Manufacturer: Sycamore Creek Saddles (View all products by Sycamore Creek Saddles)
Model: TAF001 D (View all TAF001 D reviews)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: After buying my awesome Rocky Mountain Horse, I found I needed a different saddle for him for both comfort, performance, and one that would encourage him to gait. Gaited horses generally need shorter bars on the saddle to allow shoulder freedom, so I searched online and found SycamoreCreekSaddles.com. I loved the styles and the price, for a custom made to fit all leather saddle, was $590.
Likes: The saddle is gorgeous! Hand made in Columbia, it rivals the quality of expensive saddles I've ridden. It's got memory foam for both my seat and the horses' back, and the fit is unbelievable. The swell at the pommel really gives you a bucket seat style feeling - very secure. The stirrups are very comfortable and my heels are having an easier time finding their right position! I have also noticed my horse getting used to having more freedom to move, and his walk has loosened up - with a little more time I believe we'll be gaiting all over the trails. =) It's so nice I may look into having a non-gaited one made for my Standardbred mix. That quality for the price is really unbelievable.
Dislikes: The hardest thing about this was the style of rigging - which is a Y formation between two rings on the saddle. However, after a quick talk with Tony, the saddle maker representative, I changed it to staying tied on the front ring, a 2nd loop around it, and tying off on the back ring. This enables me to tighten on trail and not have the girth slip backward. An easy and free fix! So it's really not a dislike. =)
Quality: Soft supple leather over a custom tree, padded with memory foam (no, i haven't tried riding with a wine glass on the saddle, but it's crossed my mind), and very unique thick metal stirrups that are very comfortable. The stirrup leather goes around the flap of the saddle, so it raises the entire side up for rigging when you flip it over the seat. Came with a crupper - added inspiration to attack serious mountain trails!
Summary: After figuring out the saddle sits differently than a normal horses' saddle would, and figuring out my rigging technique, I would say this saddle is without a doubt the nicest I have ridden. Equal to a high end dressage saddle but with more security for the trails. I would recommend this to everyone!
Author: Robin Coleman
Usefulness Rating: 2.75 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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