Double comfort/cushion ralide flex tree #288
Manufacturer: Big Horn
Model: Double comfort/cushion ralide flex tree #288
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle from a Morgan trainer off Craigslist for $300. It was too wide for her Morgans.
Likes: I bought this saddle for my hard to fit Arab/QH gelding, because it was the best fit I had found so far and I hoped the flex tree would allow him greater freedom of movement and fit him better. The seat itself is very cushy and comfortable, like your grandma's Cadillac. I like that the seat, pommel, cantle and jockeys are leather and the skirt and fenders are cordura making it more light weight. It is very light and easy to hoist on my 16 hand gelding. When I bought it I thought it has FQH bars, but it actually has QH bars (there are three different QH bar widths), but it fit my guy at first, very well which was very difficult. The saddle is easy to clean and fairly attractive for a cordura saddle. Pretty star conchos.
Dislikes: Aside from the seat itself being very comfortable the saddle was very uncomfortable for me. The placement of the fenders/stirrups is just weird, it made me feel out of balance all the time. The saddle itself is poorly balanced. I am not an English rider so I am not coming from a Dressage background and comparing it to that, I am a Western rider for over 30 years- mostly back-country long-distance. There is no way I could ride this saddle for hours on end. After a 30 min or 1 hour ride my knees, hips and ankles hurt due to the strange conformation of this saddle. The flex tree of this saddle did not work for my horse. He has wide shoulders, prominent withers, and a dip behind the shoulder before the back/ribs, then his back widens again. The flex allowed the saddle for wiggle it's way back until the front of the skirt was resting in that dip placing the saddle far to far back. It did not matter how tight I cinched the saddle, using a breast collar helped but the saddle would just wiggle back until the breast collar became super tight. The flex tree also perhaps flexed too much (?) anyway, there were dry ruffled spots directly under my seat area after short rides (1 hour-ish). During the ride my horse would twitch his skin constantly(like they do when a fly lands) under the seat. When I bought this saddle at the beginning of the summer it fit my 5 year old horse at the shoulder, but over the summer he grew a bit and filled out and it no longer fit him so I quit putting up with how terribly uncomfortable this saddle was for me and I sold it.
Quality: Fine quality for a low-mid range leather/cordura saddle.
Summary: Though the saddle has a soft seat cushion it is horribly uncomfortable. I would probably never buy another Big Horn.
Usefulness Rating: 2 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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