Manufacturer: Steele Custom Saddles (View all products by Unknown)
Model: Mountaineer (View all n/a reviews)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I found Steele Trail Saddles online and decided to try out a saddle after reading positive reviews. I demo'ed a Mountaineer and didn't like the extreme high rise so I had a Mountaineer custom made with a low rise. Paid $2100.
Likes: I like the color scheme and how the underside of the saddle is similar to an english saddle.
Dislikes: I was told it would take 10 weeks to make the saddle and it took 15 weeks. There was no communication from Steele about the delay. When the saddle arrived, I was very disappointed because poor quality leather was used for one of the seat jockeys. It was floppy and cracked. I immediately complained about it and was told to send the saddle back. It took another week to get the saddle back. Riding in this saddle is a very unpleasant experience. It feels unbalanced. I am constantly shifting around in it to feel balanced. My legs drift forward so I have to bring them back underneath me. The back end feels twisted. The saddle is cut deeply in the cantle so it feels too big for me. It is their small seat, yet I have to sit on the rise to feel somewhat balanced and I could fit a rolled towel between my butt and the cantle. After a few months, I explained the problems I was having to the co-owner and he got extremely offended that I questioned the quality of the saddle. He did not offer to help me in any way. He just said the saddle will feel looser since I got the low rise saddle. When he recommended the low rise while I was ordering the saddle, he never mentioned the saddle would feel bigger than a normal 15 inch seat. I have 5 inch space between my thigh and pommel. They recommended the standard fit for my horse, but after buying my saddle, I found it is not a good fit for him either. I had a saddle fitter come out and she says the point of the tree digs into his shoulder pocket. This could explain why he stumbles more in this saddle and his gait being very choppy going downhill now.
Quality: I found the rigging to be annoying as it was attached to nylon and it flopped around so it always got caught under the saddle when putting it on my horse or saddle rack. I did not like taking the extra time to dig it out. The fenders are snapped onto synthetic stirrup leathers. I paid extra for the lightweight cedar tree. The co-owner said my saddle weighed 17 pounds. I thought it felt heavier so I weighed it and it is actually 22.5 pounds. That is a big difference!
Summary: Please learn from my very expensive mistake and avoid Steele Custom Saddles. I lost $840 selling this practically brand new, eight month old saddle. Steele Custom Saddles has terrible customer service. Once they have your money, do not expect any help in resolving a problem with an ill-fitting saddle. There are much better choices out there both in saddle quality and customer service.
Usefulness Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
20 reader(s) voted.
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