Manufacturer: Sensation Saddle (View all products by Sensation)
Model: Hybrid (View all Hybrid reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I have a very hard-to-fit Rocky Mountain Horse that is very sensitive; I have RA with a hip replacement and get uncomfortable when I ride in most saddles. I've tried/owned over 34 saddles,and the Hybrid is the best one, hands down. I got a used Western for $ 800, switched to a used Hybrid $ 1,000, and finally got a costum-made from Abby at Saddle Solutions for $ 1,500, that was a return.
Likes: I started with the Western Sensation, because I felt it would be the most secure. I'm not very strong physically and have weak legs, so I was concerned about the lack of horn. Eventually I switched to a used Hybrid, which gave me terrible hip pain, until I discovered it was a 14.5" not a 15.5". I got a new 16.5" Hybrid, outfitted it with large knee blocks and it is hands down the most secure saddle I've ever ridden in. I'm very tall, almost 6' with long legs, so the free swinging stirrups, combined with being able to move the stirrup base has helped me get my hips and legs in the very best position to feel comfortable and safe. My hands are very arthritic, so light weight of the saddle lets me unload, tack up and untack all by myself! All the accessories help make for the perfect fit, and Nickers Saddlery, even though I didn't buy the first two from them, are always willing to help with advice. There is also a Treeless Saddle Support Group on Yahoo Groups with many Sensation dealers and owners, and they will answer any question posted in minutes. You won't find another saddle with so many supporters. And most importantly it fits my horse, the pickiest and most sensitive horse ever. He likes this saddle and gaits well in it.
Dislikes: I like every single thing.
Quality: I am a little OCD about quality and construction of saddles and will nitpick them all day long. With the Sensation I've not seen a single flaw. Both my used ones came to me in excellent condition. The wear very well and if you polish them they will look brand-new forever. I keep my indoors in the a/c. The leather is buttery soft and high quality. All the stitches are perfect, the piping, the cutting is perfectly symmetric and very professional. D-rings perfectly placed. The leather doesn't dent or scratch at all with regular wear, not at all like a leather Western saddle that already can look used after a few rides. All the accessories are well-made, stirrups, leathers, girths etc. I have a felt Sensation self-adjusting girth, and the felt velcros off so it can be washed separately. Love this saddle. Well worth every penny.
Summary: If you love to ride long hours and have your horse and you be perfectly comfortable this is the perfect saddle. If you have physical limitations like I do, this saddle can be customized in many ways to work for you; you can also speak to Dana at Nickers Saddlery (owner and inventor) and she can custom-make it for you to accommodate your needs or make it in the colors you want. Don't let the lack of horn or the fact that the Hybrid model looks English make you feel that this is not a safe and secure saddle. I'm a physically weak rider, and after trying 34 saddle this one has been the most secure for me of all of them. The treeless saddle gives you close contact and seats you on the horse not above it like a treed saddle. There are no hard parts at all and it fits many different body shapes of horse. Worth every penny.
Usefulness Rating: 3.41176 out of 5.
17 reader(s) voted.
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