DP El Campo, first impressions

Ad in collaboration with DP Saddlery LP and Deuber&Partner

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed something super exciting just happened – my tack from Deuber&Partner just came in, and it’s hard to describe properly how in awe I am! Let’s take a closer look at what was delivered to our front porch!

In the huge 57lbs/25kg package, that’s been in the works for months, was two saddles, matching bridles and reins, girths and stirrup leathers. I asked you on Instagram which saddle you wanted me to write about first, and most of you chose the El Campo with flower tooling. So here I am, ready to tell you all about it, and my first impressions of it!

The specifications of this saddle is:
Seat size: S1
Saddle leather: Havanna with antique finish
Seat leather: Nappa brown
Flocking: Medium
Channel width: Wide
The saddle has flower tooling along the border, as well as tooling on the cantle. Both are considered extra upcharge, but hello sexy! *hearteyeemoji*

Girth: Size 4, matching colours and tooling

When in proper use, I will use a thin, English dressage saddle pad underneath, to protect the saddle from sweat, dust and horse hair.
We’ve chosen to have the stirrup leathers underneath the saddle flap for now.

When I first started talking to Barbara from DP Saddlery LP, we decided fairly quick on the Jerez SKL – being my dream saddle and we had no doubts it would be an amazing match to the drafts. But I was so indecisive on which saddle would be the second one. I wanted something different than the baroque saddle, as I don’t always ride strictly baroque/historical dressage. Sadly, with drafts having their abnormally large shoulder blades in all the “wrong” angles, English dressage saddles are rarely able to wrap around the horse as they are designed to do on… dressage horses. Thus leading to a not-always-optimal fit for drafts.

So after a lot back and forth, I asked about the El Campo, and Barbara sent me a photo of perhaps (and excuse my language here) the sexiest saddle I’ve ever seen. Yes. YES! It’s built more like an English-type saddle, but on the same flocking as the baroque saddles, and after I saw the saddle sit beautifully on a very wide Irish cob, I was sold.

Now, we have yet to have our saddle fitter look at it, so if you think anything is off in the photos fitting-wise, don’t worry, we will have everything double checked! 🙂 But they survived ten minutes of childish excitement and some modelling, haha!

As I mentioned, there was also matching bridles and reins in the package, and here you can see the bridle and reins that match the El Campo! If you look close, the noseband and reins have the same tooling as the saddle and the attention to detail is outstanding. I’m just floored by the fact that they even had the opportunity, and took the time out of what I assume is a super busy schedule, to make a bridle to Lillen’s measurements. Amazed. I am simply amazed. They were even able to provide reins in Lillen size.

I am planning on doing an update review at 6 and 12 months. But! One of the most asked questions still has to be answered here: How does it feel to sit in it?

The seat is deep, but still open, which provides you with the ability to “move around” in the saddle to change your seat aids, without losing all support. It’s soft in both the seat and by the knee rolls, but there’s still lots of structure to support your seat. The twist in the seat feels narrow, but is not sharp, and widens a little towards the cantle. This helps me a lot, as I am able to tilt my pelvis a bit backwards (my personal biggest issue seat-wise is falling forward, blocking the horse with my stiffened hips). In some ways it does feel a lot like English dressage saddles, but the seat is far more open and allows for more adjustments and better communication.

The knee rolls are attached with velcro, which is a huge plus to me, as I have long thighs and can adjust them to fit my slightly awkward body. That’s all for now, will update blog. Cue picture spam!

All wrapped up and ready for its next ride!
Thank you so much, DP Saddlery LP and Deuber & Partner, I cannot wait to see where this saddle might take us!
Emma

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