Manufacturer: American Saddlery
Model: Ekto Four
Category: Barrel Saddles
Purchase: I got the saddle at Four T Saddles and Tack in Ben Wheeler, TX. I got it for a playday saddle to replace the trail saddle I had been using and believe I paid $425.00 for it.
Likes: First of all, it's comfortable. It was comfy the first time I sat on it and still is now, over a year and a half later. It's also very lightweight for a square-skirted saddle. The tooling is very minimal, which is nice if you aren't into spending tons of time cleaning the crud out of all the pretty details. With the beartrap front, it gives a very secure ride, which is great if your equine partner can't decide if it was meant for barrels or bronc riding. So far it's worn fairly well and has held up to plenty of abuse. I like it for competition and all-day trail rides, as well. Plus, every person I've let ride it, says they wish they had a saddle just like it!
Dislikes: Some of the leather seems like it scuffed pretty easily, but not bad enough to make me dislike the saddle. I probably just needed to oil it more when it was new. It's a rather wide saddle, so if you have a high-withered horse, you may have to use an extra pad.
Quality: I was very impressed with the construction considering it's just a cheap, entry-level saddle. I don't know if it would stand up to the beating of hard-core competition, but I've used it in competition nearly every weekend through the spring, summer and fall since I got it, plus MANY hours trail riding and breaking a colt with it with no complaints.
Summary: It's a great saddle if you're not ready to spend $1000 (or more) on a pro saddle. This is one instance where I believe you get more than what you pay for. It holds up well and would be especially good for a beginner barrel racer that needs a more secure seat. I also use a Martha Josey Ultimate, and I like the Ekto better!
Usefulness Rating: 2.2 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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