posted this thread the other day: https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack.../#post10053417
At $2300, it is out of my "I'll try that!" price range, although it look competitive. That is the "upper mid-range" for English saddles.
It also looks very close to what I'd design myself if I had the facilities and chance to experiment. The tree looks like a great idea. You cannot see it in the pictures one can link to, but it is rolled at the front, and suspended everywhere else. It looks like a great way to absorb shock without transferring it to the horse's back.
Something that would drive me nuts are the thigh blocks. I think the dressage version is in the picture, but all of them have very pronounced blocks. That might sound odd from someone who still regularly rides an Australian saddle, but the poleys are higher up. I have a lot of freedom about where to put my leg in an Aussie saddle.
The way I learned riding, reading Chamberlin and Littauer, an inexperienced rider should rely on the stirrups rather than the knee. The Italian school emphasized a fixed knee, but Littauer noticed his students who used a fixed knee tended to rotate forward and off, face first, when the horse misbehaved. So while he agreed a fixed knee would work very well for a talented and dedicated rider, he concluded it was dangerous for a beginner or a recreational rider.
In Riding Reflections, a contemporary of Caprilli commented that saddle makers had started extending the panel under the saddle down along the front, providing extra grip for the knee. He also said some had started adding knee rolls on top, which he also liked - since he liked the fixed knee.
An Australian saddle differs in part from an English one in that they never added the extended panels for the knee under the saddle.
Since much of my "English" riding was done in an Aussie saddle, and since I rarely added the knee blocks to my Bates saddles, I never tried the Italian, fixed knee approach to riding. It has become very common. A video
posted about posting emphasized the knee should not move and the thigh should rotate around the pivot of the knee - exactly what Littauer and Chamberlin rejected.
Using my Aussie saddle just before Bandit hurt himself, I realized gripping with the knee would be extremely difficult. The leather is slick, and the lack of any padding on top or underneath means there is nothing for the knee to grip against. You trust the poleys as a safety stop, but if you ride "properly" in an Aussie saddle you won't touch the poleys except during emergencies. You do what Littauer taught, and let the stirrups be your foundation rather than your knees.
I also find it very hard in my western saddle to grip with the knees, although the sheepskin allows for some grip with the thighs. Without the sheepskin, my slick seat / slick fork western saddle makes it very hard to grip with ANYTHING, so one once again needs to rely on the stirrups and moving the leg forward to catch you in a balk or stumble.
I don't know if the company has a "no thigh pad" option. They may, but I'm not QUITE interested enough to spend $2300 on their saddle. We may need to replace our AC unit soon, and my wife might think the money better spend on THAT!
Anyways, I'm glad to see some innovation. The endurance folks are about the only people who seem interested in getting a modern saddle versus continuing to use what was used 200 years ago because it was used for 200 years and "If it was good enough for Great-Grandfather's horse then it is good enough for mine
Note: Actually, I'm pretty sure Cowboy kicked Bandit on the knee, and Bandit will not let Cowboy come close now. Cowboy is getting so beaten up that we are going to make a separate corral for him later today. From "We share bowls of food" before the gash appeared, to "I'll kill you if you come close" now. In truth, Cowboy is my favorite horse. If I could only keep one of them, it would be Cowboy.