Manufacturer: Specialized Saddles
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I ordered this saddle through a distributor named Trailwise in Colorado. I had seen this saddle in the horse expo in Sacramento and was fascinated at their adjustable custom fitting system as my horse is very difficult to fit. I had tried out these saddles from friends and was impressed by their look and feel and how my horse moved.After a year of searching for the right saddle I made the leap and ordered one for $1549.00 from Michelle at Trailwise.
Likes: The saddles I had seen and tried were well built, had great adjustable fitting systems. Not the case when mine arrived.
Dislikes: The saddle I received after an 8 week wait was a huge disappointment on every level.
Quality: The saddle looked like it had been made by someone who was learning to make saddles. A friend described it as looking like a kid's craft project. The leather was unevenly cut, had loose threads in the stitching. Where the leather was stud bound on the pommel, extra flaps of leather were left hanging jaggedly at the sides. The tree was unevenly cut and finished with an ugly creosote type, black substance. The billets were finished in the same poor manner and dipped in the black substance also. The foam fitting shims I ordered came in the wrong size, and their Velcro attachment system was poorly glued.
Summary: The saddle was a disaster....I was horrified and extremely disappointed. I called Michelle at Trailwise to explain this. She told me the only reason she could think of was that Specialized had contracted a subsidiary factory to meet higher demands.....she recommend I send it back to be inspected and potentially replaced.
After this initial call in which she seemed helpful, I had a change of heart and asked for a refund as my faith in that saddle brand was rattled to say the least. She became defensive, rude and implied she did not believe me. She refused to make a refund. After some shocking interactions I had to contact David Kaden, owner of Specialized. Michelle was adamant not to lose her commission . Many emails later and approximately a month later I received my refund in full. A terrible experience all around.
Author: Nicola Brigham
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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