Manufacturer: Down Under Saddle Supply
Model: Lite Rider Endurance
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: Purchased from Down Under Saddle Supply as a used/demo saddle for $375.
Likes: I have never been so comfortable nor felt so secure. I've spent nearly every day of two months in this saddle breaking my green gelding to trails. Other people in my group have come off when our horses have spooked at various things and I'm always snug in my seat. You can post in this saddle all day--so unlike every other Aussie saddle I've tried and the short "endurance" flap allows me to feel my horse. I've actually been able to practice my dressage lessons while trail riding because my position and contact are so perfect. I've even jumped small brush piles and logs(up to 2 ft.) just as if I were in an English saddle.
Dislikes: The stirrup bar is not recessed, and I got pinpoint bruises on my chubby thighs from it. That problem was solved with a merino wool seat saver--not the kind you get from Down Under. Get one that covers the whole saddle like I did and you'll be in glorious comfort. Allow an extra inch in seat size for the seat saver--it's that cushy! The saddle panels are very poorly padded and the gullet clearance is terrible so you will need a good saddle pad or combination of pads to fix that.
Quality: The leather seems to scuff very easily. The billets are ridiculously long, but at least they will fit any dressage girth and I was able to find one with a lot of keepers. Also, the billets go through a pocket of the monoflap, but, fitting wise, that didn't work for me. I ride with them out of the flap and the flap doesn't ride up so all is well. I got a little fender torque (knee pain) from the Aussie-size leathers, but less so now that I've switched out the irons for endurance stirrups, and I can always switch to thinner English leathers if I need to since they would fit the stirrup bar.
Summary: Out of the box, this saddle was far from perfect. However, with the accommodations I've made, it has fit my needs beautifully. I would strongly recommend this saddle for anyone who is in need of a little extra security on the trails but prefers an "Englishy" saddle.
Usefulness Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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