Manufacturer: Crest Ridge Saddlery
Model: Sonata Saddle
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I bought my saddle lightly used from a third party, but first called Crest Ridge to try to get some information on the saddle (it was a 150-mile drive to see it and I wasn't bringing my horse, so I wanted to be informed). The owner spent quite a bit of time with me helping me figure out if it were likely to fit. She remembered that the person who bought the saddle had accidentally been given (though not charged for) the Supracor seat option, so the saddle was a better deal than the seller assumed (it was worth about $700 new, the lady was asking $375). I drove up, bought the saddle, tried it out--thank God, finally I found a good fit after months of trying to figure out the problem and scores of saddles attempted. The problem is that my quarter horse is narrow across the chest and withers, though he has good shoulders--and the angles of a "regular" western saddle were too wide--they sat on his withers then flared so there was little contact with his sides, much like a wide, low-pitched roof perched on a narrow building. By the way, I had some followup questions which the owner patiently answered by phone and email; she called me back long distance to make sure I got answers. They easily invested an hour in a customer who didn't even buy from them.
Likes: I love my Crest Ridge saddle; it's handsome, lightweight, has lots of rings for saddlebag attachments, and most important it FITS beautifully. My horse used to seem anxious while ridden; since he got a fitting saddle he has relaxed enormously. I enjoy going to Crest Ridge's site and looking at their accessories and sale items. They look to be into long-distance riding, packing, and hunting: they carry a line of saddlebags, panniers, rifle scabbards, hobbles, etc. for serious getting out on the trails with horse or mule.
Dislikes: I have no complaints.
Quality: Construction is good, but not ultimate--the seam in the back of the cantle did not catch the leather for about two inches and I had to glue. I understand they have since switched suppliers and the overall quality of a new saddle would be better than my used model's.
Summary: Crest Ridge saddles are designed with the anatomy of gaited horses in mind. I would suggest anyone with a frustrating, seemingly insoluble problem like mine investigate gaited saddles, whether Crest Ridge or other. But I would specifically recommend you try Crest Ridge for the customer service and square deal. They will require measurements and tell you what they can offer based on your horse's shape, then work the details with you till you achieve a happy solution. I would give a 5, but something's got to be left to recognize pinnacle, top-dollar saddlery, so I'll stick with a 4.
Author: Margaret Davis
Usefulness Rating: 2 out of 5.
7 reader(s) voted.
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