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Kates Saddles?

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  • Kates Saddles?

    Does anyone have any experience with synthetic saddles from Kate's Saddles? My beastie is young and keeps changing shape. Consequently, I don't want to drop a substantial chunk of change on a custom saddle, as the kid is quite likely to grow out of the saddle yet again. Plus, it's really sucks when young Dobbin decides to lie down and scritch that itchy back while wearing his expensive new custom fitted saddle. I don't actually care what kind of saddle I ride in as long as it fits me and the horses. I prefer no horn, but I'll put up with one. Right now Kates has a couple of synthetic Aussie saddles on the web site which I could take home for just about $300 including fittings and some modification of the tree to fit the horse. It sounds to good to be true.

  • #2
    Have you thought about going treeless?
    "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Yes, I had a discussion with my barn chiropractor about treeless. She has had a number of equine patients who had issues with them. 1) If you aren't careful with the padding, you end up with a lot of pressure on the spine 2) Even if you are careful with the padding, treeless tends to concentrate the pressure underneath your butt, potentially soring the horse.

      In my case, the problem with my gelding is usually that his shoulders get pinched. He's turning into a broad little boy. Since most good treeless saddles have a solid front fork, I could potentially still have shoulder issues while sacrificing the weight distribution and stability benefits of a full tree.

      Comment


      • #4
        I know what you mean. I recently rode a wide-shouldered horse in a Sensation treeless. The horse was comfy and so was I. That's the first treeless I've ridden that I like.

        I've got a pony foal that has NO withers. I don't know what I'm going to do when it is time to get her going under saddle. I'm used to high withered horses these days (one of the reasons I ride in a treed saddle).

        It just seemed like treeless might be a viable option for a young horse that is still growing and changing.
        "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I had that thought two years ago and got the gelding a Cashel SoftSaddle. I thought maybe I could use it for short schooling sessions and whatnot if I was having saddle fit problems. Unfortunately, it doesn't really give me the stability I need with a frisky young horse. Actually, I think the stirrups give me a false sense of security and encourage me to take chances I wouldn't if I was just using a bareback pad. I've put the Cashel pad into storage and will probably drop it off for consignment when I get around to it.

          Comment


          • #6
            I rode in a Cashel soft saddle once. Won't do it again. I didn't have any problems with it, but I did not like it at all.

            I'm going to try to save up and get a Sensation treeless. It has a narrower twist than most treeless saddles, and I think I can devise a padding system that will work for my high-withered horse. I really liked how well I could feel the horse's back when I rode in one last week. I don't like that treeless needs so much padding, but I'm thinking that it will be worth it if I can move with the horse better as a result of not having a rigid tree between the horse's back and me. I'll be able to ride lighter. At least, that's my theory.

            Too bad nobody else is adding their thoughts here!! You need some options!
            "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

            Comment


            • #7
              What about a Wintec saddle? I have never seen one of the Kate's saddles in person, so I can't comment on the quality, but I have to admit I'm leery. The Wintecs are a well known brand that you can sell if you find it doesn't work for you. They do not work for every horse, unfortunately, but work for quite a few and the quality is quite high. I've had several in the past and would happily have another if they worked for our horses (simply too wide for even the widest of those gullet plates). Based on my experience, both the 2000 AP or dressage model would make good trail saddles.

              Thorowgood also makes a synthetic saddle that is somewhat more customized to different types of horses as well as somewhat resizable (uses "fish" inserts); these are also high quality synthetics but aren't as well known in the US so their resale value is not as good (and you can't find them used in the US nearly as often as Wintecs).

              Comment


              • #8
                I know someone who bought a synthetic western saddle from there. Everything was fine for the price, except the tree. It's gullet was very low and wouldn't fit anything besides a VERY low/no withered horse. It would probably fit a mule pretty well, maybe. If your horse has any wither at all, I would stay away from the western saddle from there. JMO
                http://community.webshots.com/user/snafflebitz

                "My Saddlebred can do anything your horse can do" Clique

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have one of those synthetic aussies (hornless - RideAbout brand). Not amazing quality, but comfy for me and for my horse. The only thing I don't like is that the fabric covering on the flaps is not very sturdy, and after many many miles the stirrup leathers have worn through it. It doesn't affect the saddle function - it just doesn't look pretty.

                  At some point I plan to upgrade to a higher quality aussie, but this has been a good using saddle at a very reasonable price. I've logged hundreds of miles in it with no complaints from my horse. Oh, and it's the only saddle I can use to mount my roly-poly pony from the ground!
                  www.kentuckysidesaddle.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes I've visited Kates (it's their rather large garage...). I've owned three of their saddles, still have one which is the leather endurance model and it's one of my all-time favorites. The synthetics have good-enough quality, yes they fit it to the horse. Advise to cover the stirrup leathers with fleece to prevent wearing through, though the newer models have a leather wear patch I think. For a greenie training saddle, it's a sound choice.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by KarenC View Post
                      What about a Wintec saddle? I have never seen one of the Kate's saddles in person, so I can't comment on the quality, but I have to admit I'm leery. The Wintecs are a well known brand that you can sell if you find it doesn't work for you. They do not work for every horse, unfortunately, but work for quite a few and the quality is quite high. I've had several in the past and would happily have another if they worked for our horses (simply too wide for even the widest of those gullet plates). Based on my experience, both the 2000 AP or dressage model would make good trail saddles.

                      Thorowgood also makes a synthetic saddle that is somewhat more customized to different types of horses as well as somewhat resizable (uses "fish" inserts); these are also high quality synthetics but aren't as well known in the US so their resale value is not as good (and you can't find them used in the US nearly as often as Wintecs).
                      I tried a Wintec Isabell. It felt like I was going to have some Inverness issues going on if I rode any length of time in it; maybe I just needed to go up half an inch in size. I have a Wintec AP 500. It's not quite right. Something lumpy in it encourages me to move my legs out of position, plus it's a little slippery.

                      I looked at the Thoroughgood, but the vendor didn't give me the warm fuzzies. Nothing really bad about him, but he just didn't inspire me to go over budget for one of his saddles.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Willobeasty View Post
                        Yes I've visited Kates (it's their rather large garage...). I've owned three of their saddles, still have one which is the leather endurance model and it's one of my all-time favorites. The synthetics have good-enough quality, yes they fit it to the horse. Advise to cover the stirrup leathers with fleece to prevent wearing through, though the newer models have a leather wear patch I think. For a greenie training saddle, it's a sound choice.
                        LOL, I got the feeling it was a rather small operation. What's your experience concerning the earlier mention of a very low gullet? My gelding doesn't have shark fin withers, but he's not built like a mutton withered draft pony either. It would be nice if I could use the saddle on my mare with a bit of extra padding as well. She's got a more feminine build than the gelding: slightly narrower shoulders and slightly higher withers.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think the low-gullet mention was on a western saddle. Since they'll adjust the aussie to fit your withers tracing, you shouldn't have a problem with that.
                          www.kentuckysidesaddle.com

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