Manufacturer: American Saddlery
Model: Ekto Five
Category: Barrel Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle from tacksouth.com for $478.
Likes: This was my first barrel saddle since I was just beginning to barrel race and I didn't quite want to dump $2,500 into a saddle I wasn't sure I was going to use a lot yet. It was comfortable from day one and I like how you sit in the saddle and not pitched forward like some barrel saddles. It has held up incredibly well for such an inexpensive saddle and still looks nice. I recommend the swept back swells like this saddle has for the beginner barrel racer. They help keep you where you need to be when you're just starting out. I would rather go to a saddle without them now since I have become a better rider, but they are good for the beginner, I think.
Dislikes: I wish the saddle would have come with aluminum stirrups as these stirrups are slippery and I have lost them in the middle of a run. It is also difficult to get the stirrups to develop a henley twist which I wish the saddle had just came with originally. I have done a lot of soaking, oiling and broom handling and they still lie flat! That can be annoying.
Quality: The saddle came very dry. I had to do A LOT of oiling to make it look like real leather. Face it, you buy a cheaper saddle and the leather will not be great. However, I believe the saddle and the leather hold up very well to wear.
Summary: For the money, I think this saddle is adequate bang for your buck. I think this saddle is ideal for the beginning barrel racer. I will now be trading up for a Martin saddle (since I'm now convinced that this is something I will be doing a lot of) but if you're just starting out and not sure if you want to spend $2,500 on a new saddle yet, then this is the saddle for you. It will carry you well and hold up to all your new training and hours of practice.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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