Manufacturer: High Horse by Circle Y
Model: El Campo Gaited
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I was looking for a western saddle for my short-backed, mutton withered Rocky Mountain horse. I've done a lot of research, and many people say saddles for gaited horses are just marketing hype. However, I was skeptical of that because the same people would say they use full QH bar saddles, but have to shim them up because they're too wide at the withers. Gee, does that not create a whole new problem? Now, if the saddle fits, that is one thing, but why create other pressure points? Then there are some "custom" gaited saddle makers, but they use the same trees as some of the other makers, so they don't really offer anything special. And some custom gaited saddles don't sit comfortably and make the rider feel as if their hips are being pulled out of socket. Some gaited saddles have too much rock. Some have trees that are too narrow. But the El Campo fits my hard-to-fit Rocky like a glove!
Likes: The saddle fit is awesome! It has 4 rigging options: center fire, full, 3/4 & 7/8 (I think those are the correct numbers). The 3/4 fit my guy just fine. There was a good amount of room for his shoulders and he gaited perfectly! The round skirt ensures nothing gets in his way. I like that the stirrups adjust short enough for me. It's hard to find a western saddle for the short-legged rider. The seat is padded, but it was a little harder than expected. However, I've ridden English all my life and don't expect to sit in a Lay-Z-Boy when I ride. Excellent quality leather and cordura saddle. Not at all junky looking like some. Should last for years and years to come!
Dislikes: The fleece on the bottom will probably mash down a little more than I would like to see. However, using a quality pad like the Toklat contour pad that I have should help keep that from happening.
Quality: A nice quality of leather. It's not the same quality as the Circle Y show saddles, but then who wants to take that on the trails to be ruined? Why expect to get a Cadillac when you really need a Jeep? It looks and feels nice, not at all junky like so many other leather cordura saddles. You can easily use every day, on the trail or even lower level shows.
Summary: You can buy this for way less than I paid if you do a search, there are some to be found in the $550 to $650 range. But I chose to shop locally knowing that my horse is so difficult to fit - that way I didn't have shipping and restocking fees to mess with. But it fits awesome so it's worth every penny! Plus, there is a bit of a back order from the maker if you order. This was sitting on the rack calling my name.
Usefulness Rating: 3.90909 out of 5.
11 reader(s) voted.
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