Barrel Saddles (the good, the bad, and the ugly)
I have yet to find a saddle I really love and fits my horse. I have had two older model billy cook barrel saddles 16" I'm looking for a saddle that is a good quality, won't break the bank. I also need one that has a really (and I mean really) deep seat as I like to feel secure. My horse has tall whithers but big shoulders. What are peoples opinions on Triple Creek saddles? The hard part is finding a 15.5" or 16" barrel saddle. Aren't too many places around me that have or stocks barrel saddles. What are peoples opinions on flex trees for hard to fit horses? Any and all help is nice
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Hmmm well if you want a DEEP seat the new martha joseys have a 5" cantle and taller swell, but they have the SUPER forward stirrups that I, personally, can not stand. They run somewhere around $2000 new. You'd be hard pressed to find one used. Double J Pozzi's are deep too. You could find a used one in the $1000-$1500 range, but then again finding a larger seat is more difficult (trust me, I know!)
For my saddle, I bought a Marlene Mcrae Special Effx. It's one of the new ones made by cactus, and I had it customized. With my customizations, it was $1800 and I love it. It has a fairly deep seat, but not super deep. The stirrups hang underneath you, and the flex tree in it is one of the best around. It has fit every horse I know except one with only an adjustment of pads. Right now I'm using it on a gigantic HIGH withered TB and before I was using it on a medium withered wider qh. Mine has roughout jockeys and fenders and a suede seat, so even though it isn't super super deep, I find it fairly secure. The qh I mentioned earlier had a dumb moment and stopped dead, spun around, took off, then reared up and I literally did not move at all or lose my balance at all in that saddle.
OOH! Another one came to mind just now. I don't know what you're willing to spend, but Deb Sibley make some REALLY cool saddles. They have a flex tree that is supposed to fit most horses. You can custom order them with all kinds of features including a 5" seat and owners say they are very secure. They also have fully adjustable fenders so you can adjust how forward they are as well as length. These saddles start around $1600.
Oh, and the triple creeks. I haven't met one personally, but I did consider one for a long time before I purchased my saddle (the deciding factor really was the flex tree). They are nice saddles but getting one to fit can be a challenge unless you can drive to a dealer, and you don't want your sweet custom to not fit. They have increased their prices somewhat lately, but still a reasonable price for decent saddles. They're not top of the line, but are pretty nice, and definately a good value. OMG I just remembered another one! H3 Saddles. These ones are dreamy. They are designed very similarly to caldwells (ergot: DEEP!) but are around $1800-$2000. They're a new company but oh lord are they nice. You most likely will not find one used though.
You're of course going to hear that looking into getting a really nice used saddle is the way to go, and really it is. If you are wanting something new I would look into the KO Trading barrel saddles or the corriente saddles. Both companies are awesome, good prices, awesome quality.. just great saddles all around. I can't say a whole lot of the Corriente saddles but Posidon (member on the forum) has one that she custom ordered and she loves it. I custom ordered my KO Trading barrel saddle and I looove it. I've had it years now and I've never had any problems with it. It fits all three of my horses.. They range from a fat and stocky 14hh QH to my appendix mares.. Nikki has prominent withers and it still fits her well. Everything is custom on my saddle..right down to the conchos..I ended up paying $800 for it which is fantastic for the quality of the saddle. Love it, and when I need another saddle I'll definitely order another from them.
Build Your Own Barrel Racer Saddle
I have heard some good things about Triple Creek Saddles
They should be able to make a deeper seat as they are customizable
Flex Trees do not flex in a way to fit various sized withers...... they flex in a front to rear way to allow for a touch more comfort of the Horse.
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