Manufacturer: Big Horn
Model: Endurance Saddle
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle used with my horse three years ago. It fit her well and I think I paid $275 for it, although it already had 5 or 6 years of 6-7 hour daily use on it. It was in good condition when I bought it, with the exception of the Cordura fenders. A friend of mine replaced the fenders with new leather ones (which was a somewhat easy process).
Likes: I like the durability of this saddle. I have taken this saddle through everything from creeks to steep mountains, and this saddle has lasted almost 1500 miles of endurance races, plus MANY more at home. Those miles include 2 100 mile races. I have jumped (very low), roped cattle, given riding lessons, and played around in this saddle and it has definitely stood the test of time. The leather is good quality, and although it has several scratches (which are only due to the many years of wear), the leather is still somewhat supple and the tree is in very good shape. I also found this saddle didn't restrict my horse's movement, even in her very long trot.
Dislikes: I have a couple complaints for this saddle. First, the seat gets very hard and the cushioning wears out pretty quick. I fixed this by buying a sheepskin seat pad, but I was still slightly disappointed. As well, the Cordura fenders rub if you wear riding tights and, after time, get a dirty color somewhat quickly. They also hold water more than leather does, but that's to be expected with Cordura. My main dislike when it comes to this saddle is its weight. This saddle weighs approximately 25 pounds when girth and stirrups are included. I have found that including water and saddle pad the saddle weighs in at 30 pounds. For regular rides, the weight probably wouldn't be an issue. However, I have a small horse and every pound counts at races. One last pet peeve about this saddle: it squeaks like no other saddle I have ever ridden in before. This only started after we replaced the fenders, so perhaps it is not the manufacturer's fault, but the squeaking gets very annoying after 50 miles. However, I have learned to live with it.
Quality: The quality of the base and tree of the saddle is really good. This saddle has kept up with the best endurance saddles, like the Kanavy, Sharon Saare, etc... Big Horn definitely gets an A for construction and quality.
Summary: This saddle is great for juniors and featherweights who need the extra weight while racing, and will withstand the test of time for any regular trail rider or amateur endurance racer.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
2 reader(s) voted.
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