I tried a horse out a couple of years ago in a Tucker that the owner had. That is what I'm looking to buy now. That saddle was so comfy that I decided that as soon as I could get the money saved up, that was going to be the kind of saddle I was going to get.
Although I've looked at the Tucker many times, and even came close once, the reviews I read (post 3 of this thread) turned me off. It wasn't the feel that the rider had being in the saddle, but what the reviews said about fitting the horse.
Yes, I am also looking at the Tucker, but in my heart I am afraid of pursuing it from the bad reviews. Number one is it has to fit the horse. I think you either love them or hate them. I am looking at Crates right now but the one I am looking at may be too long for my horse (26"). I am also looking at Southern Trails, review are great and they can make them custom to your horse, plus they are less exspensive. A friend from a forum recommended them, she loves hers!
You might consider looking into endurance type saddles (no horn). At first I was loath to give mine up but after riding for over a year now without one, I really notice the difference when I have to go through heavy treed areas. When you have to lay yourself on your horses neck and the horn is jabbing you, it really makes sense to ride without one. I was only using it to hang stuff on anyway
I also don't care for a flex type tree. If I was in the market I would call Kevin about this endurance model with the center fire rigging.
As far as a horn, I need it only to hang stuff on, I like to take my camara and there is no where else to hang it plus I like the looks of a good ole western saddle. If it weren't for that no horn would be find.
I went to the Equine Affair this weekend and sat in a Tucker High Plains and a Cheyenne Frontier which were both very comfy. I have to keep in mind my horses short back and I am still considering it. I had a chat with a very qualified DVM,chiropractor, saddle fitter etc, and she does fit some horses with Tuckers, that made me feel better because I really like the looks, feel but the main thing is how it fits the horse,
I took wither tracing with cutouts and pictures so the Tucker rep was able to tell me which size to bring home and try from a tack store not too far from my house.
How will I feel when I have a saddle? What will I do with my time, I am obsessed in finding a saddle and trying to learn all I can...until then...
My friend uses a Tucker endurance saddle on her one TWH mare and really enjoys it. I am not sure which one it is but it is really comfortable for those long hours. She has never had any problems with it I am not sure that I would get one for my horses (I perfer the Australian Stock Seat saddles for long rides) but it is nice to use every once in a while.
I purchased a Tucker Gen II Endurance saddle a few years back. It recieved the highest rating on the site Iride posted on another thread. I absolutely love it as do my horses.
I've spent up to 8 hours straight in it and felt great as did my horse. I like that it is light weight (22 lbs) but is made of quality leather. I'm new to leather, as I used Wintec english and then their western. But, I don't mind the little extra in the care department.
They will work with you to provide the best fit for you and your horse and they have 3 different girthing systems to choose from. I only wish I had opted for the english girthing system intead of the enduro. But , I still am very happy with what I have.
Buying a quality saddle is a big investment. Take your time, review all info and ask many questions. Good luck to you.