Manufacturer: Kate's (View all products by Kate's Saddle Supply)
Model: Synthetic Marshal Poley (View all Synthetic Marshal Poley reviews)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: Purchased from www.kates.net website. Got it on clearance for $229 (which was about $245 after shipping). Regular price is $359. I purchased the Synthetic Marshal Poley with the horn... It's a hybrid Western/Australian saddle with Western girthing and a Western horn but with Australian poleys for security.
Likes: I bought it because of the low price... But as I found out, that old saying is true -- you get what you pay for. I do like the people at Kate's... They're nice enough and provided good customer service. I just wish the product was better.
Dislikes: I was NOT at all impressed with the quality. Though I had "lowered expectations" to begin with since it had such a low price, I was still disappointed. The workmanship is poor. The saddle didn't correctly fit my horse. I sent in a wither tracing and was told they could fit a saddle to her, but it didn't work out... The tree "winged" out from her sides, and I was told that they couldn't do anything else to make it a better fit. Since I bought the saddle on clearance, I couldn't get a full refund on my money, either. Buying it was a big mistake.
Quality: The synthetic material is cheap and very poorly made. The fabric is *GLUED* onto the saddle, forming air bubbles and pockets where the nylon is pulling away from whatever material they use as a base. This problem only gets worse with time; ever little bend causes more bubbles in the material. Apparently, Kate's knew that the fabric was a problem with this model, but didn't warn me as a customer or offer to replace it as defective. The saddle looks just plain bad, and I doubt there'd be much of a resale market for this. The suede on the poleys was already looking bare and worn, and it was a brand new saddle.
Summary: I would strongly recommend avoiding this saddle. Perhaps their leather saddles would be better... I don't know. After seeing how poorly made the synthetic saddle is, I would be wary of purchasing another model from this manufacturer. Save your money -- get something better quality (like an Abetta synthetic -- a MUCH better saddle).
Usefulness Rating: 2.4 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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