Manufacturer: Down Under Saddle Supply
Model: Longreach Endurance
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle, the Longreach Endurance by Down Under Saddle Supply, about 4 years ago for around $800 new. This is from their mid-range line of Australian style saddles, and I was looking for a more secure ride, but didn't want a horn.
Likes: I LOOOOOOVE this saddle! At 48 (44 when I bought it) I am honestly not as brave and agile a rider as I was 40 years ago. I wanted 'a little more' saddle for trailriding, but I still wanted something light - and leather. The poleys are fantastic - not something you are 'bumping into' constantly at all, but great security for the steep downhills or those sudden surprizes on the trail. The saddle flaps are about 6" shorter than most traditional Aussie saddles - which was great for my short legs. The hand-stitched, padded seat is comfy and the overall feel of this saddle is pretty close contact. Very suitable for shorter backs, works wonderfully on our gaited Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses (my husband has one, too), and is available with or without a horn. Lots of brass dee-rings to tie saddlebags and stuff to. The girth supplied with it is wool felt and nylon and suede reinforced. Horses are very comfortable with this and have never had any girth sores. Customer service is great! Quality is excellent, nice leather that breaks in quickly and has held up well. Good buy for a mid-range price.
Dislikes: The big beef I have with the saddle (and I have shared this with the company) is that they make really, really, really long billets and I wish they'd put a second set of keeper on the girths to take up the unused strapping. I had a leathersmith trim the billets and add the keepers. My horse is 14.3, weighs almost 1200 lbs. and has a deep heartgirth - and we still had about 12" of 'very extra' billet on both sides. My minor dislike was the nubuck finish on the saddle (except seat), but that can be smoothed out by using Tan Kote. Other than that - great saddle!
Quality: Good quality for a mid-range price - well worth the money. Seat is hand-stitched and padded smooth leather, rest of saddle is nubuck finish in either black or brown (dark). Lots of brass dee-rings. Finished like an English saddle - stuffed panels and dark gold wool felt underneath. Weighs about 16 pounds, and comes in a wide variety of seat sizes and tree widths. Dressage-style billets with the overgirth built IN, not on outside of saddle over seat. Brass stirrup irons standard and leather stirrup pads. You can (like I did) even request childrens' length leathers if you are short! Wool felt girth with nylon webbing and suede reinforcement. Nice.
Summary: Excellent saddle for comfort, quality, value. Great for long rides. A little more secure ride without lots of added weight. Fairly close-contact. Only not giving it a "5" because I am an optimist and believe they'll even improve on this!
Usefulness Rating: 2.125 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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