Manufacturer: Three Forks Saddlery
Model: Merrill Barrel Saddle
Category: Barrel Saddles
Purchase: I called 3 Forks Saddlery at Three Forks, MT and ordered the first of 4 saddles. It cost about $1500 with shipping to me. I purchased this saddle after riding one belonging to a friend who barrel races.
Likes: I like the lighter weight and that it seems to fit every type of back that it has set on. I like the deeper seat, closer than any other makes I have sat on. This is a close-contact saddle. I asked for double-tongue buckles instead of Blevins Buckles on the stirrup leathers and I like them much better. I asked for a no-cheyenne roll-cantle binding, pencil roll, bronc saddle binding, whatever you wish to call them...and I like that better. Mine was the first of it's kind made from the Merrill Barrel Saddle. Now I have 4 of them and would not trade any of them for gold bars!
Dislikes: The only dislike I have is that the stirrup leathers should have been reinforced just a bit. Maybe with just a couple rows of stitching down the centerline. The wood and plastic tree is a bit delicate so do not be dallying anything heavier than a stick horse. Is NOT designed for pulling/dragging ANYTHING!
Quality: Overall the construction and quality are very good except as written previously. Very nice leather stamping and sewing work. Nothing is crude or roughly done.
Summary: Anyone who runs barrels seriously should ride one of the Merrill Barrel Saddles sold only through 3 Forks Saddlery at Three Forks, MT. The fit and feel to horse and rider both is a 'best' rating. The price is also less than many competitors.
Usefulness Rating: 2.42857 out of 5.
7 reader(s) voted.
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