Manufacturer: King (View all products by King Series)
Model: Krypton Series Synthetic Western Trail Saddle (View all Krypton Series Synthetic Western Trail Saddle reviews)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I found the King Krypton online and purchased it through Chick's Saddlery, although they don't carry this particular one anymore. This saddle was purchased for my daughter who was 5 at the time I bought it. She HAD to have a hot pink saddle, but she rode a foundation Morgan (big belly). Most youth saddles that fit the horse were 12"-14" seats while child saddles only fit ponies. For some reason saddle makers must think that little kids only ride ponies. My daughter's horse was a full 15 HH but she was so little that she was swimming in the larger seat saddles. The Krypton offered an 11" seat on a full-sized horse tree...and it came in hot pink. I paid $160 with shipping.
Likes: I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a saddle because I knew she would grow out of it quickly. The price was good for the quality. The saddle series offered a small seat but on a regular tree that fit a full sized horse (note to saddle makers: there's no reason you can't put a little seat on a big tree for small riders who don't ride ponies). It fit the horse well. The saddle is very sturdy and well put together. It's a synthetic saddle, so it cleans up nicely. The stirrups have tapederos on them, which is really nice for a young, inexperienced rider so their feet don't slip through the stirrups. The stirrups also have a nice thick gel padding, which are great for when little feet get tired. The Krypton has a nice deep roughout seat (great for gripping little blue-jean butts so they don't fall out), and the seat itself has gel padding - very soft for those long rides. And of course, when you ride a boy horse and he's decked out in hot pink, EVERYBODY notices the saddle (and my daughter gets a kick out of everyone who wants to know where in the world she found such a cool saddle). As for mom, I'm happy it fit the kid and the horse, and I also like the 5-year warranty that King puts on the reinforced fiberglass tree. We go camping with our horses and put many miles on trails during the summer. The Morgan horse passed away last year, and now my daughter rides an Appy. The saddle fits the App and never made either horse sore.
Dislikes: For a saddle with only an 11" seat, the stirrups are pretty long, even when they're on the top hole, so we had to use buddy stirrups for a while, but those hurt my daughter's knees. She's 7 now and she still doesn't quite reach the stirrups (even though she's starting to get big enough to grow out of the seat in a year or two). I'd put more holes in them, but the fenders won't allow it. The latigo keeper is also kind of dinky. It's too narrow to put the loose end of the latigo in after the cinch is tied, and there's nowhere else to put it except to loop it back through the rigging. Finally, the saddle has full rigging but no back cinch, so it does have a tendency to pitch forward at times. It would be nice to have a place for a back cinch to help stabilize the saddle more. I would have also liked it if the tapederos would come off. They're bolted on.
Quality: The saddle is a bit rigid and stiff, but that's what you can expect for a saddle less than $200. I wish it has nicer leather. The leather, though durable, is not high-quality latigo leather but more like the cheaper, plastic-y stuff. However, it hasn't cracked, torn, ripped, and is very durable. The company says the tree is warrantied for 5 years and that the tree is reinforced fiberglass. I would have preferred ralide. The saddle is pretty much bolted together, so it's sturdy (maybe a little too sturdy and that's what makes it so stiff). However, it's better than the cheap Asian units I've seen. As far as cheaper construction, at least the saddle is shaped like a horse and fits the horses fairly well. The fleece underneath is nice and soft. The saddle is built on a slick-fork tree and there aren't any options for any other. Also, the conchos are painted.
Summary: Basically, it's a good saddle for what I paid for it, and it's a good saddle for a little kid. However, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone over 60 or 70 pounds - it seems to me that anything heavier and the saddle would try and fight the load because of it's rigidity...that might hurt the horse. Kryptons do come in adult sizes, but after seeing my daughter's saddle I would never buy any King for myself - the quality seems accommodating for small riders but as far as adults go, it's kind of cheap. But if you're looking for a good saddle for a child to grow out of, this is a good one. I've seen much worse coming out of Asia. At least King has taken the horse into consideration and provides a saddle that a small rider can use on a full sized horse. As many good things I have to say about the saddle, I'm only rating it a 3 because of the problems I can see happening on the larger models for larger riders and their horses. It's not a saddle that I'll be purchasing when my daughter gets older and bigger.
Author: Jessica V
Usefulness Rating: 3.47368 out of 5.
19 reader(s) voted.
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