Model: Maxam All (General) Purpose Saddle
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I had this saddle (a used 18" all purpose) on trial from a friend as I was shopping for a new saddle for my Arab mare.
Likes: It's lightweight and the high cutback pommel cleared my Arab mare's knife withers.
Dislikes: Well, where to start... for one, it's INCREDIBLY PAINFUL TO RIDE IN! I went out for a hack in it and what a nightmare. My seat bones were being rubbed raw, not just for sitting trot but for rising trot and walking- I did not even attempt a canter or gallop as I was in too much pain. I do not know what my seat bones were hitting but I had a sore butt after I rode in this saddle, something I haven't had since I started riding 20 years ago! Maybe I just have wide seat bones but I think it was the seams that were hitting my bones as I had a smaller hipped rider (who happens to be 9 years old) try out this saddle and she said it was comfortable? I am 5'9", normal weight for my height and not particularly wide hipped for a woman (my hips are 38") but the fit was all wrong for me. There was bad chafing at the pommel and when doing rising trot, it felt like I was riding a saddle not a horse as it felt so big, stiff and bulky. I HATE big knee rolls and this saddle forced my legs into unnatural positions like having my lower legs and feet jut forward (like you see old men riding in antique hunting prints and photos) due to the massive knee rolls. Totally wrong and old fashioned for the modern hunter rider. It SQUEAKS too!!! It's not the tree but just the whole saddle in general when you ride any faster than a slow walk. I was using my normal leather stirrup straps off my old saddle and it still squeaked. The girth billets are really stiff and when tightening my girth from the ground, one of the nylon "insides" of the billets had it's hole slightly warped from the synthetic outer coating (if this makes sense) which made it a bit awkward to get the girth buckle into the billet hole. Although it fit my Arab mare (and strangely, wasn't too long for her short back even though it was an 18" saddle), she hated it. She did not want to go forward and I had to really kick her to get her going into a shuffling trot (maybe it was because the saddle was forcing my legs to jut forward!). My back was in so much pain as the depth of the seat was forced my back to arch inwards and I think my mare was sensing my pain which is why she wasn't happy either. I couldn't wait to get back to the stables and get off the "thing".
Quality: It seemed well made and sturdy considering it was a cheap saddle but it concerned me that the inside nylon core of the billet straps had started to warp the billet holes.
Summary: I do not recommend this saddle to anyone but if you have no choice in buying one, then at least try it before you buy it as it may not fit your physique.
Author: Leila M.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
2 reader(s) voted.
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