Model: High Plains 15.5"
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: After months of research I settled on the Tucker High Plains trails saddle and purchased it over the internet. I chose to buy it from Cowboy Corner in Mississippi because they had a great website and I wouldn't have to pay sales tax since I live in California. I chose the light oil with floral tooling, and upgraded the brown standard seat to black with matching black strings. The upgrade was $100 which brought the cost of the $1495 saddle to $1595. Cowboy Corner only charged $25 to ship it and were great to do business with.
Likes: As advertised the Tucker saddles are very comfortable on long rides. The High Plains model has a 5" higback cantle which is very secure. The weight is only about 25lbs., which made it easy on me since I am 5'4" and my horse is 16 hands. The fit was awesome on every horse we put it on; we ordered it with the standard tree and it fit the short 14.2 hand stocky QH we have and also the 16 hand Paint.
Dislikes: The saddle in light oil turned out to be pretty stiff. I talked to people with the dark oil saddle and they were very happy with the softness of it. There must be some type of difference in the leather used for the different colors. Also, the light oil leather became scratched and scuffed very easily and looked worn out very soon. The quality of the leather was pretty much the only issue I had with the Tucker High Plains for as long as we used it.
Quality: I didn't find the Tucker saddle I owned to be of the same quality as a handmade saddle, as it does go down an assembly line. They advertise they offer the best quality saddles made by master saddlemakers; however I didn't find the quality to be above any other major saddlemaker. Tucker does now own the Circle Y company; however I found most saddles made by Circle Y to be of superior construction than the Tucker.
Summary: A week before the 1 year warranty expired, the saddle rigging broke apart on a steep mountain trail. The Tucker rigging is a V-shaped piece of leather screwed into the tree. The screws were placed very close to the edge of the leather and with each cinching the leather gave a little more. I liken it to the hole at the top of a calendar that finally breaks through to the egde. My husband fell to the mountain upside, thankfully, and our horse bolted down the mountain in a panic and out of sight. The saddle was around her belly, still attached by a couple remaining screws. A fallen oak tree blocking the trail caught the saddle and ripped it off the rest of the way, probably saving her life as she ran through the tree. Dealing with Tucker after the incident was difficult, and would need a whole other page as many mistakes were made in the aftermath. They made me feel like I was the problem, not the saddle, and I would not endorse their products after this experience. I definitely felt from Tucker like there were other people with the same rigging issue. I sold the replacement saddle they finally sent me on TackTrader.com for $1200 and bought a Big Horn cordura saddle, used from Ebay for $250, and absolutely love it. I am looking now to buy a second Big Horn cordura saddle very soon!
Author: Julie Alcala
Usefulness Rating: 2.33333 out of 5.
3 reader(s) voted.
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