Model: All Rounder Trail Saddle
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: When I bought my new horse, my old Arabian saddle didn't fit him so I looked for an inexpensive synthetic trail saddle to replace it. I purchased this 16" semi-quarter horse bar synthetic saddle from Steers' Tack for $250.
Likes: I've only used it a few times so far, but I LOVE how light-weight this saddle is, especially compared to my old Arab saddle. And the Synthetic material is so easy to clean, I just hose it of and let it air-dry. The semi-QH bars fit my horse like a glove, and the high gullet allows plenty of clearance for high-withered horses. The seat and cantle are deep enough to feel secure on hilly trails without being too confining in mounting/dismounting, and stretching during a ride.
Dislikes: I don't like the fleece lining the underside of the saddle. Even before my first ride, there were little pills of fleece pulling off. I don't know if it's just because it's new and there's extra fleece stuck to it, or if the fleece itself is coming off already. Also, I am a larger rider, so I find the seat under-padded, and rather uncomfortable on any ride longer than 20-30 minutes. I'll be looking for a good "tush cushion" to put on it before I take it back out to the State Forest. I also replaced the cheap-looking stirrups with higher-quality comfort stirrups for trail riding.
Quality: The saddle tree is very solid and the overall saddle feels very tight and secure, without that annoying squeaking that so often comes with the first few rides on a new leather saddle. The fenders are easily turned, and the slightly-roughed synthetic material makes it easy to stick to if your horse spooks.
Summary: For the money, this is a great inexpensive trail saddle. The construction is solid, but keep an eye on the fleece, and a "tush cushion" of some sort might be a good idea. It would make an excellent backup saddle for occasional riding, since it's quick and easy to wipe off the dust and get going, especially if you have a limited budget.
Usefulness Rating: 0 out of 5.
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