Monica Gray

I purchased a Macel Samba a little over a year ago.

I was in the market for a new saddle and had contemplated getting an upgraded edition of the dressage saddle I rode in at the time, which had minimal knee rolls and did not have too high of a cantle. But I hoped to find a saddle that would truly allow me to find my neutral position, to actually feel my horses’ backs, not place a wedge between my body and my horse, a saddle that did not feel like a wall between our communication. Also, a saddle that I could use on all the horses I work with, not just my own; the Macel Samba design allows such adaptability. I ride nearly every day, working together with my horses in the arena and also hacking throughout the desert hills and the steep Sierra Nevada mountains, thus the simplicity of one saddle to fit my needs is of importance to me.

Reading about the Samba piqued my interest and I liked the looks of design, allowing freedom of movement for the horse and not locking the rider into a constrained position. I took the plunge and ordered. I am so glad I did!

The Macel Samba is a joy to ride in, a lightness in “feeling” in the connection with my horses’ backs as we adjust to nuances in tone,communicating through our sensors, a great awareness from one another emanating through the close contact.

As a chef, I insist upon excellent quality tools in the kitchen to help the craft and art of cooking be as efficient and effortless as possible. As a student in the art of riding, the Samba saddle has helped me to refine my skills, to achieve an awareness of subtle tones and feedback I’d never found before. Good tools are an essential asset for the practitioner of any artistic endeavor!

(Several friends who are Western and/or Cowboy dressage riders have now tried my Samba on their horses and have been amazed by what they can feel; their own saddles set them high above their horses and they have been unaware of the movement beneath them, or how very tight they are in their knees and lower thigh. This has been an eye opener for them) Amy Potter

, I bought my Macel Samba after I had my botch hip replacement surgery. It is the only saddle that I can ride in comfortably. It doesn’t force me into a position that isn’t natural for my own body, nor is it so deep that it makes me rock back and for with the horses stride. I had purchased years prior to meeting JL a County saddle. The saddle fitter came and had me try 3-4 different styles, then I selected the one I liked and she took measurements. Well I tried a 17 1/2 in seat, she ordered and 18 saying the deeper the seat the bigger it needed to be…then the regular tree she said I needed an extra wide. Well when the saddle came, it was too wide and to long, sat back on Maggies loins. It also fell down so I had to fold towels and build it up in like 2-3 inches easy. So the saddle fitter blamed me and then stuffed the saddle so it sat level, it was like riding a camel. There was no way I could even feel what my horse was doing.

With the macel, my horses can feel the slightest muscle adjustment in my body, it’s like becoming one with my horse, my thoughts flow thru me to her. I could never ever have achieved this riding in an over stuffed super deep saddle. I’m not a tall person so the cantel hit me mid back, not good for me. I wouldn’t trade or sell my saddle for anything in the world.

Plus it has helped me find my balance with Maggie.