Broke my Black Forest saddle. Off the trails for awhile. :-(
   

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Broke my Black Forest saddle. Off the trails for awhile. :-(

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    05-11-2011, 11:21 AM
  #1
Weanling
Broke my Black Forest saddle. Off the trails for awhile. :-(

I posted this to my friends on the Trail Riding section but thought I should put it here, too, since it deals with tack.

**********
Last Saturday on a trail cleanup ride Mr. Big spooked or shied or something when I was trying to mount. I was just in the process of getting ready to swing into the saddle when he bolted forward a short distance. I must have still had one foot on the ground since I don't recall that falling was an issue.

However, I must have been holding the pommel pretty tight as I got ready to launch into the air to mount. When Big bolted, the pommel came off in my hand. Well, not clear off, but it ripped the saddle covering that it was stitched to.

I ride, or was riding, a Black Forest treeless saddle that I've really enjoyed. It's comfortable for me and, more importantly, is comfortable for Mr. Big. It sits well, stays put (once I get it tight enough) and has never caused any sort of "hot spot" on Big's back.

And I had always thought that it was made fairly well. I've since learned differently!

Since there is no tree the pommel is simply sewn to the top saddle cover. I'd assumed it was sewn through the saddle for strength. Not so! The ends of the pommel cover are sewn into the top layer of saddle covering over a fairly large area and I've always been amazed at how sturdy the pommel felt.

Until I put some pressure on it. Not even a lot of pressure as I let go as soon as Big really started to move. But, alas, it was enough. The top covering of the saddle let go along the stitch lines and the pommel now hangs loose.

I bought the saddle last fall. When I contacted Black Forest Vic said it wasn't covered by warranty but that he'd talk to "the powers that be" (I suspect that's his wife and, maybe, lawyer) and get back to me today. Since he asked if anyone got hurt (after seeing the pix of the damage) I'm thinking he's checking with his lawyer to discover the extent of liability. No one got hurt, thank the Stars, but it doesn't bode well for me!

In the meantime, I'm looking for a new saddle. Can't afford something really expensive and I can't spend all summer looking for something that fits Big. I'm considering a Royal King with a auto-flex tree in the hopes that it'll fit his broad, arched back and high withers. But I've not decided, yet.

Part of my problem is that I'm planning two, or maybe three, week long trips into the Wilderness Areas of Idaho this summer. Having a saddle break 3 miles from your rig is an inconvenience. Having a saddle break 3 days out can be a disaster. And I don't much trust Black Forest saddles after this little incident. And finding out that Black Forest doesn't trust them enough to stand behind them certainly doesn't help!

Sorry for the dissertation.
     
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    05-11-2011, 11:30 AM
  #2
Showing
Sorry to hear that... My trail saddle broke while back and that was an unpleasant experience. Hope you'll get new one soon!
     
    05-11-2011, 10:05 PM
  #3
dee
Started
Wow - I thought Black Forest saddles were supposed to be the Cadillac of treeless saddles. I'm almost glad I got my cheapy Hilason - at least if/when it breaks, I won't have spent as much $$ as I would have on a Black Forest.

Can you get someone to restitch it for you? Maybe a good saddle repair shop can beef it up a little when they re-attach it?
     
    05-12-2011, 01:37 PM
  #4
Weanling
Black Forest wouldn't warranty their saddle. They did offer to replace it for the price of repairing it but I just don't trust it anymore. I plan to ride extensively in the Wilderness Areas of Idaho and having equipment breakdown several days from help is just not an acceptable risk.

It's too bad because the saddle worked really well for both me and Mr. Big. But if the manufacturer won't stand 100% BEHIND their saddle, I'm not going to risk standing IN their saddle.

Saturday we load up the horse and head for Spokane to go saddle shopping. I've seen several in the area that might work but I'm not willing to just buy a saddle with a conventional tree without first making sure it fits the horse.
     
    05-15-2011, 10:18 PM
  #5
Weanling
Yesterday I drove 350 miles, pulling a horse trailer equipped with Mr. Big, to find a saddle that fit him. Turned out to be a barrel racing saddle, not a trail saddle--but the price was right and it fit. I can add the dee's to attach trail gear.

It has a nice, solid, tree under it with the pommel firmly attached to the tree. I'll not be trusting sewn up treeless saddles ever again.

Interestingly enough, I feel a lot more secure in the tree'd saddle. I didn't realize I didn't feel secure in the treeless saddle until I rode in a tree'd western saddle and learned what it meant to be secure. I'll stick with tree'd saddles from now on.
     

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