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Smith Worthington Mystic, anyone? Update

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  • Smith Worthington Mystic, anyone? Update

    Anyone had experience with one of these?

    My saddle fitter has started carrying them as a lower-priced choice and say they've had good luck with them. I'm going to resign myself to my older-age portliness and am looking for something that comes with a larger, more open seat. Since both of my boys are also elderly, I can't see spending $$ on something high end or custom. We set a couple of the larger seat sizes on my guy's back this weekend, and they aren't too long for him. Just need something to putz around in, what serious work I do is dressage-oriented but nothing fancy, plus some trail riding.
    Last edited by monstrpony; Jun. 27, 2013, 05:41 PM. Reason: update
    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

    Spay and neuter. Please.

  • #2
    Don't know that model, but Smith-Worthington saddles have always been good workmanship and quality materials. I have a Smith-Worthington Maxx and I love it. I had it rather drastically restuffed for a new horse (it had developed some lumps, so it had to be taken apart, not just more stuffing put it), and the saddlemaker who worked on it praised the quality of workmanship and leather. I guess compared to the REALLY high-end stuff they are less expensive, but other than that, I think they are in the middle price range rather than "cheap." Of course, if you can find one used, as I did mine.....


    • Original Poster

      The Mystic is part of a (fairly recent?) collaboration between S-W and Argentine saddle makers. I know that 'way back, Argentine saddles were to be avoided at all costs, but in recent years, there have been a few collaborations with European saddlers that have produced some reasonable saddles at a lower price point (which the Mystic is). They do look like nicely made saddles, leather quality is very decent. The Mystic is priced at about $1150; they make a soft, sticky leather covered one for around $1800, but honestly, the olde pharte in me perfers the plain smooth leather. It also has more of a pencil type knee roll, rather than a huge lock-you-in type (which make seat sizes impossible for those of us endowed with heavy thighs). I like the fact that there's a well-known saddle maker behind this.
      "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

      Spay and neuter. Please.


      • #4
        Have you spoken to anyone at SW about the saddle, when I enquired a couple years ago they were very candid about it's pros & cons

        SW does have a few rather nice saddles on excellent clearance prices as well, (& they often have some older demos etc that may fit you & your horse).


        • #5
          I haven't actually ridden in one, but I saw them up close at the SW factory. They're very nice for the price point. The Mystic is modeled after the Danzig (which is what I have). They told me the balance was similar, but the leather is less expensive, and the tree can't be adjusted quite as extensively/frequently as the UK models.

          When I say the leather is less expensive, it's still nicer than just about anything else I've seen in that ~ $1K price point. They have a great trial policy, so get one in and see what you think!


          • #6
            I have a Danzig too, pretty happy with it. Really open seat with hardly any knee roll at all. Very comfy too, trail ride in the thing all the time. I recently also had mine reflocked, the saddler said it was a very well made saddle. The billets are a bit odd, so if you do ever need to replace them, it'll cost a bit more. That's my only complaint.
            The company is incredibly easy to work with. I've seen a few other models for sale on Ebay and Pelham Saddlery from time to time.


            • #7
              FYI - there's a 19.5" Smith Worthington Maxx on eBay that looks like it's in good shape - http://www.ebay.com/itm/195-SmithWor...-/251265177098

              The Maxx has a pretty wide twist (definitely wider than the Mystic/Danzig), so it may not work for you, but it might be worth a look. It's a pretty flat, open saddle, with a little softer & wider seat v. the Mystic/Danzig.


              • Original Poster

                Update--Got the saddle, had it for about a month now, and am very pleased. The leather is lovely and it's breaking in well. Horse is happy; saddle fitter did re-flock it for my guy, though he hasn't seen it on the horse yet. Given that, he did a darned good job of getting where it needed to be! Balance is great, it's comfortable, my hips don't hurt any more.

                There are a couple of small quibbles--the stirrup bars are set on a bit forward for my taste, but they're so recessed that the leather can slide to the end of the bar and be completely functional. The spot where the padded knee ends and the solid leather of the flap begins could have been placed more thoughtfully. The stirrup leather sometimes gets a big hung on the back of the padded part if you move your leg back (say for a leg yield) and then move it back in normal position. But for the level of riding I do, and the price, I'm completely satisfied!
                "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                Spay and neuter. Please.


                • #9
                  Nice commentary, thanks
                  - do let SW know your impressions