Manufacturer: Specialized Saddles
Model: Specialized Saddle International
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: Several people suggested I try out this saddle. I thought it didn't look quite right (balance) from the photos I'd seen, but thought I'd give it a try. I wanted the security of a western saddle with the style of an English saddle. I planned to ride endurance. I paid a $900 deposit plus shipping for a demo direct from the manufacturer. These saddles sell for $1849 and up.
Likes: The saddle had some nice tooling around the edges and was practically new. I liked the lightweight stirrup leathers which were easy to adjust and the saddle was stylish to look at.
Dislikes: As soon as I sat in the saddle (on a saddle rack), I could tell there was a problem. I went to get my well-made imported English saddle as a comparison. The Specialized saddle does not sit you in that sweet spot. The stirrups come out beneath my thighs and the knee "rolls" and knee area is straight down instead of out where you would put your bent knees if you were posting. It put me in a bad position and felt like I was sitting on cardboard. The twist was also too wide or flat. All the weight going down to my hip bones on that thin leather over the tree. Ouch. The stirrups had sharp edges. The girth was nice. But I didn't even bother to put the saddle on my horse. The saddle may have been too small for me, but it had no security, wasn't padded right, and felt cheap to sit on. A bigger size wouldn't help. The stirrups are totally in the wrong place and the cantle in front is not right either. My suspicious were confirmed. Be sure you demo this saddle if you are thinking about buying it.
Quality: The saddle seemed "home made" with stitching and leather edges not quite perfect. The quality was medium. Better than a cordura but probably not the best leather saddle I've ever sat on.
Summary: This saddle does not offer a comfortable sitting position or feel for the rider. I would not recommend it. Maybe the other models are better.
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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