Manufacturer: Rider's Choice (View all products by Rider's Choice)
Model: Custom Lady Wade (G.W. Crate/Master Series) (View all Custom Lady Wade (G.W. Crate/Master Series) reviews)
Category: Roping Saddles
Purchase: Rider's Choice (riderschoicesaddle.com). I needed a saddle custom made for my wide mare. Cost was ~$1,300.
Likes: The saddle is very well made with tight stitching and quality leather. I needed a saddle for my wide Paint mare, who I was having trouble finding an off-the-shelf saddle for. After trying both a Circle Y and a Billy Cook FQHB with no luck, I decided to look into having a saddle custom made, but was dismayed when I realized that even a bare-bones, no-frill custom saddle for my girl would START at around $3,500 and could take roughly 6 months to a year to complete. My farrier told me about her Rider's Choice saddle and highly recommended them, so I decided to check them out. I was a little wary at first, because I couldn't fathom how any maker in the US could produce and sell a quality saddle at the price Rider's Choice was -- particularly since every other company I looked into was charging more than triple -- but, based on my farrier's opinion (and hours of obsessive rsee arch into the company and saddles), I gave it a go. I'm so glad I did! Not only was I able to get a fully customized saddle that fit my mare, but I was able to get all of the extra bells and whistles I wanted -- dark oil, rough-out seat and fenders, turned/tied stirrups, brass hardware, knife/hoof pick sheath, two latigos, back cinch, latigo wrapped horn, hobble ring AND a matching breast collar -- all for under $1,500. And that includes shipping. AND I received my saddle in about 8 weeks. I haven't roped off of it yet, but the saddle is sterdy and I have no doubt that it will hold up to some work. I've ridden in several brands -- Circle Y, Crates, Martin, Billy Cook and McCall -- and the quality this saddle easily matches (and, in some cases, surpasses) those bigger names. I'm not sure how they manage to do it, and it makes me wonder exactly what you are paying for when you buy a saddle from those big brands. On top of all that, I received excellent customer service. My friend is also buying a saddle from Rider's Choice, and I've already given their information out to several admires at my barn. I will continue to recommend this company.
Dislikes: The only thing I would change about the saddle is that the stirrup leathers are a bit shorter than I would like. They fit me comfortably on the very last hole, and I don't think I will ever need to go longer, but I would have liked a few more holes just in case. Still, so far it isn't a big enough problem for me to feel the need to send the saddle back.
Quality: Very good quality leather (heavier weight than my previous saddle, which was a Circle Y). Stitching is tight, and everything was made to my specifications. Leather didn't squeek, which is a plus, and was soft for brand new -- shold breal in nicely. Hardware all looks sterdy. Fleecing was good and plush.
Summary: I have already recommended Rider's Choice to my friend (who is also buying one), as well as several other people. I would definitely contact this company again for and future saddle and/or tack needs.
Author: J. Coelho
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
1 reader(s) voted.
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