Manufacturer: Cashel (View all products by Cashel)
Model: SoftSaddle (View all Soft Saddle reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle on Ebay, for $130 with a cinch. It was purple and I was told it was a Medium, but it turned out to be a small. I had some Cashel saddle pads and I liked the feel of the foam, I thought it would be really comfy to ride in a saddle made out of it. The price was right and I could not resist giving it a try. Plus I really wanted to try a treeless saddle, this is the only thing I could afford.
Likes: This saddle is SO COMFORTABLE to sit in!!! I'm used to riding in close contact saddles, and they always seem too hard to me. I loved that it would fit any horse, because its just foam and it would conform to any back shape. I do not have my own horse so I tried it on some school horses. I felt so much closer to the horse and I think it lets the horse move much better too. It is very light too. I would describe it as a cross between a bareback pad and a saddle. It does not give you great stability like a treed saddle, you can not depend on it for balance. I would not recommend it to beginners learning to ride. But its an awesome tool to develop better balance on the horse. I even jumped small jumps in it, no problem! My friends rode in it too and loved it.
Dislikes: Unfortunately it is not perfect and I did find some things I disliked. I'm very used to riding in a close contact saddle with knee rolls and my leg is always on the horse. The soft saddle has no knee roll and the flap is about 2" thick, so it holds your leg away from the horse like a western saddle. I also hated the stirrups and western cinch it came with, but thats an easy solution, I just put my english stirrups on it and dressage billits with a dressage girth. I solved the knee roll problem by making my own knee rolls out of cashel foam. And the contact problem I solved by just cutting away the lower part of the panel so my leg could be on the horse. That worked! Now it felt wonderful! It can also tend to slip to the side, so I would recommend a breastcollar, non-slip girth and pad. You can mount from the ground as long as you do it really quick and the horse is not too tall. Unfortunately I had to sell the saddle because I need a Large and I was riding in a Small. Also the price is a little much if you buy it from Cashel, I would look for a better deal on Ebay.
Quality: I will DEFINATELY buy another one of these saddles in the correct size when I get my own horse. I know I would use it all the time. It is well made, the foam and neoprene is glued together well. I think its a little overpriced for what you get, but you can't beat the comfort! I didn't have it for long enough to see how it holds up, but the foam will last as long as it is not abused. If you store it properly and take care of it, it will last a while, but not as long as a leather saddle, that's for sure.
Summary: If you like the feel of riding bareback but like a little more security this is the saddle for you! Its super comfortable, fits any horse and makes you a better rider. You might have to adjust it to your individual taste like I had to, but give it a try!
Author: Marina B.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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