Model: 261 Reiner
Category: Reining Saddles
Purchase: I ordered this saddle online from West 20, a Crates dealer just outside of Milwaukee. I paid $1495.00 They did not have the saddle in stock in it was drop shipped from the Crates factory in Chattanooga, TN. I needed a Western saddle with a dressage type of footprint to accomplish dressage work as my horses back cannot tolerate any dressage or English saddle.
Likes: This saddle has a very nice dressage type footprint. The skirt is angles up on the side, leaving the horses pelvis totally free for movement. I ordered the wide tree. The bars are over 7" with a nice wide angle. The seat has a dressage type pocket and is VERY comfortable. When I set this saddle next to my dressage saddle, the seats are very similar. This saddle will leave an English saddle type sweat pattern. The saddle is also very light at 29 pounds.
Dislikes: There are some disappointment and I'm not sure what Crates is thinking in terms of design. I am 6'1" and was unable to get adequate length from the stirrup leathers. Also the stirrups themselves are too narrow for a man's boot. It would be easy to get hung up and dragged with the stock stirrups. I took the saddle to a saddle maker to get it customized because I like the seat so well. He removed the narrow, short stirrup leathers from the fenders and replaced them with wide, long leathers. I have 4 holes remaining at the point where the leathers are comfortable for me. I also replaced the stirrups with wide, aluminum stirrups. I paid $200 to have the new stirrup leathers stained and installed on the saddle fenders.
Quality: This isn't a $4000 saddle. It is what it is. However I like Crates way better than Billy Cook or Circle Y. I also own the Crates 9110 Reiner. In the price range of this group, the Crates stands out. I like the construction of the seat and the way the Equi Fit tree fits my horse. However, the stirrup leathers and stirrups need to be upgraded.
Summary: If you're looking for an endurance or dressage type saddle that is light and allows freedom of movement for your horse, I recommend this saddle keeping in mind the caveats on the stirrups and stirrup leathers.
Author: Steve C
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
55 reader(s) voted.
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