She bought it used for a good price and the saddle wears well/still looks quite good.

I ended up with a Fairfax previously (step up from K&M) because while the K&M fit my horse, it felt odd to me. Like the twist was too narrow maybe? Not sure. I felt like I was sitting atop the letter A. It was a dressage saddle. I've ridden in friend's GP and that was alright for me.

Saddles can be so personal. You just have to try one.
 

rowan666

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I have one on my cob because it was the only thing that fit her awkward size that didn't require a remortgage and I love it, it's very comfortable. Leather is soft yet hard wearing. Mine is a jump and I would much prefer a dressage but I rarely ride myself and jump saddle is more suitable for what she does with her other riders so no complaints here, would definitely have another in a heartbeat
 

Widgeon

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Ridden in 2 and didn't like either of them one seemed like it was really high off the horses back the other was just uncomfortable.
That was what I found with K&M / Thorowgood. I bought one on the advice of a saddler and it didn't NOT fit, exactly - it just sort of perched up there. I didn't even ride in it in the end because it just looked odd and I suspected I wouldn't like it. I was also used to Ideals (which are lovely, IMO)

Saddles can be so personal. You just have to try one.
Definitely this, I have a Wintec on my horse at the moment because it fits. But many people hate them with a deep and abiding passion.

If you do try / trial one from your saddle fitter, make sure they watch you ride in it. One of the saddler fitters I had out didn't seem at all interested in me, only the horse. It ended up being a huge waste of money. Rider fit is important too.
 

Nicnac

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I have a K&M jump as it fits my horse, he has now changed shape so have gone to a wider gullet. It's comfortable. I like the fact it's adjustable and flocked. I bought it second hand and they do hold their value very well.
 

Sossigpoker

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K&M are the leather equivalent to Thorowgood, I believe.
Yes they are

The leather quality isn't great , the quality of flocking isn't great either , they have a plastic tree which can feel flimsy. So they are cheaper for a reason.

Having said that,.they are a perfectly good choice for someone with a limited budget and seem to fit a wide variety of types of horses. The changeable gullet is good for growing horses.

I've had two of those , I wouldn't out of choice get another one unless I couldn't afford something of higher quality, but of needs must, then yes of course I would. (One of the saddles was very comfy to ride in btw , the other one turned out to be too small for me so not very comfy.
 

holeymoley

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Okay thank you everyone. Unfortunately not the responses I was hoping for, I think I may scrap them off the list and hope that my Ideal can maybe be salvaged somehow! I really didn’t like Thorowgoods but that was years ago, they tipped me forward. I was thinking the K&M pony club saddle may have suited us- pony can only take 16/16.5” seat.
 

Sossigpoker

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Okay thank you everyone. Unfortunately not the responses I was hoping for, I think I may scrap them off the list and hope that my Ideal can maybe be salvaged somehow! I really didn’t like Thorowgoods but that was years ago, they tipped me forward. I was thinking the K&M pony club saddle may have suited us- pony can only take 16/16.5” seat.
Ideal are a better quality make than Kent and Masters so you'd be downgrading going for one of those. There's nothing wrong with them but they're not in the same league as something like Ideal.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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5 April 2010
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How are these in terms of quality and comfort? I’m used to Ideal saddles which I get on very well with but current one looks like it doesn’t fit at all anymore. Saddle fitter has a real like for kent and masters. Are they at all like Thorowgood? I really don’t like thorowgoods for some reason they just don’t get on with my body shape.

Also, I’m sure saddle fitter will keep me right, but out of interest if they have a changeable gullet do they have the same headplate as Wintecs?
I have two K&M GP but I have the S series which is comfortable. Best saddle I had in a while. Hated the Keiffer, bikini wax time .................did not like the Country. IDEAL ok not particularly comfortable. and Falcon I liked


I tried a few K&M from the saddler. the second hand one was more comfortable than the new one the saddler had, if you do go for one go for the S* series.
 

leflynn

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I have an s series jump and dressage, they are the best fit for my shape shifting TB, I find the dr very comfy, would say the jump is halfway between a GP and jump, great for hacking, hunting and the odd bit of jumping we do. Bought both 2nd hand and the leather seems better quality than the newer ones
 

TPO

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I've had a few on different horses. From memory I've had the high wither, cob and standard GP. Then in the S series I've had a GP and the universal GP.

They've all fitted the horses well, or else they wouldn't have been used, and I've been fine riding in them. I'm not the best at rider saddle fit because I've always just ridden in what fits the horse and attempted to adapt so I don't have refined taste or preferences in that respect.

However I've never found K&M uncomfortable or that they've negatively affected my riding beyond my own incompetence!

I do look after my tack but my K&M have all held up to use and looked good throughout.

Personally I'd try them if your fitter has them in stock anyway. I wouldn't discount them because of forum responses.

ETA I had an ideal yonks ago for the Arab, it was a WH. Again if something fits the horse I just get in with it but I can't say I noticed a difference in position or quality of leather. My bad riding position does not discriminate against saddle brands!
 
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Littlebear

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27 November 2017
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I have ridden other peoples horses in a few types of k&m, dressage and gp, I genuinely have never found a worse saddle to ride in, I assume its my body shape that doesn't suit as others seem to get on well.

I remember being on one horse thinking this saddle just doesn't let me sit in the right place at all, felt very awkward and uncomfortable, I would have been better off bareback.

Real shame for me as they are smart, a good price and adjustable. I do have an ideal also and there is no comparison. (Again, may be my body shape though).
 

sjdress

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14 March 2010
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I had an S Series K&M dressage saddle and hated it! Not comfortable and just couldn’t get into a good position to be effective. Brought a secondhand Albion and loved it, the difference was incredible.
 

J_sarahd

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17 August 2017
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I have a K&M Pony Jump and I actually quite like it. But I did go from a badly fitting wintec to this one. Most of the saddles I’ve ridden in recently are K&M. I think they’re inexpensive leather saddles and that’s why they’re popular. If I had more money, I wouldn’t have gone for one but it was all I could really afford (my choice of saddles is narrower anyway as I am 5ft 2 and pony takes a 16.5in).
 

Leandy

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Don't discount a saddle until you have had it on your horse and, if promising, sat in it. It is all so personal. K&M are very popular saddles, presumably for a reason. My experience of the S series dressage is that it looked good, wore well, fitted the pony and rider and all were very satisfied with it. They are adjustable which is a bonus but of course doesn't mean they suit everything. They don't have fancy stitching or bling but they are well made, good value saddles. They have some good features that other more expensive saddles do not, they are flockable and have a wide gullet for example. They hold their value well second hand.
 

sbloom

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Not read all the replies, and the main caveat is that most brands and models have horses they work for, and fitters that make them work well. In quality terms they're not like Ideal, completely different, mainly produced abroad and assembled here and certainly used to have batches with quality issues, though I've not heard of any for a while. Ideal are a bench made saddle and should be (not been to the workshop!) assembled by one person, K&M are generally assembled on more of a production line. Doesn't mean they're not decent value, but be aware of what you're buying.

They are partly popular because they are the main brand for training SMS fitters, to be an SMS fitter you have to stock a wide range of English brand (not necessarily genuinely English made) saddles. The SMS has been a body for saddle MAKERS for a long time, they added fitters on, and it is used to support English saddle making. If you've been trained on them, you'll want to fit them.

I fit very differently and am not a fan (but then I only fit two brands, brands I love!).
 
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