I've had a Tucker trail saddle for 10 years now, and love it. It fits my Andal/ASB beautifully. I have ridden many, many miles on the trails in it. So, I can highly recommend Tucker based on my experience.
Trialed a used one in excellent condition last year. Very, very comfortable. High quality workmanship and leather. Their medium tree fit my high withered, straight backed TB well.
Problem was a bidding war (several people wanted it). It sold for a couple of hundred more than the asking price (which I wouldn't do). And, the original asking price wasn't that much less than a new one so they hold their value well.
$aving to buy a new one! I've not found another saddle I've liked as well, including some very high priced dressage saddles.
I've ridden in Tucker saddles for 10+ years, two different horses (one QH, one KMSH), same style saddle - Equitation Endurance - one medium tree, one wide. Have loved both of them. My current (KMSH) gelding uses the medium tree and does LDs and CTRs - usually 25 miles a day, 1 day for LDs, 2 days for CTRs. Horse has never had a back problem and he's vetted out perfectly every ride; I actually ask for extra focus on the back because I want to catch any problems early.
The equitation endurance has high pommel/no horn and comes with English girthing and English leathers that can be worn above the flap or below (no leg pinching). Lots of rings for attaching things. Weight of saddle is 22 lbs which is heavier than an English saddle but lighter than a typical Western. Has a gel seat which I absolutely love - very comfortable and no need to add a sheepskin pad or anything. If you go look at Tuckers, I would recommend looking at the classic style versus the Gen II version; I was told that the gel padding extends down further on the Gen II saddle and can feel bulkier under your thighs, which might be what the earlier poster experienced.
You can also get a Tucker endurance saddle with Western rigging or, depending on your build, you can try the Plantation saddle which is similar but has a different twist.
I was the first in my local group who used Tucker saddles and over the past five years or so five friends have bought them and love theirs, too.
As for quality, over the 10+ years I've never had anything more than normal wear that a little saddle soap takes care of. Never any breaks or defects in leather or anything else. They used to be 100% made in USA but I'm not sure if that's still true...
Good luck, whatever you decide to do!
It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
I just bought a gen eq II for my young horse (TB, not narrow, avg withers) - I wanted something a tad more comfortable than my english saddle for trail riding and something that would also be OK to ride in the arena when I was just doing flat work. I just replaced the seat on my Butet and I'm in no mood to buy a new butet anytime soon (ever), so something that would save wear and tear on that saddle when not actually jumping seemed like a good idea. The Gen Eq II seemed like the best option for both those worlds.
So far I've trail ridden in it once - did about a 7 mile loop, decent elevations, etc. (N. GA so it's not easy trail riding, but it's not like west coast mountains either) and I've worked in the arena in it about 10 times.
My (very limited) observation was 2 thumbs up on the trail ride.
I've already replaced the trail glide stirrups with an regular english stirrup because you can't "run up" the trail glides. This messes with my head so I got a cheap pair of light composite stirrups with a wide foot bed.
In the arena it is ... different. I tell people that it sits you like a western eq seat, but lacks the rigid fender of a western saddle that helps stabilize your leg so YOU have to keep your leg stabilized. And unlike a dressage saddle with a more floating stirrup connection, this seat lacks the bucket stabilization effect of a dressage saddle that helps stabilize your leg. It's sort of like riding in a very comfy saddle seat saddle. But not quite.
Mind you, it's not a bad thing for me to actually use my body and fitness to keep my leg in that position, but at my age and laziness level I'm technically morally opposed to the idea. Even if it is good for me. But none of these things come into play on the trail, just when I am working on leg yields, circles, haunches in, blah blah blah and other things where I would just love a saddle to help compensate for my weaknesses. Had I known about this issue it's entirely possible I would have bought one of the saddles with the western fender and had english rigging put on it.
I sat in the Gen II when we were shopping for a saddle for DH. I couldn't get out of it fast enough LOL- I think a body has to SIT in a saddle and try it. We bought a Bighorn Voyager that seemed great until you got tired of all that padding. It's too squishy, to me it's like I can't feel where I am in relation to the horse - weird feeling.
I recently bought a Tucker Big Bend saddle for my fat butt! Love it! Quallity is wonderful, lighter than most western saddles, very supportive saddle. Very comfortable seat. Just started riding again after many years off & my borrowed horse is built & moves downhill so my dressage saddle felt like it was throwing me over the horse's head. This saddle has a very level seat but it is built flatter than most Tuckers are to make room for my big butt. Sits me perfectly on this horse.
There is a lady who rides across USA again & again & she uses nothing but Tuckers. Says she won't have anything else due to the fit & horse comfort. Don't remember her name but I think she was on the Tucker website at one time. She says that she put over 10,000 miles on her last Tucker. I think that speaks for the quality. The Gen II saddle looks great with the extra padding.
Talk to the lady who owns this shop. She sells only Tucker saddles & knows them inside & out. She says that the regular Tucker & the Gen II Tucker have different shaped trees. Check out her site because it shows this & the type of horses each tree can fit. Just FYI. I found her & her site lots of help.
So many different styles of Tucker saddles, so commenting on how they fit a horse is impossible. Or rider.
I have a Plantation style. I ride a 14.1 h QH/Arab. If it was any bigger it wouldn't fit him but it is OK on him with the medium tree. We've ridden warm days and up to 15 miles (with cantering and dripping sweat) and never had slipping problems or rubs). He has has saddle fit problems in the past, with ENGLISH style saddle, go figure.
I like it fine. It's plenty comfortable for me. I have back problems (in PT now) and knee problems) and I am MUCH better with my Tucker saddle than my English saddles, even the dressage saddle.
The leather is moderate to low quality, but mine is a 'new' Tucker. The older ones were better. Not impressed with that aspect. Avg. in the area of stitching and workmanship.
Tucker makes a good product. It's endurance saddles are a modern variant of the British Universal Pattern military saddle, first adopted in about 1795 and last updated in 1912. It is still in use today by the Household Cavalry and other British Army mounted units.
This saddle was developed because the Army's problem was keeping large numbers of horses being ridden by riders of indifferent skill levels sound over long periods of time. 220 years of service seems to confirm the quality of that design.
It did undergo changes over the years but the basic design remained the same.
The seat is "suspended" meaning that the rider is off the horse's back. This results in a distinct loss of feel for the movement of the horse. It also results in a dramatically improved distribution of weight on the horse's back. The standard British load was 280-300 pounds (rider, tack, weapons, gear, etc.). In contrast the standard U.S. load (to be carried on a McClellan) was 230-250 pounds.
In surfing around I found this company in North Carolina that makes a modern UP saddle. I don't know anything about their quality; take this for what it's worth:
I bought a used Tucker High Plains trail saddle 5 years ago. I fits me and my Haflinger very well. It is a wide tree 2006 model , so pre-GenII, but it has some comfy padding, but not too much. I'm very happy with it. When I tried it out, I called the Tucker manuf (phone # on website), and by readng them the serial number, I got alot of info (yr made, seat, width, etc). Set up with the enduro-girth rigging, one strap running to both the front and back rings to one girth, eliminating need for rear cinch. Horse likes it (such a relief to finally find a saddle that FIT him!). Weighs 25-27 lbs. Won't know until you try it!!
Guilherme - Just as an FYI for you or for anyone else who might be considering Tucker's endurance saddles... they're not built like the UP saddle shown in your link. Tucker's Endurance saddles have a regular tree, and have at least since I bought my first one in 2000.
The Trooper is the only Tucker saddle that has that suspended seat that "floats" above the rest of the saddle like the UP you showed. I understand the Trooper saddles are used more often by riders who follow Field Trialers (i.e., bird dog hunts); I've personally never run into one at an Endurance ride or CTR - not to say nobody uses one, but they're apparently not as common as the Endurance style, at least in the SE.
It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.