Manufacturer: Big Horn
Model: Endurance Saddle
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I got this saddle at a place in Alpharetta, Georgia called "Hamps" which is the name of this neat old fella that runs a tack shop out of old semi-trailers- (you know- 18 wheelers?) a very interesting place, kinda hodge-podged together but full of goodies at great deals. There must be about 5 or so of these trailers back behind this shack-barn that are side by side with a ramped cat walk so you can go trailer to trailer; one trailer is western saddles, one is english, another is clothing etc. The shack-barn has used saddles and bits etc NO air conditioning. Paid, hmm I want to say $800- I have had it about a year.
Likes: VERY comfortable. What a seat! What a ride. Anyone who has gotten on has always been, "oh my! that feels great" but then again my horse is super smooth so maybe they are talking about Simon! haha it is cushy-cushy and I have really enjoyed the feel of it. Holds you in real good too! (this endurance saddle has no horn) I have had occasion(s) to come off- most of the time I am able to stay on- even with no horn there is something to grab onto. It is supposed to be "light weight"- Not sure who's idea of light weight that is, since it weighs WELL over 20 some pounds. It has the flex tree which I bought thinking it was great for my horse's back (see info below for more on that!) I ride gaited horses and the cut was good for freedom of shoulder movement. It is VERY pretty on (the horse)too- even in brown/burgundy. I didn't think I'd like the endurance stirrups that came with it but they are great too! No knee stress at all and grip the foot pretty good. The rubber on the stirrup is pretty thick for shock absorbing.
Dislikes: Well, it didn't come in black! I originally bought it for my blue roan and wanted black but had to settle for this burgundy/brown saddle (and since it felt so good and fit him nicely I got it) One color only. In the meantime, I had to have him put down and my new horse is black and white spotted and I still wanted it in black! I know color shouldn't be a big deal but it couldn't have hurt to have a choice. The next thing is kinda big. I thought that a flex-tree was good for your horse and have since learned, with Simon, (after taking him to the vet) that they are not that good for your horse's back. Not as bad as a treeless saddle but still not great. He has a "lump" on his spine my vet said she really believed came from the saddle. It is sensitive and he has bucked from that. In the meantime, I have bought one of those expensive wool pads (inch thick) with the memory foam down inside. It has helped (along with dmso) and he hasn't bucked anymore, but the lump is still there. And it seemed to fit him sooo well too. I am disappointed to learn I will need another saddle. I did not have that problem with the horse I bought it for and thought I was so lucky to have a saddle that also fit my new horse.
Quality: This is the big horn that is the Tucker copy- just like it (except not it)and has no horn. I wondered if I'd like that and I love it. The horns always grab the buttons on my shirts and yank them off so that is not a problem anymore, except now I cannot loop my reins over the horn cause there is no horn! Has nice thick wool underneath. LOTS of D rings and leather pieces. After a year of riding (a lot) except for the scratch I got across the front fender, when it is all cleaned up looks about new. There is a small area on the seat that showed a tiny bit of wear almost right away- not wear so much as the leather changed color a little, like the color wore off or such. Very small and nowhere else. Underneath looks new. Leather has held up very well. Nice deep seat.
Summary: well, if you don't particularly care about the flex-tree then I totally would buy it. Good price for the comfort, looks and quality. Plenty of D-rings for attaching all your trail junk (water bottle holders, pommel bags, saddle bags etc) I carry a saddle bag on the side and my chihuahua rides in it and has never complained! Ignoring the flex-tree issue, I am giving it a 5 based strictly on everything else. If I had known flex-tree was a bad thing, I would not have bought the saddle in the first place.
Usefulness Rating: 1.5 out of 5.
2 reader(s) voted.
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