Manufacturer: Bob Marshall
Model: Barrel Racing Saddle
Category: Barrel Saddles
Purchase: I had been a member of a group on Yahoo (treelesssaddles) and decided to poke around one day and found the ad for it. The saddle was listed at $750 and I paid $800 total including shipping.
Likes: I love almost everything about this saddle. First, the saddle is absolutely beautiful. It's dark oil with diamond tooling all over. Round skirt for barrel racing. Rawhide braided horn. There are four silver plates, two are located on the back of the cantle and the other two are on the front of pommel. It adds a nice flair without being too showy. People are often giving me compliments on it's looks! Second, it's super comfortable, you don't have to worry about those long trail rides! I love the fact that it does not have western stirrup fenders; I have very short legs and it's often hard for me to move them back and forth if I have a fender holding me back. Lastly, it's treeless. It will fit almost any horse. I have a very wide mare who would probably be a problem to fit a saddle too so this is great option for both me and her. I can feel her movements so much easier than in a normal treed saddle and I feel as though it's easier for me to actually move with her. I don't think I will ever go back to treed!
Dislikes: There is really only one problem that I've had was getting the correct saddle pad. The two problems were dry spots and slipping. With a treeless, you really need a good pad that will distribute your weight (this was trees do for treed saddles). And about the slipping, my mare is round and has barely any withers so most anything will slip on her but it has been a somewhat common problem with treeless saddles. I recently purchased a Skito (I paid $151 with a discount so they can be pricey) pad with a full 100% wool bottom that helps prevent the slipping. Other people have suggested that you pair up a 100% mohair cinch with the Skito to help prevent slippage. The slipping is much improved and so far we haven't had any dry spots!
Quality: It is constructed very well! I don't think I could ever imagine it falling apart. The stirrup straps are very secure. There is almost no wear on this saddle and I bought it used from it's second owner at least! The only thing that's wrong with it physically is that the concho on the horn is missing but it's easily fixed, I just haven't done so yet.
Summary: Great saddle, would definitely recommend it to anybody who is interested in treelesses. I don't ever want to part with it. Between my mare that I love and having this saddle, I feel like I can do anything!
Usefulness Rating: 2.4 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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