I have 2 questions:
1.) What do you think of American Saddlery saddles? (quality, durability, comfort, maintenance, price, value, etc.)
2.) Has any one had any experience with Big Horn saddles since the buy-out? (I've noticed the significant price jump...but are they still as good as the old Big Horns? quality, durability, comfort, value, etc.)
American Saddle makes/markets them in different levels of quality. I was able to get a Mastercraft that was ~2 years old and never used from my local tack shop. ( American Saddlery, Inc. > The Top Hand ). I've only had if for a few months and took it for a ~4 hour ride yesterday - very comfortable. It is one of the best saddles I've owned. I wish it was a 17" though, instead of a 16".
1.) I have heard good and bad things about American Saddlery. I know they are out of Chattanooga, TN, so I have had the chance to try out many of their saddles(mostly the pleasure and barrel ones though). Basically, quality is ok. It really depends, because they are factory made, and it seems that they get a lot of duds, but I know my first barrel saddle was from there, and it was exceptional. I honestly don't think their saddles are worth $500+, but that is what you pay. lol.
2.) As far as Big Horns go, I would stick with buying an older one. We have one laying around the barn that has been used every week for 20 years now, and it is still in a very useable condition.
I have a Big Horn, but I'm not positive whether I got after ward or before the 'issue' with te company. I like them. They stay in one piece pretty well...
I have a 2 Big Horns already, I was just wondering because I can find very little information on the internet about the quality since AS bought Big Horn's assets. I know the old ones live forever...I have a 101 that is probably 10-15 years old and a 170 that is only 5 years old and except for some cosmetic issues that I caused on the 101 you really can't tell it's that much older (and that particular saddle has been through A LOT! lol)
As with many Brands, they new ones are not quite as good as the old ones.
AS now owns the machines, dies, clickers and patterns from BH, almost all the Employees moved across the street also to the AS building, so the quality of a BH is the same today as it was 2 years ago from what I have seen.
BTW, as with most Brands there are the standard models and higher end models as IrideHorses mentioned.
As far as the price jump, maybe the stores decided to raise prices for some reason because of limited supply. BH did have a small increase because of materials, but most others also had a increase at the 1st of the year too.
That's good to know that the quality seems to be the same...still a little pricey for basic synthetic trail saddles, though. (I mean the lower end saddles, not the higher end Big Horns). I have heard that production is behind and that people are not getting the saddles they order, but that's to be expected when things change over like that.
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