Dakota saddles? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 27 Old 12-08-2011, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
I read on the trail saddle which states Steele equi fit fiberglass covered flex tree. Fiberglass isn't flexible. The roper tree offers a 5 year warranty. Does that warranty expire the minute the saddle leaves the retailer? My Tex Tan offered a 5 year guarantee - big difference. If considering a Dakota, be sure to read the fine print if there's a warranty. I don't know of a saddlemaker in North America who can make a custom saddle for $750 unless he opts to work for less than min. wage.
This link discusses the Steele equifit flex tree:

Steele Saddle Tree LLC - EQUI-FIT FLEXIBLE (EFF)

That should answer your 'isn't flexible' comment.

Why do you ask if a 5 year warranty expires the moment the saddle leaves the retailer? Unless it is a fly-by-night company - and neither Steele nor Dakota are those - then the warranty starts when the saddle is purchased for use. 5 years is fairly common in western saddles.

"Circle Y saddles have a ten year tree warranty, a one year parts warranty, and a one year silver warranty. Saddles have a warranty registration card attached which contain a complete explanation of the warranties. All warranties apply to the original purchaser. Saddles manufactured before January 1, 2004 have a five-year tree warranty."

Circle Y Saddles - Western Saddles, Trail Riding Saddles, Barrel Sadles, Roping Saddles

"All our leather Tex Tan saddles have a five year warranty on the tree"

Tex Tan Need for Speed Barrel Saddle

I have no clue why someone would think TexTan has a superior warranty.

Dakota doesn't offer custom saddles. They offer semi-custom. That means standardized parts, with some interchangeability as the saddle is being made. I don't know what they pay, but they are not pretending they offer a true custom made saddle.

BTW - here is a list of folks using Steele trees:

Steele Saddle Tree LLC - Vendor Directory
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post #12 of 27 Old 12-11-2011, 08:48 PM
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Just my opinion the Dakotas are probably made better than the Circle Y nowadays. Circle Y since it has become super popular is mass produced and tends to have defects that were not previously seen. Small saddle makers still treat their saddle making as a skill. I have had a couple different Dakotas. One I wish I still had.
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post #13 of 27 Old 10-19-2012, 09:45 PM
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I know this is an old thread but I am trying to get the word out about the Dakota saddles. I bought a new Dakota roping saddle in 2004. I didn't realize how badly the saddle was fitting my QH. His back got so bad & his walk became so rough & he stumbled frequintely. I sold him because of this. I then started riding my young horse but could never get her to properly canter. I could spur spank or whatever & she would rather take that than canter. Otherwise she rode good except she wanted to shortstep alot. So then... I started riding another young horse & since she was grey she very quickly got two white spots on her withers. I really liked my saddle so I was trying to use different padding to correct this. I specifically ordered full QH bars on this saddle. Out of the blue she started bucking after riding alot. Now she has a knot on her left wither. I immediately traded my Dakota for an HR ranch cutter & to my surprise my horse with canter & the other quit bucking. Afriend of mine who purchased the same kind of saddle after I did is having the same problem on the left side of his horse. I am so upset about selling Elvis because I am sure I was responsible for the condition he was in. This problem almost caused me to be severly injured. I hope this can be helpful to someone out there. Spend the extra money on the HR saddles. I am glad I did. My horses are much happier besides it is so much more comfortable.

Last edited by jennifer newman; 10-19-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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post #14 of 27 Old 10-19-2012, 10:09 PM
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Every saddle brand is going to fit a tad bit different. Don't blame the maker for your inability to realize your saddle did not fit correctly.
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post #15 of 27 Old 10-19-2012, 10:24 PM
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I own a Dakita reining saddle. Never had a problem. In the shop getting new blevins buckles now. It fits all my guys just fine.
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post #16 of 27 Old 10-19-2012, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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So because it took you going through THREE horses to figure out your saddle is a bad fit your blaming th saddle company? You do realize every saddle fits different just like a shirt or a pair of pants fit each person differently.

Please don't be ignorant and blame the saddle maker. I've never had an issue with mine and I love mine. Every saddle fits every horse differently.
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post #17 of 27 Old 10-20-2012, 12:59 AM
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Dakota & a lot of others use Steele trees. A good way to get a good fit via the Internet is discussed here:

Steele Saddle Tree LLC - Fit To The Horse

If you are new to fitting western saddles, it is a good place to start reading.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-10-2013, 12:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Unhappy Dakota Saddles

Was happy with them have a Custom tooled and color reiner that ran about 850.00 new 5-6 years ago. Now also a nearly new Custom tooled special color Arab tree hybrid trail saddle that was close to a 1,000.00. Not even two years old and seat in that is just crap padding went flat under seat bones, wear in the center of the leather and a object of some kind nearly breaking through the very thin grade grain out leather.

They are not being very nice about repairing it either or even admitting to something of a QA problem When a seat has huge seat bone divots and a nail head poking up through the seat maybe a problem here with Them. I feel ok I'll pay shipping one way not happy with the rest of what they think I should pay. This saddle looks new barely has any miles on it. Thehorsesaddleshop.com was the dealer on this and did a good job getting it built for me but, not a good advocate job now the this is an issue. So far not happy will update this if they reach out and get back to me. e-mails and phone calls just result in them wanting me to pay shipping two ways and at "cost" repair.
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post #19 of 27 Old 01-10-2013, 06:16 PM
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After the spanking I got on what I wrote upearlier I had no other reply. My saddle had the very same seat but it didn't become defective like yours. I am sad it took me 3 horses to realize I had a problem. Everything was so gradual with the 1st horse & then the fact the 2nd one would not canter. Just never put it together until the 3rd horse just threw a fit. I guess stupid me but I have a HR Ranch cutter now & it is awesome. But it is very heavy. Sits like a rocking chair. Thank you for the reply I thought I was the only person unhappy with the Dakota.
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post #20 of 27 Old 01-10-2013, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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I still have no issues with mine!
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