Manufacturer: Saint Lourdes (View all products by Saint Lourdes Saddlery)
Model: Tango (View all Tango reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: About two and half to three years ago, I bought the Saint Lourdes Tango Close Contact Saddle for $500 at our local contact. I liked the color (a light brown seat with slightly darker flaps, with a textured flap), shape, and price of the saddle, and had heard that it was the best for it's price.
Likes: I still like the color and shape of the saddle; it's seat is very comfortable and, well, easy to sit in without making it hard to stand. What I also loved about it was the fact that it fit a 14 hand pony as well as my own Belgian cross; it fit the thoroughbreds, warm bloods - ponies and horses alike.
Dislikes: Though the saddle did fit a variety of horses, the padding was not consistent - I had to use entirely different padding on the horses I rode than everyone else did. This fact aside, I found the sizing was also strange. While my body still has inches from the back of my 16 1/2" saddle, my thigh is already past the flap; three people I know who own this saddle have similar difficulties. Another thing is, I have oiled my saddle 10 or 12 times of the past three years and it hasn't softened the leather a bit; the saddle also continues to squeak.
Quality: For it's price, I suppose the saddle isn't terrible. It's universal, and it puts your body in a fairly good position. I didn't find it's quality satisfactory, however: the stitching came undone in days, and the leather isn't good quality at all. The leather neither softens nor darkens. Dirt sticks to the textured flaps like a magnet, and the pommel wears easily. Price aside, I would say the quality of the saddle is quite poor, giving it about a 2 on a scale of 1 - 10.
Summary: If you're looking for a universal saddle, for an inexpensive price, for riding in once or twice a week, I would say go with the St. Lourdes Tango. However, if you can afford to upgrade to the next price level, I would say you should do that. If you own your own horse, I would definitely veer from this saddle, since universality is perhaps less of a factor and it would be put into frequent use. The bottom line is, to get this saddle soft (if it's possible) and to successfully maintain it you may have to spend more money on supplies than you did on the saddle in the first place.
Usefulness Rating: 3.15 out of 5.
20 reader(s) voted.
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