What do you think about this saddle? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 07:51 PM
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One of my saddles is a Simco - I've had it for many years now (well into the double digits). Very good saddle as it's comfortable for the horses and me and has proven quite durable. I think the rigging on it is 3/4s well. I use the saddle on horses with medium width in back and high withers. So I would recommend a Simco saddle.

For the particular one you're looking at, I think a price of $300 might be better as it doesn't have the back cinch with it nor does it have latigos (or saddle strings) for tieing stuff onto the saddle and you'd probably want both those for trail riding. As well I also think (as someone else did) that the stirrups might not be original. Otherwise, it is a good looking saddle.
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by AnrewPL View Post
Back cinches also depend on the rigging position on the saddle; on that one it looks about ĺ to 7/8th which really doesnít need a back cinch unless you are doing some pretty heavy duty roping (which Iím guessing the saddle isnít designed for anyway). All my saddles are ĺ rigged and I still ride with a back cinch though it may be loose most of the time, but itís better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. As for trail riding, if the saddle fits well even on rough and steep terrain you shouldnít need a breast plate and a back cinch, but once again better to have them there just in case.
In terms of the saddle, the first thing Iíd be asking is what is the tree made of? If it has any fibreglass, forget it, save your money and get a better saddle.
Exactly! Using a back cinch has to do with rigging placement. Rigging placement determines how the cinch pulls on the saddle, hence a full double should have a back cinch and why you can rope big cattle with 7/8 rig and not need a back cinch.
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post #13 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 08:03 PM
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The best way it to lift up one of the seat jokies and have a look at the tree where the stirrup leather goes over the bar. If you know what you are looking at you can see straight away. I have a suspicion that most cheaper end saddles these days will have a synthetic tree of some sort, I think stuff called raylide or something like that is popular these days. The best materials for a tree are wood wrapped with rawhide. Fibreglass anywhere on the tree has its downside in that even in a western saddle where it looks quite rigid, they are, or should at least, be designed and built to flex a substantial amount. fibreglass doesnít flex as well as rawhide, so even on a tree made of wood but wrapped in fibreglass it wonít be as good as it should be. Worse than that though are trees made entirely of fibreglass, they have the down side of being far too rigid and as they deteriorate with age, as they do, they loose the ability to hold all the screws and nails that are used to build a saddle. For example the seat in a saddle is made of ground leather, and can often have a thin steel plate to give long term stability, these are glued into place and tacked onto the tree with nails, also many parts of the skirts are anchored on with screws, over time, on a fibreglass tree these will fall out and you cant put them back in as the fibreglass around them has crumbled. Wood and rawhide is always the best tree material.
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post #14 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the great responses!!

Today I went and sat in it to see what it's like. It was awesome! Really comfortable! I also learned that the store will let me take it for a week long trial. So there's probably going to be a 'Does This Saddle Fit' thread popping up in the next couple of weeks. :)

If it fits my gelding and I like it I'm probably going to go for it. I have some more knowledgable western people at my barn who I can have look at it, also. I may try to get the price down. But it is in pretty good condition, and in my neck of the woods is a pretty rare find. It's the first I've found after several weeks of looking.

Thank you again everyone!! :)
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 08:44 PM
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Its good that they are willing to let you have a test ride of it. Probably a few things I should have said is that though I think Rawhide wrapped wood is the best, I have never had anything to do with trees made of raylide (or whatever its called) or other non fibreglass synthetics; they could be good, I don’t know.

Concerning saddle fit, take most of what non tree and or saddle makers tell you with a large grain of salt. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about how they should fit, or what a good or bad fit is. I won’t go into it in detail here but just remember a saddle should give you the best stability and comfort possible and give the same to the horse while distributing weight over the biggest area AND provide the best freedom of movement for the horse under the saddle.

The best thing I can recommend for you to do is to have a read of a tree makers website I found. I m thinking of building another charro saddle and wasn’t happy with the tree I had made for the last one, I found these guys on the net and they know what they are talking about, their website is extensive and has some great information on saddle trees.

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post #16 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 09:04 PM
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Oh yeah, keep in mind too that as they age and wear in to your body the saddle will change shape so if it isn’t well made though it will feel great at first the seat can collapse a bit and won’t be so comfortable after a while. Additionally things like padded and quilted seats over time can get lumpy and uncomfortable; there’s good reason why all the old time saddles that people rode in for hours on end every day every day for years didn’t have padded seats, over time they are much more comfortable. Having said that, if you only ride a few hours a week and look after the saddle, assuming its got a bit of quality about it to begin with, it should be OK and last years. Ultimately, a well made custom saddle is the best way to go; but yes they can run into the thousands.
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, what a great link! Thanks so much for sharing that, its very interesting.

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post #18 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by JustWingIt View Post
^ is there any way to tell what the tree is made of without asking or looking it up? Not sure if the people selling it would know...

Just out of curiosity, what's wrong with a fiberglass tree?

And no, no heavy roping, just light trails :)
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Fiberglass Tree are the junk the imports saddle brands use, generally Hollow Fiberglass.

Most likely that saddle has a Ralide Tree in it, occasionally Simco used a Solid wood tree covered in fiberglass. Nothing wrong with a solid wood tree reinforced with fiberglass.

400.00 is a little high for that model, but from a walk in store, that is about right, but do try to talk them down

Semi-QH tree is close to a medium in an English, but there is no direct correlation from Western to English.

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May all your Trails be happy and safe ones

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post #19 of 22 Old 12-18-2012, 11:44 PM
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you can usually see the tree right where the fender starts under the seat jockey of the saddle and find out what type of tree it is
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-20-2012, 09:15 PM
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Anrew, Simco uses Ralide ( a type of poly) trees in it's non ropers. This is a good little saddle, better than some of the later versions. I have a Simco roper that is built tougher than the newer ropers. The leather is thick. Hardware is all A1 quality. The original real sheepwool is still in good condition and the saddle was made in the late 50's. I more recently learned that the reason saddles don't have thick leather like they used, well you'd know about this, the hides get thicker as the animal ages. Many don't make it to 2 yrs anymore so that is what the makers have to work with. Must have been an old steer or cow that became my Simco.
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