Collegiate Bicton Synthetic Saddle Review
About 3 months ago I bought a new saddle. I even did an unboxing video over on my YouTube channel of when I first got the saddle. And now that I have had it for a couple of months and really been able to use it, I thought I would give you a review of this saddle.
First off, its a synthetic saddle. Secondly, it is very affordable at less than $400.00. I bought it because I wanted to have something to take to my lessons, and leave out in the barn and not have to worry about it getting damaged. And I had decided I wanted a synthetic saddle after consistently using one for my riding lesson each week.
Why I Chose This Saddle
I looked at the options as far as synthetic saddles go, and I decided to choose the Collegiate Bicton saddle because of what it offers.
I have had a Collegiate leather saddle in the past, and I really liked it for what it was. They are affordable and are a good quality work saddle.
This is an all purpose saddle, meaning it would work well for what I wanted it for. And in the unlikely even my husband wants to ride with me, he could use it too. Or in the more likely even I have a friend come to ride with me, I will have a saddle I feel comfortable letting them use while I ride in my Devoucoux saddle. Yes, I’m selfish. Only I get to ride in my Devocoux.
It is lightweight and has a suede surface to it, which gives it a little bit of extra grip. Which is perfect for some extra security while in the saddle. And it has an adjustable gullet. If I purchase the optional gullets, I can have it fit most any horse. And the gullets are reasonable, around $25.00 each.
After I found the saddle, I went to the Collegiate Saddlery website and did a little more research. This is from the Collegiate website on this saddle:
The Collegiate Bicton All Purpose Saddle is a durable, low maintenance and lightweight synthetic saddle featuring:
- A simple quick changeable gullet that can be easily altered to custom fit the shape of your horse
- Shaped forward cut knee pads for a secure leg position
- Includes molded synthetic tree that is symmetrical & durable
- Traditional flocking in panels that conforms to your horse’s shape
- Ideal for training or pleasure riding
- Easy to clean, allowing you to spend more time riding and less time caring for your saddle
- 10 year warranty on the tree
- 2 year warranty on the saddle
I really like the warranty on the tree and the saddle itself. And I wanted a saddle I could leave in the back of my car, and not worry a lot about. Plus it’s nice to always have a saddle out in the barn that is ready to go. This saddle offers that. If there is dust on it, you simply wipe of the dust and it looks as good as new.
For a synthetic saddle, this thing is made very well. The stitching is nice, and there are wear panels where your legs will rub. There is a nice embellishment on the stirrup keepers, and the stirrup bars are recessed.
The suede material looks nice, unless it gets dusty. But then you just wipe it off with a damp cloth or wet wipe and your problem is solved.
There are removable knee blocks that attach with Velcro. I have found I don’t need these, so I just keep them in my tack box.
It did come with a nice saddle cover too.
The billets are thick and strong. I am not sure if these are leather, or a man made material. But even though they are thick, I haven’t had any problems getting my girth on them.
With this being a synthetic saddle, there was no break in time at all. It was ready for use as soon as I got my stirrups on it, very nice! And I tend to be real hard on stuff, and this saddle has withstood me using and abusing it for a few months now with no difficulty. It still looks as nice as it did when I first bought it.
Comfort And Security
This saddle is so comfortable to ride in. And the suede like material give the saddle a lot of grip. Talk about increasing your confidence. If you are just learning how to ride English, and you aren’t sure about the security of the saddle, this is an excellent first saddle. It has a very deep seat, which will kind of lock you into position on your horse. This can be good, and bad, depending on what your goals are. But if you just want to work on flat work, and get used to finding the correct lead or diagonal this saddle may be a good choice.
However if you are starting to work on two-point and jumping, this saddle makes it a little challenging to ‘get out of’. And once you ride in it for several months, and then go to a more traditional saddle, like a Devoucoux or Antares (Yes, I know those aren’t really budget saddles, but they are incredible!) You will find you are not as secure.
But I use my Bicton saddle and Millbrook stirrup leathers and I feel very ‘in place’ on my horses. For me the security feeling is important for rebuilding confidence, and staying centered especially on Ethan. And if it helps me to feel more secure, and confident in my riding, I am all about that. In fact, when I get clearance to ride in 3 weeks, I will be riding in this saddle.
And not only is it comfortable for me, but it fits both of my horses well. I do ride with an Ogilvy baby pad, and a generic half pad that I got from, Riding Warehouse, which I love, but it is mainly to protect my horses from me bouncing all over them, not because the saddle doesn’t fit. Neither of my horses seem to have any issues in this saddle. They don’t toss their heads, or act up at all in this saddle.
Bicton Saddle – Yay Or Neigh?
Overall I am very happy with my purchase of this saddle. I have gotten a lot of use out of it for my weekly lessons (until recently because of surgery- no lessons for a while) I love that the maintenance is so minimal. You just wash it with soapy water and allow to dry, and that’s it. The billets are strong and thick. And the stirrup bars are recessed, so you don’t get the bump under your leg from the stirrup leather.
For a general purpose saddle, this is a fantastic buy. And for anyone just witching over to riding in an English saddle, this would be a good saddle for you to at least consider. So for me, the Bicton saddle is a definite yay!
And if you decide to give it a try, please consider using the affiliate links I have provided above. When you buy something using one of the links I have provided, I receive a small commission which helps me to continue to do what I do with my blog, as well as my YouTube channel. So thank you for your support!
loved your review-i bought the collegiate hartpury dressage for the same reasons you mentioned..they are now having a massive recall and the bicton and the hartpury are on the list. i am devestated as i love my saddle. i have added the email everybody has been getting.your saddle is also being recalled, contact horseland for a refund.
This is a precautionary recall and is only relevant to some saddles. The alert has been issued for your safety and Collegiate & Horseland are taking every necessary step to ensure that we undertake the inspection and potential correction as quickly and professionally as is possible.
Please go to the below link to see if your saddle has been affected –
If your saddle is on this list, please email your name, phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org and Horseland will advise of next steps
It is important that you stop riding in your saddle immediately if your saddle is on the recall list.
Thank you so much for this information! I will definitely go look right now and see if my saddle is on this recall list.
Thankfully I contacted Collegiate, and my saddle was ok YAY! No recall on my Bicton! Looks like I can use it this weekend after all 🙂
I believe they have now added the Bicton model to the recall list, you might want to contact them again…
Just wanted to let you know 🙂
Thank you 🙂 I will check!