Manufacturer: Oak Ridge Saddle Co. (View all products by Oak Ridge Saddle Co.)
Model: 12" Rough out barrel saddle (View all 12" Rough out barrel saddle reviews)
Category: Barrel Saddles
Purchase: Purchased after a barn mate bought one for her daughter, and I tried it on my hard to fit horse and it was a decent fit and seemed decent quality. Ebay purchase $225 + shipping. Seller also included a western light oil headstall and reins. After numerous emails with seller, it was supposedly going to have stirrups go short enough once I added additional holes to fit a 36" tall 3.5 yr old.
Likes: Seemed nicely put together, with light oil leather with floral carving and basket design,accented with Nickel spots. Rough-out leather jockey and fenders are wobble tooled and made of genuine harness leather. Suede seat with rawhide 4" cantle laced with silver and rawhide horn. Made in USA. Supposed to be a 6.5-6 3/4" gullet to fit a regular sized horse with FQHB. In skirt rigging. Lightweight, approx. 20 lbs. There was a lot of room to add additional holes in the fenders (added 15 (spaced a 1/2" apart) on one side, and only 13 on other side due to lack of space), but it turned out that the information the seller gave was INCORRECT. The shortest I can make the stirrups from the center of the seat is 20", not the the 15" that the seller said it would go down to. The seat is nicely padded, and while the leather is thinner than most other saddles, I think it will hold up to a 30lb 3 yr old for quite a while. It has a nice light oil finish, and nice tooling, as well as silver type studs placed along the skirt edge. The seat is padded nicely, and the saddle does not seem too wide for my 3 yr old (could probably fit well in a 10" saddle).
Dislikes: After seeing my friend's saddle and putting hands on, I found two nails that were poking through the synthetic fleece on her saddle. I sat down with mine, and also found two nails poking through the fleece under the conchos. The padding in the seat is nice, although it is not situated straight under the suede. The leather strip behind the suede in front of the rawhide cantle is very uneven, as well as there being a 'fold' in the leather on the backside of the seat between cantle and skirt. Wondering about the consistency from saddle to saddle. Friend's saddle bars seemed to flare out in front, one of mine does, the other side doesn't seem to flare.
Quality: Construction could be better - while the tree seems solid, the skirts were not put on straight and the leather is thinner than most saddles. The nails used were too long and are poking through. If anything, the silver used is silver plate, but I don't expect it to stay looking that way for too long. Fenders are nylon lined, so I won't worry too much about the thinner leather, so that is a plus. I just wish they had taken a little more time in putting my saddle together. If I new more about saddle building I would unscrew the saddle skirts and re-attach it evenly.
Summary: While I know you get what you pay for, I was wanting a cheaper yet safe saddle for my little one to learn to ride in. We will use buddy stirrups until she can reach the stirrups. I think this saddle will be great for learning, security, horse's comfort, and my peace of mind. If you have the money to spend more for a new saddle for your little one, then I would recommend buying a more common name brand. If not, then I do think this saddle is OK. My problem was the hard to fit horse, and I knew it would be close to fitting.
Usefulness Rating: 3.46154 out of 5.
13 reader(s) voted.
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