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Tekna vs. Thorowgood - help me decide

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  • Tekna vs. Thorowgood - help me decide

    I am leaning heavily towards a synthetic dressage saddle. I'm not ruling out the wintecs, but there are some features on the Tekna and Thorowgood that make them frontrunners at the moment.

    I was pretty much set on the Tekna because I like the look of it, and I like that the tree can be adjusted, and that they are flocked (again, adjustability). However, I have heard that they are introducing a model with a changeable gullet later this year. So, do I wait until it comes out? The reviews I have seen for Tekna have all been positive, but it hasn't been out very long at all.

    Then I stumbled across a Thorowgood in my searches. They have a ton of features (shims, adjustable gullet, adjustable girthing system, wool flocked). The reviews I've found for them seem to be pretty positive too.

    In my price range, I could hold out and try to get a used leather saddle, but mostly what I find in my range are older saddles with features that I am trying to avoid (like narrower channels or banana panels). If anyone can help me weigh the pros and cons I would really appreciate it.

  • #2
    I havenn't sat in a tekna so I can't address that one but I own a thorowgood T4. They are very adjustable, good quality, good workmanship. they also have a pretty wide twist, and the seat is pretty shallow, not even medium deep really. With that said, I feel very secure in mine because the seat balance is very correct, I can be where I want to be without fighting. Also be aware, like most synthetics, they squeek when you are wearing boots.

    FWIW the tree in the thorowgood is getting very popular, it is also in Kent and Masters, fairfax, and Hastilow concept saddles.

    good luck with your decision

    Comment


    • #3
      I looked at the Tekna's last summer - it's noticeably heavier than most of it's contemporaries; the adjustment needs to be done by a specialist (none of my local saddle fitters have the machinery); the tree was too curvy for FP so didn't actually try the saddle.

      Have you spoken with the techinical rep for Tekna about the new saddles?

      Comment


      • #4
        Tekna hands down.
        Cheapest place is Cheshire Horse in NH - $525 for the dressage saddle. Email and see if you can get a trial saddle as well!

        To me the Tekna is a real saddle, the Thorowgoods are very visibly synthetic (and made painfully aware when you ride in one).
        True North Dressage
        Select Cheval Canadiens for dressage and eventing
        www.TrueNorthDressage.com

        Comment


        • #5
          I just purchased a Thorowgood T6 dressage and really like it - although I've always been a fan of the Thorowgoods. The billeting system is infinitely adjustable which is important to me because one of my mares has a very forward girth groove. I think they are much better made saddles than the Wintecs (which I have also owned). It is working really well for me; however, it is not a deep saddle (which is good for me); it gives more of a close contact feel which I love (the balance is very good, which makes a big difference). If you prefer more support from your saddle, you might not like the Thorowgood.

          (FYI, this is a standard model - I've had the broadback model in the past and the twist on that stucker was so wide it felt as if it had no shape).

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Oh, jeez now I'm really torn.

            I actually have a Kent & Masters synthetic saddle that I love, so if it shares design features with the Thorowgood I'm betting I will like it. I do prefer a shallower seat for the most part. I am not a fan of huge thigh blocks (mine are built in to my ample thighs but I think the blocks are velcro and removeable on both the Tekna and Thorowgood).

            Oh, what to do now. The Thorowgood I've found cheapest. But the Tekna prices may go down when they roll out the new model with the changeable gullet. And I do think the Tekna is prettier. The wide twist on the Thorowgood could be problematic.

            I've found surfboard type wax to be very helpful with the boot/synthetic saddle squeak in case that helps anyone. A very light application to both boot top and saddle maintains the grip but eliminates the squeak.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a thorowgood. I like its looks and it fits my horses pretty well. I don't like the wide twist. It's ok for schooling in the ring, but horrible for hacking out. I'm also intrigued by the Teknas and will be interested in hearing more feedback.

              Comment


              • #8
                I LOVE my tekna. Yes its synthetic, yes it cost $500, but it makes me feel like I'm riding like the cool girls with the expensive saddles. It makes my life so much easier because it puts me in the right spot without fighting, and it fits my mare with a curvy back really well. I do find that it does sometimes squeek (the dead giveaway that I'm riding in a generic i guess!) but that is my only complaint. I might try the surfboard wax that was suggested to see if that helps.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A friend has an Hermes & it squeaks too

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TBDressage916 View Post
                    I LOVE my tekna. Yes its synthetic, yes it cost $500, but it makes me feel like I'm riding like the cool girls with the expensive saddles. It makes my life so much easier because it puts me in the right spot without fighting, and it fits my mare with a curvy back really well. I do find that it does sometimes squeek (the dead giveaway that I'm riding in a generic i guess!) but that is my only complaint. I might try the surfboard wax that was suggested to see if that helps.
                    Sat in one a couple of weeks ago. Gorgeous saddle. I am a Prestige fan and that is why the tack shop owner showed it to me. I really like the feel I got sitting in it. Those are all the reasons I would like the Tekna.

                    For the squeek, squirt some talcom powder in it, it will go away.
                    "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
                    "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
                    Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      For the squeaking, powder for under the flaps or anywhere that it is rubbing that is not visible; surfboard or similar type of wax is for the squeaking that is caused by your leather boot against the flap (where you want to maintain grip and not have white baby powder visible!).

                      Thanks for all the input guys. This has been very helpful even though I still have no idea which one to pick. The wide twist of the Thorowgood is off-putting, but the shims and the adjustable gullet would be ideal because I think I could make it work on both of my horseses (not changing gullet every time, but with the fish or shims or whatever they're called...those are easy to slip in and out, right?).

                      But, the Tekna looks so nice. I wonder if the price will drop when they roll out the changeable gullet ones.

                      I guess I should just be happy that I have 2 decent choices even at my very limited budget! I just wish I could find a tack shop that stocked both. I may have to call around and see who offers them on trial.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So I emailed Tekna yesterday wanting to know when I could purchase their white dressage boots, and also to find out when the changeable gullet would be available.

                        They forwarded me to their US rep, who wrote me right away:

                        Thank you for your interest in the Tekna line.

                        The dressage boots are due to hit the US mid-March.

                        We are hoping to have the exchangeable gullet at the end of this year or early 2012.
                        Last edited by myhorsefaith; Feb. 22, 2011, 10:24 AM. Reason: stripping tags
                        My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by meaty ogre View Post
                          Thanks for all the input guys. This has been very helpful even though I still have no idea which one to pick. The wide twist of the Thorowgood is off-putting, but the shims and the adjustable gullet would be ideal because I think I could make it work on both of my horseses (not changing gullet every time, but with the fish or shims or whatever they're called...those are easy to slip in and out, right?).
                          The fish inserts are easy to put in and take out. The gullet can be changed out, but not easily -- my saddle fitter did it for me, and it took her quite a while. After having watched her do it, I could probably do it myself, but I wouldn't want to do it on a regular basis.

                          If you like the features of the Thorowgood, I would suggest sitting in one yourself to evaluate the twist - what one person calls really wide may be ok for someone else... I rode in a borrowed Wintec Isabell for a year and felt like I was riding a barrel, even though others have said it has a narrow twist, and now I have a Thorowgood T4 (endurance model) and the twist feels much narrower to me.
                          RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The older Thorowgoods are AMAZING. I think the T6 is the best one, but you have to special order them and getting a hold of one is HELL.

                            I just tried out the new Teknas and I LOVE them. They were my first choice saddle when I saved up enough, but I found a Wintec for practically nothing so I just went ahead and bought it.
                            http://www.facebook.com/orphanisabel

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              regarding how easy/hard it is to change the gullets in the thorowgoods, it is very easy. Much easier and faster than the Wintecs. My son can do mine in 5 mins total one out, new one in and sealed up ready to go. The first time is the hardest, but after that it gets much easier because you know what you are doing. Truly don't be afraid to tackle it.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Ok, so I know the Cheshire Horse in NH allows trials of the Teknas, but does anyone know of a retailer that does trials on thorowgoods. Dover saddlery has them but they are not on the test ride list.

                                I think I'm going to have to order both and try. (Wish me luck on beating Mr. MO home so I can hide TWO saddle boxes! )

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I got mine from Annette at Hastilow USA (http://www.hastilowusa.com/). She is fairly local to my area, so she came out and did a saddle fitting and then let me keep it on trial for a bit. Not sure what their policy is if you're not local... I think Thorowgood's website also has a list of US dealers. Their site seems to be down at the moment so I can't check.
                                  RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I got a Thorowgood from a place in North Carolina on trial -- they were very nice (didn't fit horse, but...)...let me see if I can find them in my email...
                                    mmtackshop.com
                                    -- email saddles@mmtackshop.com
                                    The big man -- my lost prince

                                    The little brother, now my main man

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Try Hastilow Competition Saddles USA. They carry Thorowgoods. You will have to ask about their trial policy, but I am working with them on my "bench made saddle" and Annette is very nice (even tho I am having trouble on my saddle, they have said they will remake it so it should all be good). But... you need to talk to her in person, she is very minimalist in what she communicates via email.
                                      She is also a master saddle fitter. She is in the UK right now tho, am not sure what day she is due back. But her assistant will probably reply to emails in her absence.

                                      I went to the tack store at lunch today specifcally to sit in a Tekna with all this talk about how great they are. So... my impressions for what they are worth. Saddle is very nice looking. I would never confuse it for leather from anything closer than 10 feet, but it is probably the most realistic of the pleather saddles. Fit and finish was great, good tight stitching. Sat in it and decided very quickly that it will not find a place in my tackroom. I found it to stretch my leg down much more than I am comfortable with, and it tipped me onto the front of my seatbones. So it basically put me in the opposite position that my thorowgood did.

                                      I would be willing to bet that people who find the thorowgood comfy will not like the tekna and vice versa. Based on that, I would really suggest that you try both because they are very different in how they seat you.
                                      good luck

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        [QUOTE=arabiansrock;5443578] Sat in it and decided very quickly that it will not find a place in my tackroom. I found it to stretch my leg down much more than I am comfortable with, and it tipped me onto the front of my seatbones. So it basically put me in the opposite position that my thorowgood did.


                                        I'm sure it is a personal thing- but this is what I like about the Tekna, I have a problem falling into a chair seat, so this makes me sit with my thighs stretched down and my seat bones "plugged" into the saddle, it doesn't really force me there, it just places me there and takes away any urge to sneak my thighs up and roll my seat bones under to sit the trot.

                                        Comment

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