It has been a busy summer and I've been waiting for the opportunity to actually ride in this bareback pad. It is soft to touch and a bit different in style so I've been anxious to see how it feels to actually rides on one of my horses. These fur bareback pads, called a fur saddle by some, are made by Christ Lammfelle of Germany. This one is called the Iberic.
First off, it is luxuriously soft! I used a saddle blanket to keep the saddle from getting too much hair and sweat on it for this trial ride. A saddle blanket is not needed as stated from the manufacturer and you want the fur to be in contact with your horse.
The one thing I didn't like is that the billet straps to buckle the cinch are very firm and hard to get into the buckles. I think they would loosen up over time but it was a bit frustrating to wrestle them in for the first time. They are a bit shorter on this saddle than I would like so I had to use a longer girth.
I used the Christ Lambskin Moongirth.
Here are a few shots of the saddle showing the features.
Handle to grab while riding and it also make a nice carrying handle.
Underneath the lambskin seat cover you will find a couple D rings. The top one is so that you can attach stirrups, something that I would never do on a bareback pad.
A lower D ring. I'm not sure what these are for. There are upper D rings for a breast plate.
Upper D Rings for a breast plate. And the zipper section to remove the lambskin seat cover for easy washing.
This is the view of the back of the saddle with another D ring to add a crupper.
And since I didn't have anybody around to take pictures of me riding in the saddle I took pictures from the riders view.
You will need to find a step to climb into the saddle. Use a fence to climb on or teach your horse to pick you up from a tree stump or log.
Once in the saddle it feels very comfy and the seat feels secure.
This photo shows me looking down the side of the saddle to show how the front and back of the saddle fit me.
This is the back cantle view of the saddle. The back cantle has a semi-rigid insert inside it so it won't go flat if you lean on it. It keeps you in the seat.
And the front swell is also semi-rigid, locking you into place.
Grip handle in front.
As you can see the saddle hugs my body. It didn't feel like it was tight or too small but it definitely gives you a feeling of being secure. If you like the feeling that the saddle helps hold you in, then this saddle is for you. If you like to have more movement in your seat then I would go with a different model.
If you are over 5'5" and over 135 pounds I would go with the bigger WB size of saddle. This is the PO or the smaller size.
I rode around on the trails for about an hour. All in all it was very comfortable and very secure feeling. I personally didn't care for the swell in the front of the saddle as it is firm and I felt it locked me into place too much. Depending upon how you ride, you might like this feeling and you can check out their other styles of Christ Bareback Pads.
I didn't have any slipping of the saddle, even while grabbing to get on and slide off. My horse is quite round and I had no saddle movement. With that said, I did not have any stirrups as I think if you put too much pressure on the stirrups it could slide, especially if your horse got sweaty.
A view of the underside of the saddle.
Underneath view showing where the pads are inserted. These give the saddle some form to help distribute your weight and keep the spine area of the horse from having any pressure on it.
Another view showing the thickness of the pads. These can be removed and replacement pads added if desired.
Over all I like the saddle. I think the billets are a bit stiff but think they will loosen up with time. Maybe rub and bend them a bit first. The saddle is a ten out of ten on the comfortable scale. I love the feeling of the lambskin and like the fact that I can zip off the cover and throw it in the wash. The inserted pads keep me lifted off the spine of the horse and give the saddle some shape. The lambskin is great as it helps keep you and the horse cool in summer and warm in the winter.
Personally I like the Cloud Special Plus saddle best because it is more like a western saddle but this is a close second.