Manufacturer: Black Forest Saddles
Model: Aspen (treeless)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: After trying many different conventional saddles on my Arabian none of which fit, I decided that treeless might be the way to go since he's already barefoot and bitless... I did lots of research on treeless saddles and settled on Black forest after talking to the owner. I bought this saddle thru Black Forest themselves and payed 699$ plus shipping (40$). You can't just order on the website, you have to talk to a real person and they help you make an informed decision as far as size and what pad you might need.
Likes: First and foremost, my horse likes it! I was a little bit concerned about wither and spine clearance when I ordered it, but I don't have any problem with my arabian if I use a pad with inserts. It's very light (less than 10#) and incredibly comfortable (most comfortable saddle I've ever sat in.) It looks a little bit different but it feels just like riding in an english saddle.
Dislikes: It looks a bit of too western for my taste! I was a little disappointed by the quality of the leather when I received this saddle. The seat part is nice but the rest lacks suppleness and feels a little dry. There are some synthetic components that don't belong on a leather saddle. The billets are made of nylon webbing covered with a type of suede and the underside of the flaps feel like some kind of craft foam: not the most durable material!
Quality: The stitching is tight and it feels solid. Everything is symmetrical and there is attention to details (no loose threads or wavy stitches).
Summary: I think this saddle is a great value. It's built well and feels good to the horse and rider. It's not made out of the best quality materials but that's what makes it affordable. It's a great alternative to some of the very pricey saddles without going to the other extreme of "el cheapo" ebay saddles. I'm very happy with it and the fact that I didn't have to mortgage my house to get it is an added bonus!
Usefulness Rating: 4.34146 out of 5.
82 reader(s) voted.
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