PDA

View Full Version : Synthetic Saddles



patchworkpony
Feb. 14, 2006, 02:23 PM
I have started to see a lot more synthetic saddles now adays. I remember not too many years ago there was a huge scare where people were saying their horses were being rubbed or pinched by these saddles.

Is this still true?

Was it ever true?

What brands are good and which or not?

chicamuxen
Feb. 15, 2006, 04:23 AM
The saddle that fits your horse well is the "good" brand for you. Every horse is different. Of course, there are so many saddles today that are available in multiple widths. It used to be that the typical saddle had only one or two tree widths available. Not so anymore.

Wintec has many different gullet widths and now has an extra wide saddle available that has a couple of different gullet plates available. However, only the front of the saddle is changed when the gullets are swapped out and the back half of the saddle tree remains the same. In my opinion this is a problem.

Thorogood makes a variety of saddles for different types of horse backs. They have very wide panels and the panels width down the whole length of the saddle have a more consistant slope than the changeable Wintecs.

There is a bigger selection of western style (and hornless endurance) saddles available now. More widths and style types. Abetta has quite a variety.

chicamuxen

patchworkpony
Feb. 15, 2006, 06:47 AM
What does everyone think of big horn saddles? I am mostly interested in the western synthetic type.

chicamuxen
Feb. 16, 2006, 07:32 AM
I know that a lot of endurance riders use Big Horns and Abetta saddles. You may find the Abetta has more variety available in trees. A friend is using one and is quite happy with it. She competes a lot and is comfortable in it but of course it has to fit the horse. Most tack stores don't have all the endurance styles in stock. You should do some research before ordering and then make sure that it fits your horse.

chicamuxen

GallopHer
Feb. 16, 2006, 07:35 AM
I have both Big Horn and Abetta synthetic saddles. I love both of them and they have held up well. Just be sure to find one in a tree that fits your horse. Both brands are available in different tree sizes, although I have found that neither comes in a tree wide enough for some horses.

Bogie
Feb. 16, 2006, 07:51 AM
I bought an Abetta for my husband to ride in and am very impressed by its comfort (for both rider & horse) and low price.

patchworkpony
Feb. 16, 2006, 08:47 AM
Well, I was thinking of getting one because I may be buying a growing horse. She is pretty narrow now, but looks like she could fill OUT when she stops growing UP. I don't want to buy an expensive saddle when it may not fit her very long. I just wanted to know if there was anything wrong with them. You know like pinching or rubbing?

GallopHer
Feb. 16, 2006, 12:52 PM
I've never noticed either of my saddles pinching or rubbing. And the seats are very comfortable for me. I love the fact that they are so light weight.

patchworkpony
Feb. 16, 2006, 01:16 PM
Where did you get yours? On line? Etc?

I was planning to do have her fitted for tree size and then keep an eye out for one cheap at a tack swap or on line.

Bogie
Feb. 16, 2006, 01:46 PM
I paid $260 for mine through a dealer on ebay.

~DressageJunkie~
Feb. 16, 2006, 07:18 PM
Patchworkpony, I have a nice Wintec that does not fit my gelding anymore (grew) They are alright saddles, definetly for the growing horses. They are comfy if they fit you and your horse. Mine is a 16 inch seat with a med/wide tree and I am tring to sell it for $100

matryoshka
Feb. 17, 2006, 04:47 AM
I love my Abetta endurance saddle, even if the stirrups are a little too far forward. None of my horses have gotten a sore back from it, and I kind of have to use it on every horse I ride. I have two different saddle pads I put on depending on how high the horse's withers are. I even used it on a pony I was training. I know it isn't a good idea to use one saddle on a variety of horses, but this is the only saddle I can use (other than a western that definitely does NOT transfer to different back shapes well) that keeps my hip from causing me pain. I don't have the $$$ to buy a different Abetta saddle for every horse I own.

patchworkpony
Feb. 17, 2006, 12:01 PM
Sounds like they aren't too expensive.

Sorry, dressagejunkie I don't know what horse I'm getting yet or their whither size anyway, so can't buy a saddle just yet.

weaver
Feb. 17, 2006, 02:59 PM
I will be new to this sport this coming year. I am a dressage saddle person and find that this saddle is one of the favorites of endurance riders, light and the set back stirrup bars place your leg right for the endurance also. I have a western abetta and only use it if I have to, which I usually find a reason not to.

patchworkpony
Feb. 17, 2006, 06:09 PM
I really like the look and feel of the wintec isabell with the removable gullets. Has anyone used one of these? How do they fit??

HoRsEYGaL8o8
Feb. 17, 2006, 06:52 PM
I've ridden in synthetic as well as know people who own them. Wintec's are very good, I don't have one but I've ridden in an english as well as western saddle. I found the western to be a little hard in the seat but the english is very comfortable. I haven't found that they bother horses any more. But then again it really depends on the horses build. I approve of synthetic saddles though. They're easy to keep and very light and comfortable.

patchworkpony,
My friend has one of those removable gullet ones. Personally I don't like them because I feel like they put me in a really forward seat. But it really depends on you I guess. Good Luck!

lv2hnt
Feb. 17, 2006, 06:55 PM
We have had both Abetta and Big horn saddles. I prefer the Big Horn. We have one western saddle that fits a variety of horses. Very comfy for the rider, too.

patchworkpony
Feb. 18, 2006, 07:04 AM
Originally posted by lv2hnt:
We have had both Abetta and Big horn saddles. I prefer the Big Horn. We have one western saddle that fits a variety of horses. Very comfy for the rider, too.

I have heard that people prefer the Big Horn western saddle to Abetta also. I think I prefer the look of the Big Horn too.

weaver
Feb. 18, 2006, 09:55 AM
I have the Wintec Isabell and love it. It has the cair and changeable gullets. Horses seem to be fine with it also. I also have the torsion dressage saddle, I like it but not as much as the Wintec but am going to try and use it more for the long distance.
PS. I'm an 'original' ;minasnowtaian also. Iron Range transplanted to Maine via NJ

Teeberry01
Feb. 18, 2006, 10:19 AM
Luv the Fabtron cordura saddles! Completely sold on 'em. Started with pre-owned, and once my guy stopped growing, the tack shop fella ordered the style I wanted, but with the tree size we needed, and took my old saddle as a(very generous) trade in. Got the new one for a pittance of the retail price.

MBRA518
Feb. 19, 2006, 02:40 PM
I just bought an abetta endurance (arab tree) and like it so far - though I've only ridden in it twice so far... cold and snowy/icy here right now and the snowmobiles take all the good trails.

As for fit - buyabetta.com (they sell more than abetta) will do a wither tracing check for fit and I found it to be great - I had to order as no venders sell the saddle in my area and I was worried about fit - and my saddle fits great thanks to them.

patchworkpony
Feb. 20, 2006, 01:40 PM
How do you like the A/P Wintec English saddles?

Also wondering how the feel for trail riding? Do they do okay for sitting for long periods?

AngelCat
Feb. 21, 2006, 05:25 AM
I've been riding in my Wintec A/P for a few months now -- I found it to be uncomfortable enough to buy a seat pad for it. I love the way it looks, though...but I'm not positive it's fitting my horse quite right so I've been riding in my Aussie til I have time to try fitting it again. I'm not impressed with the comfort of Wintec saddles! My western one feels like sitting on a board. Guess I'm spoiled by my Aussie...and that no-name brand English I found.

patchworkpony
Feb. 21, 2006, 12:56 PM
So if I was looking at a wintec with/without the cair system. Just wondering what the difference is? One better than the other?

patchworkpony
Feb. 21, 2006, 01:49 PM
Also wondering about Fabtron saddles.

Anyone ridden in one? How do you like the fit? The feel?

islandrider
Feb. 21, 2006, 06:18 PM
I bought an older Wintec 2000 6 months ago to fit my high-withered/short-backed arab. It is my first synthetic saddle. Fits him, fits me. I love the lightness of it and even though I love to clean tack, I love even more that I just need to wipe this one off-and worry free riding in wet weather! Oh, and the price was wayyyy decent...

Weebonilass
Feb. 22, 2006, 11:27 AM
I ended up with a Wintec AP as it was the only thing I afford that would be big enough to fit my propane tank of a gelding. I haven't done any really long rides in it, but he doesn't mind it and I haven't had any complaints.

Neither of us like the Isabelle we tried... it was too deep for me (too many years of riding saddleseat, I guess) and I'm not sure what his complaint was... maybe I was sitting too deep on his back as he was still tender back then.... but while he didn't buck me off (his normal response to something he doesn't like), he minced his foot work, which isn't like him.

I knew a gal who really liked the Big Horns. She got a second one just like the first when she got the second horse for daughter/husband to ride. I think she paid $365 locally for them

patchworkpony
Feb. 23, 2006, 08:53 AM
Where can I look at the abetta's with the custom trees? Does anyone know?

dm
Feb. 23, 2006, 01:49 PM
I have two Fabtron saddles and I love them, and I generally don't like the less expensive saddles. They are very well made and attractive.

The nice thing about Fabtron is they have "fit forms" that you can get from a dealer and put them on your horse's back to see which tree fits your horse best. The forms are made from a hard plastic and are supposed to be the shape of the bars of the saddle tree. It's a great fitting tool.

patchworkpony
Feb. 23, 2006, 02:00 PM
Yeah, I used to work at a tack shop and we had those plastic forms. I didn't know which company they were from. Ahh...I might have to borrow them now. How did your fatrons hold up? The used ones that I have looked at were pretty beat up. Leads me to believe they wear out fast!

dm
Feb. 23, 2006, 04:47 PM
Patchwork, my Fabtrons are only a year and a half old. I really like them and expect they will hold up pretty well.

Bogie
Feb. 23, 2006, 05:33 PM
I just bought a wintec pro jumping saddle with cair and I'm amazed by how comfortable it is.

For the person who asked -- wintec saddles without cair are flocked with wool which means that they can be fitted to your horse by a professional saddle fitter. The cair panels are supposed to adjust to your horse automatically.

I have several expensive leather saddles and I am impressed by the quality/balance of the Wintec.

Teeberry01
Feb. 24, 2006, 04:06 AM
Bought a used, smooth seat Fabtron 10 yrs ago. Still in great shape. Have 2 rough out seat Fabtons that were purchased new 8 and 4 years ago. Got a lotta miles on em, and they're holding up like champs. And still look good. The only parts showing wear are the off billets.

Bugaboo
Feb. 27, 2006, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by Bogie:
I just bought a wintec pro jumping saddle with cair and I'm amazed by how comfortable it is.

For the person who asked -- wintec saddles without cair are flocked with wool which means that they can be fitted to your horse by a professional saddle fitter. The cair panels are supposed to adjust to your horse automatically.

I have several expensive leather saddles and I am impressed by the quality/balance of the Wintec.

I second that! I bought a Wintec Wide AP saddle about 7 months ago and I love it!! I have a 8 year old Appendix mare who constantly changes shape depending on her workload and especially during show season. I love having the gullet system. Before I got it, I went through saddles like crazy with my mare.

I found it hard to ride in at first, mostly because it's and AP and I rode in a Stubben CC before, but other than that, I find it very comfy and I love that it's light and I don't have to spend so much time cleaning it. Just wipe it off with a damp rag every now and then. The balance is very good and I find it to be good value for my money.

patchworkpony
Feb. 27, 2006, 12:26 PM
Hmmm...

I'm so excited!! I can't wait for my girl to come home!! Then we have to set up an appointment with the saddle fitter or find a saddle fitting clinic nearby. Our tackshops usually run them throughout the spring and early summer. Our tack shop has many different synthetics and I am going to try a bunch of them!

patchworkpony
Mar. 3, 2006, 09:33 AM
One more question! Do the endurance abetta saddles use regular western girths?

nettiemaria
Mar. 6, 2006, 12:31 PM
I will NEVER buy another synthetic saddle. Very uncomfortable, I've had two - don't like them, don't want them, they hurt my butt, fit awful - I think they are cheap junk. Just my opinion http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

AngelCat
Mar. 7, 2006, 04:52 AM
Originally posted by patchworkpony:
One more question! Do the endurance abetta saddles use regular western girths?

From what I could tell online, they do.

patchworkpony
Mar. 7, 2006, 06:28 AM
Originally posted by nettiemaria:
I will NEVER buy another synthetic saddle. Very uncomfortable, I've had two - don't like them, don't want them, they hurt my butt, fit awful - I think they are cheap junk. Just my opinion http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

What brand or brands did you have?

Weebonilass
Mar. 7, 2006, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by nettiemaria:
I will NEVER buy another synthetic saddle. Very uncomfortable, I've had two - don't like them, don't want them, they hurt my butt, fit awful - I think they are cheap junk. Just my opinion http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


They may have not been comfortable for you, but let me tell you if they didn't feel good to my horse, my butt would be on the ground. He's very expressive in his dislikes http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

We both like the Wintec A/P 500. I,esp., like that he likes it. He also traveled well in a Thorowgood and an Ansur. Haven't found many others that he took well too.

MBRA518
Mar. 7, 2006, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by patchworkpony:
One more question! Do the endurance abetta saddles use regular western girths?
Yes - mine does - it's the western style endurance with no horn.

I do find that I could use a longer one than with my other western saddles... the one I have fits - but it's near the end of the billets... I plan on buying a new girth for it before I do a lot of riding in it.

nettiemaria
Mar. 7, 2006, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by patchworkpony:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by nettiemaria:
I will NEVER buy another synthetic saddle. Very uncomfortable, I've had two - don't like them, don't want them, they hurt my butt, fit awful - I think they are cheap junk. Just my opinion http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

What brand or brands did you have? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oops, sorry, I had a Wintec and then I had a golly can not remember the name, was it King?
I also had a Fabtron, which I did not mention here before, which was better, but also hard as nails.

BTW, it did not fit my horse. The "King???" one would not stay on the back at all, it rolled all over the place, it felt unsafe to ride in. The Wintec - was as hard as nails. It also did not fit my horse, and was not balanced.

I will say that my hubbie had a Big Horn that he was training his colt in, and I rode in that one a few times, and that one was actually kind of nice.

patchworkpony
Mar. 7, 2006, 01:32 PM
Well, I am leaning toward a big horn synthetic or a circle y synthetic. My friends have both and really like them. I also hear that the abetta flex tree is a okay synthetic saddle also. If I didn't get a synthetic I would probably get a leather flex-tree. It's just that I was thinking synthetic because it was cheap, so if she out grew it I wouldn't be too broke to buy another one. If I got a flex tree I was hoping it would solve the switching saddles through out her growing years thing. I guess we'll see. I plan to take my horse to the tack shop and meet the saddle fitter there. That way we can throw tons of different saddles on her and see which ones fit best. I can also test ride as many as I want. That way I won't be stuck with something that hurts my bum. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

patchworkpony
Mar. 10, 2006, 02:04 PM
How much is it to demo a freeform saddle? I would think shipping would be pretty high.

patchworkpony
Mar. 10, 2006, 11:00 PM
So I am assuming that it is okay to put the cinch back that far, right? I mean it doesn't cause any abnormal discomfort or anything.

Voguesmum
Mar. 11, 2006, 02:27 AM
I have a circle Y synthetic western as I cannot lift anything over 25lbs past my shoulders; big plus is that it is wider that the Wintec western; perfect for trailrides and have showed some with it(its black).

I also have the Wintec 500 all-purpose with the gullet system; have different shaped horses and it is so comfy even on the trails.

The ones I have I love em. The older wintc english ones suck; very narrow and it hurt my tailbone when I rode in one while test riding my arab I now own. I broke my tailbone twice; and on the long endurance rides my western doesn't aggravate it too much; unlike my leather one.

A bit Off Topic: I find it hilarious when a pro-everything person veggie is adamant against killing ANY animal but rides horses using all leather tack...its like WTF??? Hyprocrite. Where do you think leather comes from? Fake cows?

xring
Mar. 11, 2006, 05:03 PM
If I got a flex tree I was hoping it would solve the switching saddles through out her growing years thing.

That was my thinking, too, as an alternative to going with a changeable gullet or treeless. Turns out though, the wye (yoke) of the tree is like that of a normal tree. In other words, the angle and distance between the bars is fixed (doesn,t flex). The part that flexes is the bars themselves (flexes front to back of the saddle). I guess I'll have to go changeable or treeless.

I think EquiLeather comes from fake cows. I remember all the hot-rodders in the 50's and 60's used Naugahide (sp?) for their seats and such, but you can't find it now. That's because Naugas are extinct.

Auventera Two
Mar. 11, 2006, 06:42 PM
Yes, it is absolutely okay to put the cinch farther back. I even talked to the vet who told me it would have to be back about 8 more inches before causing any harm. I do alot of cantering and galloping and my horse's recovery rate is excellent. So I know she's getting plenty of air.

I mean, honestly, it really doesn't even "look" that much different, but you can definitely tell.

I've seen dressage saddles with Y girthing systems that girth up farther back than my Abeta does. But it is still farther back than your old, traditional western or english rigging.

I used to have an old western saddle and its rigging was so far forward, that the girth was rubbing on the backs of the elbows. So compared to that, this is way farther back.

I will try to get a picture for you!

patchworkpony
Mar. 13, 2006, 11:20 AM
Well, my new horse just came home. Now I can have the saddle fitter out to take a look at her. :D Then I will see what kind of saddle I need to get.

So your tree on your abetta seems like a good one, Two Simple? I thought I heard that other than the flex version the abetta trees weren't good. What do you think?

MBRA518
Mar. 13, 2006, 03:18 PM
I have an Abeta endurance - Arabian tree and I love it. I have had it for a year now and I do quite a few very long trail rides. It is very comfortable.

Yes, they do use a regular western cinch but the thing to keep in mind is that they have center-fire rigging which means the girth is WAY farter back than your standard rigging on 99% of all other western and english saddles on the market.

If you take a 30" western cinch, you will easily need a 36" with an Abeta endurance saddle.


I noticed this too with mine (I love it so far)... My horse also doesn't mind it - but we haven't have a chance to do any long rides yet - the snow mobiles are still out - so the best trails are not safe yet... way too many of them out there to ride on the same trails.

It does take some getting used to - for the look of it, It looks wrong the first time you cinch it up.

Auventera Two
Mar. 14, 2006, 11:02 PM
Yes, I do have the flex tree. It was about 650 dollars I believe, versus 299 for the regular tree. The flex tree is blue, and is supposed to be made of a very tough rubber versus the hard plastic. I really like this saddle. I have finally found the perfect combination of saddle pads too - the Abeta Shock Pad with a thick fleece on top of that. Now the saddle fits perfect and doesn't slip, which is something I had a problem with before.

SolitaireMare
Dec. 14, 2007, 08:39 PM
Here's my story. I have a Bruno DelGrange Pro jumping saddle. It is absolutely the best saddle I have ever owned. It keeps my leg and position perfect and secure over any jumps and fits my horse like a glove. However, I have no indoor where I ride and I like to trail ride and hunter pace. The Delgrange was bought at a time in my life when I had the money for such luxuries. Now, the thought of using that saddle in the rain or on trail where it could get wet, scratched or otherwise damaged makes me nervous, since I can not replace it. So I took the plunge and bought a Wintec 2000 for the rain and the rougher rides. It was a strange feeling in the beginning to ride with it but I quickly got comfortable with it and now the DelGrange only comes out for lessons and the occasional show. I live in the Wintec 2000. It seems to fit my horse well, it's very comfortable for long trail rides and lots of galloping on hunter paces. If I am going to be in the saddle for a long time, I will use a sheepskin saddle pad to give my horses' back extra cushioning and the sheepskin "breathes" well. The Wintec does almost the same as the Delgrange for me, but the deeper seat of the Wintec 2000 is actually more comfortable for longer rides. I do have the Cair and the gullet system. I never used the gullet system because the medium width gullet that came with the saddle seems to suit my horse perfectly. Hope this lengthy post was helpful. :lol:

Romantic Rider
Dec. 14, 2007, 10:38 PM
I have a Wintec endurance saddle. It's about three years old, but still in great condition, despite very hard usage. And I do mean hard. I have spent so many hours in that saddle. It's been soaked through multiple times, with no adverse affects. I really like it. It's lightweight, comfortable, and fits my Anglo mare perfectly. I'm all for synthetics. They are so easy.

Maus
Dec. 15, 2007, 12:36 AM
Hi guys Im new...
I have a synthetic western saddle made by Blue Ridge (yes its a cheapie) that I have been using for about 5 yrs. That is probably its life expectancy. The fenders are wearing away and the so-called fleece padding has broken down. It will be retired to the training saddle section very soon.:yes:

Kyzteke
Dec. 15, 2007, 01:03 PM
What does everyone think of big horn saddles? I am mostly interested in the western synthetic type.

Patchwork -- check your PMs,please.

2Horse
Dec. 15, 2007, 08:50 PM
I just bought a Big Horn synthetic, gaited horse flex tree saddle for my Fiance. It fits his TWH great! He says it is SO COMFORTABLE! The seat is extra padded, so you might need a bigger size. It is a well made saddle. A whole lot better then the no name from Kate's.
If I need another saddle again, I would definately consider the same thing.

cuatx55
Dec. 29, 2007, 05:29 PM
I have a wintec western on my medium-wide arabian, it is 10 yrs old and works great. I also have a wintec pro for dressage. It is working well even though I like the "look" of leather better. Everyone I know who uses a wintec loves it. Our trainer recommends it for dressage, but of course it depends on what the rider likes.

katarine
Dec. 29, 2007, 07:27 PM
i have a client with a lady trail rider, I think, by Fabtron? Rides beautifully, beats the pants of the Abettas for comfort. I rode it for 2 hours or so right after she bought it, very, very comfy.

Regal Grace
Dec. 29, 2007, 11:55 PM
I used to ride in a Stubben Roxane (which I loved). Unfortunately, as time wore it did not work for my mare. I initially dismissed the thought of trying a Wintec even though an Equine P/T recommended it. I tried a lot of leather saddles from 1.5K up to 3K Either it worked for me but not for my mare and vice versa. After getting tired of trying saddles my trainer and I said what the heck why don't we give the Wintec a try.

I never thought a Wintec saddle would have made such a difference in the way my mare moved and performed. Suprisingly, I found it very comfortable and secure especially with the equisuede seat and flaps. Wintec has really improved the look and feel of their saddles from the very old ones I rode in years ago on school horses. Even my trainer had to admit it was the best fitting saddle he had seen on her.....that she rode lighter, more forward through her shoulders and carried herself in a better frame. Also he's was not a fan of synthetic either.....just saying the word Wintec made him shudder. He even thought the Wintec 2000 was a nice looking saddle though I doubt he would say use it for showing. Which I do little of anyway.

Saddles (synthetic or leather) are a very personal choice as to how it feels. For as many people who love Wintec many will dislike. Though I tend to think it's more due to the fact it's synthetic and not leather which people equate with poor quality. I confess I did and I was proven wrong. I've been riding in this saddle since the end of May 2007 and my mare and I are doing great and the saddle has held up beautifully (including the equisuede which holds up better than real suede)

Check out HorseTack Review which offers a lot of good feed back on Wintec saddles (pro and con) for A/P, C/C, Dressage and Western.
http://www.horsetackreview.com


P.S. I did try the Bates CC (which makes the Wintec line of saddles) on a hobby horse but never rode in it because when I received a demo to try on my mare it was with a medium gullet and I needed a medium wide. Also it sat funny on her when girthed up. After I sent it back I found out that the CAIR panels in a new Bates leather saddles will tend to look perched on the horse and that you need to intially sit on it and make the adjustments. So that might have worked too