The ones I've seen are well made and very comfy to sit on though I've never actually ridden with one. The family that makes them is very nice to deal with and have been very accommodating when I need help. I am in love with their Buena Vista (sp?) Saddle and want one for Final.
Never ridden a Brenneman but I've seen them, they look nice. I've got an Eli Miller Buena Vista and am IN LOVE with it. So comfortable, it rates right up there with my Minihan. If the Brenneman rides like an Eli Miller you won't be disappointed.
I just picked up a Minihan on e-Bay--for like $400 bucks!
Fully restored by 4-Beat Saddlery, and of all things, it fits my big round-backed mare! Who is, of course, lame at the moment. Saddle is mint, and oh, soooooo comfy . . .
I now hate you with every fiber of my being, jealousy seething from every pore.
You've got an AMAZING saddle. I've currently got a Minihan and an Applegate I'd love to have restored, just don't have the funds to send them off to Gloria Cihan/4beat Stitchery. Her work is amazing and worth every penny, I just can't swing it right now so I settle for riding my Eli Miller which I love. Both of mine are all original, you can even make out the maker's mark on the Minihan if you look closely.
When I finally get my Minihan done I'll send you pictures and then you'll be the one green with envy (not likely with that gorgeous saddle you STOLE).
My farrier's grandson started making custom tack a few years ago and has gotten really, REALLY good. I mean his work is pretty damn impressive. Seriously considering letting him have a go at one of my saddles and see how he does. He'd be much more affordable than 4beat, although I'd be taking a bit of a chance since he doesn't have a lot of experience with saddles.
All this talk about the Minihans is really giving me a kick in the butt to get mine done. Mine will probably end up being too wide for my guy (slab sided as hell and incredibly base narrow) but it should fit my step-dad's chunky mare whom I ride quite frequently. The tree on the Applegate is considerably narrower but so is the seat, I like those nice wide seats on the Minihans. It's still got the spring tree though which would make me happy. LOVE those things.