This is a spin off from the post on Trail riding Saddles.
I have extensive experience with the abetta endurance saddle. There weakness and their strengths.
A few years ago I bought 3 new abetta saddles. One for a working saddle, one for a backup if something happened to my working saddle and another for a spare, maybe even parts to keep the other 2 going.
I found the fenders wear out in about 1 1/2 years of about 3000 miles.
They wear holes right threw.
The riging is the problem. The knot is located right where the fender passes throught the tree limiting movement of the fenders.
There is also a little strap limiting the fender movement forward and backwards. Remove the 2 screws on each side holding the seat down , peel it back partly and cut this strap off. This allows more swing of the stirrups.
The western Knot is another problem. I lope alot and swing my legs forward. The fender and the knot interfer causing a binding that becomes extremely irritating. Fly changes, something I do every 1/2 mile or so becomes particularly probmatic because your forwards swing of the leg and then backward swing binds on the knot.
I fix this problem with a custom english riging which cost $57.
This solves the knot problem and I use a 24 inch dressage girth.
The worn fenders I replace with good quality leather ones at another $150.
The saddle comes with endurance stirrups but the through bolt, the one that connects the stirrups to the fenders is 1/4 inch with a plastic spacer. With hard use this spacer disintigrates causeing the bolt to bend. I replace this with a 5/16 bolt and an aluminum spacer.
The tree??? It tends to bridge. This means it only contancts the horse in 4 places , like a chair sitting on the back. I strip all working saddles down to the bare tree and custom fit to the horse. This involves building up the center portion of the tree so the tree contacts all areas of the back. All western trees leave a section under the tree missing to pass the stirrup leather through reducing the effective areas of contact.
A normal wester tree has 60 square inches of contact IF every part of the tree contacted the horse, every inch??? This is not the case so you build with fiberglass cloth and resin, grind some spots, build others until you get optimum contact and then reassemble the saddle. I have pictures and do this for every saddle that goes on my guys.
The strong points for the saddle is it's light weight. While the seat is comfortable enough, good enough to ride a buck it becomes hard over long slow rides.
Sometimes while bucking deep snow the pace is held down to a walk for hours on end causing my seat bones to dig into the saddle and over the hours your seat becomes numb, tired, soar. A good sheep skin rug properly installed on the saddle goes a long way to improving the comfort.
Between the stripping of the tree, then custom fitting , the $150 for good leather fenders, the $57 for English riging, the $100 for a good 24 inch dressage girth, the sheep skin, the original $555 purchase price, the $100 tax, the price of the saddle is not that cheap but can be made to work and work well.
I reworked 2 of them and keep the 3rd as a spare in stock form.