Manufacturer: Tekna (View all products by Tekna Saddlery)
Model: Close Contact- Smooth Seat (View all Close Contact- Smooth Seat reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: The Teknas are all the rage right now at one of our local tack shops because of a recent giveaway. I took the close contact model out on trial (retail $495).
Likes: It doesn't scratch, and the synthetic material is easily cleaned. The flaps are very forward and the thigh and knee block position is in a good general area.
Dislikes: The saddle design is very poor. The seat is made with a very wide twist and the cantle is very narrow, rather than the same design as a traditional close contact with a narrow twist and wide cantle. The saddle feels like someone took the seat of a VSD all-purpose saddle and put very forward jumping flaps and blocks on it in place of straight flaps and leg rolls. Because of this, I was left feeling as though I was sitting on a 2x6" throughout two light rides (walk/ trot, under 30 minutes each), and even though I spent less than 1 hour total in the saddle, my groin area was extremely sore. One of students also test rode in it and agreed that the seat is of poor design. Another issue with this saddle is the flap length. The flaps were simply too short. I am not a tall person (5'2"), yet the flaps hit me right against the inside of my knee and actually rubbed the area a little raw. Had I worn my tall boots, I believe the problem would have been even more pronounced. This saddle also has a very noticeable squeak after the horse is warmed up, and it is a dirt and dust magnet.
Quality: Overall design of this saddle is very poor and unallowing of a good connection through to the horse's back. After my first ride,when I untacked my horse, I noticed the saddle had pinched an area about the size of a baseball in the center of the left panel, but there was no evidence of pinching in the right panel. This makes me question the integrity of the saddle tree as well. The wool flocking was done decently, but I would have preferred more surface area over the panels.
Summary: Overall, this saddle's good points (well positioned blocks, easy cleanability, wool flocking) do little to redeem it's bad points (poor seat design, questionable tree/ panel design, and general discomfort when riding). I was honestly hoping that this saddle wouldn't ride like a cheap indian saddle you would buy for $150 new, but I have to say I would take one of those over a Tekna CC any day.
Usefulness Rating: 3.1 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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