Manufacturer: Circle Y (View all products by Circle Y)
Model: Topeka Flex 2 Trail (View all Topeka Flex2 Trail Saddle reviews)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle locally because a friend referred me to the retailer. I paid approximately $1,200 for it. I also have the matching bridle, breast collar, and flank cinch. A bonus to buying a Circle Y is that, if my horse ever outgrows it, the resale value will be good.
Likes: The Circle Y Topeka Flex2 is a beautiful saddle. The shell border tooling is simple yet elegant. I chose it over the Shawnee model because I couldn't imagine trying to keep all those brass dots clean! The Topeka color options are dark oil, walnut, pecan, and black. I chose walnut because the color is rich and warm. The saddle is light weight and easy to handle. On the first ride it felt as though it had been ridden in a hundred times! I can't describe just how incredibly comfortable it is--and the seat is unbeatable. I've ridden many Western saddles, and the Circle Y Flex2 is the Cadillac of all saddles (the Tuckers I've tried don't hold a candle to my Circle Y even though Circle Y now owns Tucker) The fenders are made with double-ply leather instead of single-ply to make them extremely comfortable and flexible. No more broom handles to bend stiff fenders! This is a bonus for me as I have bad knees. Apparently my horse also likes the saddle because he moves with so much more relaxation and freedom. He's not cinchy anymore either because he knows the saddle isn't going to hurt. Something else I really like about this saddle and would have to have with any other Circle Y I ever buy--the Apache leather seat. The Apache seat has just the right amount of grip to it. It's somewhat smooth but not slippery like a grain out seat. It's not nappy like suede. And, unlike suede, it doesn't hold water if it gets wet. I also love the color of it. The new tunnel skirt design allows more air flow under the saddle which helps keep my horse's back cooler. Also, the saddle isn't bulky. I rode English for many years because I always found Western saddles to be too cumbersome and clunky. That's not true with this saddle, and I'm amazed at the close contact it allows me to have with my horse.
Dislikes: Because of the saddle's light weight, it flops up and down somewhat in the back at the trot and canter when I longe my horse in it (although most Western saddles do to some extent). I don't notice it when I ride, but I decided to use a flank cinch anyway. This issue could also be helped by rigging 7/8ths or 3/4s. I prefer just to keep my cinch in the full position and use the flank cinch. Also, I switched out the nylon billets for leather ones--simply a personal preference. Some people have reservations about the in-skirt rigging because they claim it is restrictive. I haven't found that to be true. In fact, even while allowing my horse more freedom of movement, the saddle stays very secure on his back. I believe that security is due to the in-skirt rigging.
Quality: The construction is extremely durable. The adjustable area of the fenders for stirrup length is reinforced with nylon against the leather. Those holes won't be stretching anytime soon! And the stirrups are very easy to adjust. The leather is rich, pliable, and butter-smooth. The walnut color, as I mentioned before, is deep, warm, and gorgeous. My particular Topeka has a 16" seat and regular Quarter Horse bars. It fits my Friesian/Paint cross perfectly. The saddle weight is 28 lbs. It has engraved silver, 3-way in-skirt rigging, 13" swell width, 4" cantle height, horn size of 3 1/4" neck and 1 7/8" cap, and a skirt size of 13 1/2" D x 27 1/4" L. The cantle height is perfect because it keeps me in the saddle but doesn't get in the way.
Summary: I would recommend a Circle Y Flex2 saddle to anyone looking for the most comfortable ride of their life. You'll love it, and you're horse will too. I originally had doubts about the flex tree, but not anymore. I'm sold on it. It wouldn't be suitable for roping, but that's not what these saddles are meant for. I ride this saddle with a Professional's Choice SMX AirRide pad, and Professional's Choice SMX neoprene cinch. Another cinch I like is Weaver's Smart Cinch. These add even more the the incredible ride.
Author: Rachel I.
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
1 reader(s) voted.
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