Model: Australian Stock Saddle
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: Purchased the Bates Swinging Fender Poley model from Adams Horse Supply for $2070.
Likes: The EasyChange Gullet system is fairly easy to change out after you figure out what goes where and how. Takes about 10 minutes and a screwdriver. Nice to be able to adjust. Also, the CAIR panel is a great idea. The idea behind the saddle is a good one, but as you'll read below, execution is poor. Adams provided excellent customer service and took the saddle back. Seems that they've had problems with Wintec/Bates and their quality lately.
Dislikes: Quality on this saddle was truly disappointing. The leather was not soft like you would expect on a saddle this expensive. The stirrup fenders are large and bulkier than most Western saddles. The panels are a thin felt, not leather like in the photo. When I went to change out the gullet and the stirrup fenders and took a good look at the frame, I was angry about the lack of quality. In addition, one of the stirrup hangers was either slightly crooked or just too tight.
Quality: Leather quality and construction was not at all what you'd expect from a saddle that costs over $2,000, especially from Bates.
Summary: This saddle was a disappointment in many ways. If you scour the web, you'll find other tales of recent disappointment over Bates/Wintec saddles. This saddle is no exception.
Usefulness Rating: 4.18919 out of 5.
37 reader(s) voted.
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