I am thinking about taking a Smith Worthington on trial. Wondering if anyone else out there has experience with their saddles and would like to give me their two cents on them... I'm looking at the Mystic AP and the Orbit.
I love Smith Worthington saddles, I think they're a huge bang for your buck and it doesn't hurt that their main (only?) store is 45 minutes from me. The Mystic AP is great, although it does hold you in a bit...if you like a flatter saddle, it may not be for you, but trial it and see!
What I love:
ALL their trees, even from the "budget" Mystic line, are adjustable. And they do it at their own factory in Hartford, CT, cheap and quick. They'll flock them too.
ALL their saddles, to the best of my knowledge, are wool flocked. Again, including the "budget" Mystic line.
The Mystic line is FAR nicer than anything else in that price range, in my opinion.
You can find the saddles for a STEAL online, because they have low brand-name recognition. I have bought Mystics in brand new condition for $150 on Ebay, when I'm watching for them.
Their trees seem to do really well on the wider types, although they'll suck them right in for narrow TBs.
They have GREAT customer service. Call them up and chat with them...they know their stuff!
Great saddles! Can't recommend them enough! (With the usual caveats about how the actual front-back tree shape needs to be right for your horse, etc, etc, etc.)
I just purchased a Mystic MS from them and I can't rave enough about how fabulous their customer service is.
My ex wide QH needed a saddle with wider, gusseted panels for his flat sensitive back and big shoulders. I also needed a quality saddle in my price range.
I sent SW my horse's back tracings and discussed my horse's and my needs with Corey. I told her which saddles I was interested in on the website and based on my guy's measurements, she recommended which she thought would work. I also need an 18.5 seat as my femur is ridiculously long.
They sent me out 4 saddles to demo and said to ride the heck out of them. Take my time to decide. Seriously. No. Time. Frame to return them.
I demoed the Altair, the Danzig, the Mystic CC and the Mystic MS. The Mystic MS puts me in a wonderful, comfortable position and best of all, my very fussy horse is SO freakin' happy with the saddle I could cry. No more ducking out from under the saddle when I place it on his back, no more back & forth on the cross ties, girthing up and no more drama at the mounting block when I get on. Peace prevails!
I have had the MS about a month now and have gotten many compliments on how nice a saddle it is. SW will tweak the tree or the flocking for me at any time and they definitely went the extra mile to make sure the saddle was the best fit, which is more than the "expert" saddle fitter did for us with my previous saddle!
I loved the old Smith Worthington pancake saddles and because of that memory took two of their newer models on trial. I believe I tried the Agilite and Beaufort Lux; if not those, then neither of the models mentioned here. I was not terribly impressed with the way they rode. This could have been an issue of personal taste, but I felt that they were both very thick saddles padded to sit on top of, and not around, the horse. That was both with my guy and another horse in the barn; I sat it on the other one because I thought it was better cut to fit him and wanted to see how it felt. Even on the other horse I did not care for how thick the saddle felt, both in padding, the leather, and how high I felt off of the horse's back. At the price point of the Agilite I also expected a better quality of leather. Your mileage may vary.
The ones we all ride in as kids (a flat seat model with a padded flap, a lot like a Crosby configuration or a Beval World Cup) were great saddles. We put them through hell and they still looked good, and they fit the ponies well. So I can't call myself an SW hater, but their current offerings do not suit me.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
I love Smith Worthington saddles!!! I grew up on the west coast and never heard of them until I moved east. Woman I was half leasing a horse from had some and I loved it! I am lucky enough to live only 20 minutes away from their location in Hartford CT.
Love the Mystic for the quality at a great price and the customer service there is top notch!! Curt, the owner is a wealth of information when it comes to learning about saddles and fitting and just about anything tack wise!
"You are under arrest for operating your mouth under the influence of
ignorance!" Officer Beck
I have a Heidi (discontinued). I've ridden in the Orbit, and would say it almost fits a bit small - I usually take a 16.5 seat, but the Orbit didn't feel too big. The leather on it is super soft from the start.
Love them. Have a hard to fit mare - shark fin withers, long back, wide shoulders. They found me a stoneleigh in the back (which is being discontinued...) which is a bit narrower than others with a cut back at the withers...
Took it on trial, mare liked it (she lets you know IMMEDIATELY if she doesn't)... they adjusted the tree for me. It was stupid reasonably priced and reminds me of the old saddles we used as kids - the bevals, PDNs, etc... so i'm in love.
They also work closely with my saddle fitter which is a huge bonus.
The store is super fun too, they always have great stuff on sale (100% wool cooler for $28 - yes! side reins - leather with donuts for $22!)
I have a couple Smith-Worthington saddles and could not be happier! I bought my first one about 8 years ago and did a combo "Design Your Own" of the Beaufort Lux with an extended flap and some extra padding. It was a medium tree and then I bought my mare who is very narrow. Had one of their saddle fitters come out (I only live 45 min away ) and they fixed us up in no time. I recent purchased the same saddle with a wider tree becuase mine is now pretty much fit just for my girl and I needed an option for some different horses I'm riding. The first saddle looks just as good as the day I bought it and both have been super soft from day 1. Really can't say enough about the brand or the people they have working on it.
I LOVE SW saddles...and coolers, and bridles too! I picked up a brand new SW Trainer on eBay for $900 (listed online for around $3k). It was buffalo and it was super comfy. My only thing about their saddles if that buying them "off the rack" they tend to run much narrower than other saddles. I think they were always designed with TB types in mind. But thankfully you can adjust and reflock. I had a friend send hers to CT to have the tree widened.
Great saddles, super customer service. They're doing something right if they're still around since the 1700's!
I went to the store and they could not be more helpful with what i was looking for however my only complaint was the flap underneath your leg was cut very wide so it would be hard to find a contour pad that fits. Other than that i loved the saddles.
I didnt end up with a SW though
I went to the store and they could not be more helpful with what i was looking for however my only complaint was the flap underneath your leg was cut very wide so it would be hard to find a contour pad that fits.
Their flaps are a little bigger which doesn't work with the CC saddle pads. I brought my saddle to the tack shop & tried on several pads. Most of the ones designed for "All Purpose" fit the flap nicely.
I am a Smith Worthington Disliker (hate perhaps is too strong a word). That said my negative experience is because of Prudence Heaney with Two Time Tack.
A few years back I bought a new Smith Worthington Danzig 18” Buffalo Leather saddle via Prudence Heaney at Two Time Tack. I spent $4,800 on it, and an additional $200 for leathers (that buckled low). The saddle never sat stable on the horse she fitted it for. I sent the saddle back six times (via Prudence Heaney), at an additional $200/adjustment (I think shipping was an additional $75). So in my mind, I have spent $6,650 with Smith Worthington to no avail.
The saddle is useless to me because it continually rocked on the horse. Eventually I bought a second saddle for the same horse again from Prudence Heaney, a Black Country for $3,200. She recommended something she called a Freedom Tree. This saddle too never sat stable. Fast forward – I have bought six (6) saddles from Prudence, with the Smith Worthington a constant reminder and frustration. At her bequest too I graciously lent her my saddles when she was showing as samples. Than after yet another argument with Prudence about the Smith Worthington, my patience came to an end. I moved over to another saddle fitter. The new saddle fitter adjusted the Black Country and it now does not rock. That said the new saddle fitter – shook her head and tut/tutted, and told me that the Smith Worthington would never have fit the horse – the tree was much/much too wide. The horse is an 15.2 Appendix Quarter Horse. The SW is an Extra Wide with a Wide Twist.
Last fall another friend told me of a reseller who specializes in Smith Worthington Saddles in Pennsylvania. I took the saddle up to them, and was told point blank that the saddle I paid $4,800 was worthless because the tree was much too large even for a Warmblood or a Draft Cross. When I told her who fitted it and for what type of horse she burst out laughing. Needless to say I was distressed.
Along the way I asked Prudence Heaney to resell the saddle, asked Smith Worthington for assistance also, to no avail.
So much for Smith Worthington's customer satisfaction guarantee.
I don't know how anyone could have told you the saddle was too wide just by hearing the horse's breed so I would be pretty skeptical of anything that person said in the future. I have an XW tree Smith Worthington Stoneleigh that fits my 2 Appendix QHs very well. My TB goes in a medium tree on the same style saddle. My QHs are tanks with very little wither, they need a very wide tree.
Sorry you had a bad experience. I have had nothing but great experiences with my 2 Smith Worthington saddles. It sounds more like a problem with your saddle fitter than SW, and some emotional overinvolvement/Stockholm syndrome with this person (lending your saddles as test models? 6 saddles from the same person when you've had nothing but issues? Don't stick with someone who isn't working out for you in the future, it's always a mistake!).
Have been riding new horse in my friend's Altair while we wait for his saddle to come - so comfy! My Heidi doesn't fit him at all, so I had been using whatever I could find on him. Should have borrowed the Altair much sooner. For me, the SW came through again!
Their customer service is great. My only dislike is the flap on some saddles is Huge! It looks silly. Not sure why that is, but that is my only complaint. Some of their leather is super slippery like some of those stubbens.