Manufacturer: Circle Y Flex-Lite Saddles 2001/2004 models (View all products by Circle Y)
Model: Omaha 1554 mfg 2001 and Pheonix 1652 mfg 2004 (View all Omaha 1554 mfg 2001 and Pheonix 1652 mfg 2004 reviews)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I Bought these two Circle Y Flex-Lite saddles USED off the internet for $750 and $1000. The Circle Y serial numbers are unique and are wonderful to identify exactly what you are getting. By using a saddle fitting tool (EquiFit back form) and being able to borrow two Flex 2 Wide model saddles to try out, I discovered that the Regular or Semi-QH tree was the better fit for my new horse. The wide fit in the withers but not under the seat and rest of the back. The older Flex-Lite models (before 2006) seem to have naturally wider gullets at 7" and a closer to the horse fit in the seat maybe because they don't have the extra padding on the bottom that the Flex 2 models do. I love the close to the horse fit!!! Since I always use a quality felt pad, the extra padding on the borrowed Flex2 saddles made me feel like I was sitting miles above my horse's back. When I discovered that my 2001 Flex-Lite saddle fit even my impossible to fit mutton wither pony, I went and found another Flex-Lite saddle built in 2004 and love it!! I was amazed that it fit well enough to stay in place without pinching or moving side to side. I did find that I had to use both rings in the 3-way rigging to get the perfect fit and like that option that is almost standard for Circle Y saddles.
Likes: The softee leather makes the saddle feel comfortable right away - no break in period is needed except to turn the stirrups. The 3-way rigging offers options for distributing the girth pressure nicely. The lighter weight makes it so easy to saddle up too! The used saddles are a great buy and the popular Flex-Lite models seem to hold their resale value at between $700 to $1000 pretty well.
Dislikes: I am a little concerned about the rider weight limits for the Flex tree saddles that have been mentioned in a few reviews and by my local tack shop dealer - 180 lbs for original Flex-Lite and 220 lbs for Flex2. Since I don't spend more than a few hours on the trail and at most a few times a week and I always use a good quality thick felt pad under the saddle I am just resolved to carefully monitor the horse for back soreness and deal with it if it happens. And it is a great incentive for keeping myself fit and trim!
Quality: The leather is good quality and the softee aspect makes it feel so good. The flat seats on many Park & Trail models are wonderful for trail riding and for doing training exercises.
Summary: After years of trying to find a saddle for my mutton wither large pony, I LOVE these Circle Y Flex-Lite (original tree version) saddles! Mfg years 1998 to 2005 are the original CY Flex-Lite trees with some differences as the technology evolved and mfg years 2006+ are CY Flex 2 trees. Use the Circle Y serial numbers to help you identify what you are buying (go to web site FAQ section to interpret them) and use a demo or trial saddle to verify the fit if you can! These are keeper saddles!
Author: Hard to fit Fjord owner - Feb 2010
Usefulness Rating: 4.46429 out of 5.
28 reader(s) voted.
Mr. Saddle TReeless - Giraffe pattern Trail Saddles
Liberty Bell Leather Dakota 75 series gaited saddle Trail Saddles
J Stead Saddle trail saddle Trail Saddles
Specialized saddles Trail Lite Trail Saddles
J Stead Lady Wade Trail Saddles
Nash Cherokee Cordura Trail Saddles
Crestridge Saddlery Crusade Elite Trail Saddles
Pam's Place Tack Genado Gaited Trail Saddles
Circle y Alpine Trail Saddles
JC Martin Saddles Trail saddle Trail Saddles
Steele Saddle Mountaineer saddle Trail Saddles
TN Saddlery Sharptail Gaited Wsetern Saddle Trail Saddles
Dixieland Gaited Saddles Western Trail saddle, gaited tree Trail Saddles
Steve Edwards The Cowboy Trail Saddles
Dixieland Saddle Co. Tree style D +3/4 butterfly skirt light rider Trail Saddles
Bob Marshall Endurance Treeless Trail Saddles
Crestridge Wade Extra Wide Trail Saddles
Kimberley Kimberley Outback Australian Saddle Trail Saddles
Black Forest Saddles Rosewood treeless Trail Saddles
Crates #238-4 Trail Trail Saddles