Manufacturer: Southern Trails
Model: Endurance Cordura E54R
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I paid $469 for this saddle, which included the Arabian tree, which was $70 extra, and shipping. I ordered it directly from Southern Trails after speaking with and emailing the owner of the company.
Likes: This is a wonderful saddle!!! It is the MOST well balanced saddle I've ever ridden in, as the stirrups are placed further back so that your legs hang underneath you. Just right for an endurance saddle!!! The quality is very good and is comparable to a Big Horn, Fabtron or Abetta. I got to order the color combination of my choice, you can choose your rigging placement, I got the extra padded seat and whatever tree size you need; I got the Arab tree, of which they have 2 Arab trees to choose from. This is a "customized saddle" without the high price of the more well known and very expensive custom endurance saddles. I love this saddle! It fits me and my horse, who is hard to fit, but he moves GREAT in this saddle and seems to really like it as much as I do. And he's picky. I cannot say enough good stuff about this saddle.
Dislikes: When it arrived, the tie straps were very skinny nylon and were riveted on. WHAT?? I called the owner and he apologized for the mistake and sent me new nylon tie straps right away at his expense. He said he's told his saddle maker NOT to send out those cheapy little tie straps and was glad that I told him about the mistake so he could correct it. So, this isn't really a dislike, just a mistake that was very quickly corrected at no expense to me. Otherwise, there is nothing about this saddle that I dislike, except that I didn't buy one years ago!
Quality: This saddle has a WOOD tree. Not a cheapy plastic tree. The leather is of good quality; not the best money can buy, but this is a $400+ saddle, not a $1000 saddle, so you can tell the difference. But all the stitching seems to be even with no missed or torn stitches. The cordura is standard and is all bound with a sturdy cordura edging. Very nicely made and is EXTREMELY well balanced for those of us who post the trot and do a lot of two-point. Your legs are in a correct position for endurance riding, the seat is comfy and I got the 5" cantle which offers great lower back support. The pommel is just right, not too big, and it has no horn. This is a great saddle for the money!
Summary: I would highly recommend this saddle to anyone looking for a well balanced, affordable, customized endurance/trail saddle. The choice of trees allows you to really fit your horse, unlike Big Horn, Abetta and Fabtron who only offer limited choices in tree sizes. I wish I had found this saddle 10 years ago.
Usefulness Rating: 4.13333 out of 5.
30 reader(s) voted.
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