Manufacturer: Sycamore Creek Saddles, Nashville Tennessee
Model: CTK TASO 14
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: In my search to find a saddle to fit my very low and wide withered arabian cross I was about to pull my hair out. I'd been through an arabian tree saddle by Abetta, and the Wintec English with the changeable gullets, all to no avail. The Abetta left dry spots on her withers, and the Wintec just royally upset her, ears pinned, and crow hopping around. My being over fifty, short, and lacking the flexibility of my younger days, a saddle to fit this horse was critical, but I did not have the budget for a custom made saddle. What to do? Enter Tony Pritchett from Sycamore Creek Saddles, and his custom made Taso14 for $467 including shipping.
Likes: The Taso 14 is a gaited horse style saddle. I liked the flexibility I had during the creation process with this saddle. Tony had me measure my horse, and photograph my horse from several angles. I was able to select the color of my saddle, the color of the stitching, and I added six extra rings to hang my gear. For a small additional fee I was able to add 100% natural wool to the underside. Included in the price was a crupper, which I needed as I distance ride and the crupper helps on up and down hills. The saddle was well-made and feels "solid". Not like those off the shelf assembly models. The cantle has a curve to it and gives a very secure seat when riding. The pommel is similar to the old McClellen's but there the similarity ends because he made me the softest padded seat I've ever seen. The rise of the tree in your groin area is not intrusive so I don't expect any rubs or saddle soreness (take note ladies). I have enough dees and rings that I could probably hog tie my husband and take him along if I wanted ***grin***. The workmanship was good. This saddle is handmade so does not have the look of an assembly line saddle. Not all of the stitching on the cantle is 100% perfection, but again it is very good, solidly stitched, and you would have to really look hard to find the imperfection. I think being hand stitched, that is to be expected. The leather was soft and pliable, and of good quality. The saddle weighs seventeen pounds which is fairly light for a gaited trail saddle. Service from Sycamore Creek Saddlery was outstanding. I expected this saddle to take at least three months from start to finish as the saddle maker is in Columbia (South America). It was delivered to my door by Fed Ex in five weeks. Throughout the process I must have asked Tony a hundred questions. He coordinated getting the saddle made and delivered timely. He was patient and always got back to me. After delivery he wanted to know how I felt about the saddle as they are always looking to improve their product and service.
Dislikes: There really wasn't anything that I don't like about the saddle. The only issues that I had with it related to my rigging, and that was not a saddle issue. This saddle has center fired rigging which requires a longer latigo than the six foot one I had on hand. Especially if your wide load horse has been eating too many groceries!
Quality: The saddle was well constructed, solid, and of good quality for the price. We are hoping they will develop one that is strictly for Endurance....if so I'll buy again. The construction of the seat was different than any saddle I've tried and I really like how it puts your butt right where it should be, on your seat bones (which are cushioned by a good inch of padding).
Summary: If you like your money and want a good saddle for a fair price, the TASO 14 which is made for gaited horses (but will work for any horse) is a great buy, fair price, with exceptional customer service. I'd recommend this saddle for any gaited enthusiast or trail rider who has comfort, usability, and affordability in mind.
Author: J.R. INDIANA
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
12 reader(s) voted.
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