Manufacturer: Down Under Saddle Supply (View all products by Down Under Saddle Supply)
Model: Kimberley Synthetic Stock Saddle SAD 280 without horn color: brown (View all Kimberley Synthetic Stock SAD 280 reviews)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle from the manufacture after a few phone calls with questions. They guided me in choosing the best model for me and my horse. They were knowledgeable about their products and addressed my concerns about potential fitting problems. I paid $299 for this saddle, with an additional upgrade of $15 for the Synthetic Endurance Stirrup (STIR 22579 ). At the time of purchase they were running a promotion that included a free pad for orders over $200. I was advised to choose the Shaped Felt Shim Pad (PAD 537) to help correct fitting problems. A girth was included in the price of the saddle, I choose the Neoprene Aussie Girth (GIRT 360) Up to that point I had been using an older Circle Y western trail saddle. It was very heavy, and I felt it didn't really fit either of us all that well. My main reason for purchasing a new saddle was better fit for both us. Next concern was getting something significantly lighter. We trail ride over some moderate to difficult terrain , saddle fit and weight were becoming an issue. My move to an Aussie saddle was prompted by a desire to try something entirely different. After much reading online I decided to give this a try. I read many tack reviews about aussie saddles in general, although no one I knew personally had ever ridden with one. I choose the low price model in case this "didn't work" so no great $$ loss. The saddle was shipped promptly after payment was rendered, they were a pleasure to deal with.
Likes: Comfort for me and my horse, lighter weight, and seat security! I LOVE this saddle! My horse has a slight to moderate "sway back" so proper fit was a concern. After speaking to the sales person, I was advised to send a wither tracing (easy to do) so they could suggest the best model and also adjust it to fit my horse. The saddle fit well for both of us and for me the seat is much more comfortable then the old saddle. Also the increase in seat security due to the unique aussie shape and the ultrasuede covered seat is fabulous! I have about 25 hours in this saddle so far and I will never buy any other kind of saddle for trail riding again. I've had many western saddles over the years and this is by far the best saddle I've had in terms of comfort and security. I would recommend this saddle to anyone, especially a novice rider.
Dislikes: I can honestly say there is nothing negative about this saddle. It is very different from a western saddle and so took some getting used to as far as putting it on and "seat feel" but thats not a negative. Tightening a girth with billets turned out to be a little more difficult (than the western cinch) for me so I also purchased a girth tightening tool which solved that problem. (My horse is tall, and I am not, you see the problem) Now, about the pad. The pad disappointed me in terms of quality. After 25 hours of use the felt is already tearing at the withers. I will need to get another pad very soon as this one will be unusable shortly. I am considering calling and complaining because I feel this is much to soon to wear out. I like the "shim pocket" feature of this pad but the quality is just not there.
Quality: Even though this is an inexpensive saddle it is not too "cheaply made". For the price point it is very good quality. Don't get me wrong, it's not top quality, but what you get for the amount of money is very good. I don't expect it to last for ever but I'm sure it will last long enough for me to feel it was worth the price.
Summary: This saddle was an experiment, and it has convinced me. At some point in the future I will purchase a higher quality, more expensive Aussie saddle, most likely from this company. If serious trail riding is your "thing" I would encourage anyone to give this saddle a try. The quality for price is good enough to make this a fine experiment saddle.
Author: toni w
Usefulness Rating: 4.33333 out of 5.
57 reader(s) voted.
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