Manufacturer: Down Under Saddlery
Model: Exmoor (Kimberly) synthetic Australian endurance saddle with horn
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: Purchased direct from Down Under Saddlery (Colorado). I had FREE shipping and an additional discount on a second (small wrinkle in jockey) so my price was UNDER $200 delivered.
Likes: The only thing I like about this saddle is that it looks nice and is extremely light weight. Accommodates 'two finger' withers and a wide back.. like our neighbor's Arab and a mare I used to own (Appy).
Dislikes: This is an adjustable Wide Tree Aussie endurance by Exmoor (name on my invoice). The fit is totally wrong despite wither tracing, pictures, breed and other information sent in. This was supposed to fit my Haflinger Horse. It is about 3 inches too narrow in the gullet and bridges badly on the typical breed type gelding that he is (low to no withers, wide back, short back, and a slightly higher hip. The memory foam padding under the lightly stuffed panels does not do the trick for cushioning like a regular Aussie Stock saddle with serge panels. The flair is steep, more like I would find in a semi-qh tree. not a FQHB or EXQHB that I expected with the short wide tree with the fully open gullet. It slips. on every horse i have used it on there is now way it will stay on. Even on my Easy Jet mare with Three Finger withers! I did use it a time or two on my Appy mare and she LOVED it. She had a bit longer, not quite as wide back as the haflinger and those nice withers with the hollow behind the shoulders so the forward bar area had a place to snuggle in comfortably. Other complaints are cheap 'leathers' of nylon, the leather stirrup hooks are shallow and hard to set any leather that is heavier leather. The girthing is not comfortable, it pinches and does not have a secure anchor either. Flimsy billits. If you fit it for an overgirth and circingle it would stay on better especially if you use a no slip pad under your saddle pad. Oh I was sold a fairly pricy wool half pad made just for Down Under for their endurance saddles. It is a lovely fluffy wool half pad that does not keep my horses cool and it is made to be up under the saddle seat, not down the sides where it needs to be to stop pinching and give the horse some padding from the Dressage Girthing system. Not nearly enough rings or Ds but more than most. I would not recommend this as a spare saddle as it seems to fit a narrow band of horse body styles. So if this fits your horse, it's a dream. If it does not, it is a nightmare.
Quality: The synthetic suede seat is VERY comfortable, the stirrup leather hooks are placed very well so taking a proper seat is very natural, takes pressure OFF knees and hips. The one long ride I took in this on my Appy mare did not cause ANY spinal or knee pain which was great! The stitching underneath is coming apart so it is not that well made after using it really for under 40 miles. Probably under 10 miles. The rest of the saddle holds up nicely out in the tack barn, it is my 'to go' saddle for playing tack up with the young horses and to keep the injured horse happy and feeling useful. If it is not cinched up tight enough to ride, but enough to stay on it seems to not bother any of the horses regardless of age or body shape.
Summary: If it would have been reasonable to ship it back (shipping fees) vs keeping it. I would have sent it back. I would not recommend this for any reason. If one comes your way and you get the chance to try it on and it fits, you will love it. I have bought expensive leather saddles from Down Under and they have always had a good fit. The customer service at DU cannot be beat! We may be trying to fit our Warmblood or Draft X sized horse into inexpensive saddles as the cost of fit and comfort. There are a few other companies that make good synthetics if you want to swim (like we do) with the big horses ).
Author: Elizabeth Ross
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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