Manufacturer: Crates (View all products by Crates)
Model: Meleta Brown Trail Saddle (View all Meleta Brown Trail Saddle reviews)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle online from a retailer for $1450 including shipping, which was less than from Meleta Brown directly.
Likes: High quality leather, nice looking saddle. It has flare at the front for better shoulder movement and the back of the saddle tree to enable a better fit for performance horses. It is a good knockoff of the Black Rhino saddles that have a similar tree for a better price!
Dislikes: For me, this is a barrel saddle with rounded skirts being called a trail saddle. The saddle horn is tall and straight up, as with a barrel saddle where it is needed to hold on during the tight turns. However, as a trail saddle, that horn gets you in the gut if you go up a steep hill and lean forward. Also, it has a carved in seat so you sit firmly in the spot as needed by barrel racers. For me it caused me to sit in a chair seat somewhat and I didn't have the freedom of movement when out on long trail rides. I don't like the small stirrups that come with the saddle, so I replaced them with wider stirrups that my foot fit in.
Quality: It is a nice looking and high quality saddle. The conchos are kind of standard, but he basketweave stamping is nice. The saddle looks great on the horse. I think it weighs about 32lbs. Crates makes strong, durable good looking saddles designed to last and this is no exception. There is only 1 tree size, and I think my husky guy needs a wider one.
Summary: This is a pretty saddle that is very comfortable if I only rode on flat trails. My horse is very comfortable in it. I am not sure that I'll keep it long term, as that horn is not desirable at all for the use I have of the saddle. If it had a horn that was shorter and pointed towards the front or maybe even no horn I would definitely keep it. I'll likely be getting a different model eventually though.
Usefulness Rating: 2.75 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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