Manufacturer: Hilason Treeless Saddles (View all products by Hilason Saddlery)
Model: Western Barrel Racer with Cowhide Seat (View all Western Barrel Racer with Cowhide Seat reviews)
Category: Barrel Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle directly from Hilason Company out of Texas. I contacted them through their ebay sales page. I asked them if they discount any of their saddles if they have been for sale for a while and they said to make them an offer and they may take it. Well I made them an offer of $375.00 including shipping, and they accepted. I paid through paypal, but didn't buy through ebay which was OK with me. I got my saddle promptly but I was far from impressed with it.
Likes: The Cowhide seat was of good quality and the fleece on the bottom was nice.
Dislikes: I thought the cowhide seat was fine but a MAJOR difference b/w the Bob Marshall and the Hilason is that Bob Marshall has a seam that runs down the center of the seat which allows the saddle to sit down on the horse's back properly. The Hilason "wings" out on the sides because there isn't this IMPORTANT feature. It just doesn't conform to the back of the horse. This causes you to not be able to tighten down the saddle properly or get it tight enough to mount without pulling the saddle off the side of your horse. SOOOO I finally got on the saddle and was very very disappointed. I couldn't get my feet comfortably in the stirrups because they were too stiff to move them into a different position. They hang directly beneath the rider and are so stiff that you can't reposition them once your feet are in the stirrups. I think the rigging is just placed wrong. Also, the cantle isn't very solid. I have had 3 Bob Marshall Treeless saddles and the cantle was firmly in place. This saddle felt like you could grasp it and rip it off the saddle. If they would change these problems they would have a good product even though the silver was sub-par and the leather wasn't top quality. It would be worth the money if they could make it usable even with less than perfect materials.
Quality: "Mexican" quality leather. Low Quality Sliver conchos. Cantle wasn't firmly attached.
Summary: I give it a D. Bottom line is that it needs to be usable. Not pretty but usable. That is why I bought it. I wanted something similar to a Bob Marshall. I didn't expect it to be the same quality leather because I wasn't paying the premium price of a Bob Marshall but they are trying to be a copy-cat of the BM so I expected it to function similarly which it didn't!
Author: Vikki Hyde
Usefulness Rating: 2.625 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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