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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve heard good and bad Hilason Saddle & Tack reviews, but I can’t find a lot of reviews on this brand. I had ordered a good looking saddle A week ago or so, it’s nothing super fancy or showy. I paid a decent amount for it, more than I wanted to pay for quality I’m not sure of. After I bought it, I wasn’t sure if that was the smartest thing to do or not, even though I needed a saddle, (I had found a nice used corriente on ebay but after I asked a couple questions and messages the seller they ended the listing, but other than that I wasn’t finding any nicely used saddles that were in good shape or the right size 🏼) so I guess what I want to know is if anybody has had any experience with these saddles or tack personally? do they fit wider horses well and hold up for a while? I ride cause I enjoy horses, and I love doing new things and learning new things. I’m not currently roping or doing a lot of ranch work and all that. I rope and drag logs sometimes for something different and it could come in handy. I am trying to get out there and find good saddles for good prices, I don’t want something beat up and overpriced but some thing as good as new, something with many years left. My budget right now is limited, and if im better off to send this saddle back and get a refund I will do that, or if it’s gonna last a while and not fall apart... Thanks for your replies.... anxious to hear what y’alls experience has been
 

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Here is a site that people who bought send in reviews of various brands and types of tack in all disciplines...
Good or bad, they are real comments.
Maybe they have some of what you search for...
http://www.horsetackreview.com/products.php?Category=Barrel Saddles

Remember that you can't please everyone all the time, some of the time or ever and then the opposite is also very possible.
You can always get a lemon and or a gold-star product...
:runninghorse2:...
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks !! I know, you can’t please everyone..that’s the thing.I’ve heard they’ve upped their game a little in the last several years, I don’t know if it’s true or not but on the saddle I got everything is intact no pieces missing, or d rings falling off. it’s actually good quality leather but nothing absolutely amazing or anything. I’m not sure if I can do some riding in it to see how well it fits my horse or if the saddle stays in one piece lol.i did message the seller to ask about the policy they have. I’m debating whether sending it back and waiting it out for a nice used saddle is a better idea or not.
 

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The cantle on mine was put on lopsided, the leather is like cardboard and the stain is paint that scrapes off if you look at it funny.
The pommel angle is real wide, so to fit other horses, you would need wedges to adjust it.
The seat is very firm, you don't sink into it like most other treeless, which I love. My guy has a straight back, so no worries about it creasing.
Picture of mine, it's not the "fake me out" wannabe treed looking type nor the overstuffed quilted type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just to clarify- it is not a treeless saddle or a flex tree! I’ve heard pretty much just bad reviews on the treeless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No, just.... no. For the same price, you can find something older that is decent. Even a 40 y.o. Simco is a far better saddle.
Thanks... believe me if I could have found a nice broke in saddle on eBay her and my size (maybe I’m not searching right, but when I do the ones I find the people never get back to me on some more specs) and not beat up I would have def went with that saddle 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The cantle on mine was put on lopsided, the leather is like cardboard and the stain is paint that scrapes off if you look at it funny.
The pommel angle is real wide, so to fit other horses, you would need wedges to adjust it.
The seat is very firm, you don't sink into it like most other treeless, which I love. My guy has a straight back, so no worries about it creasing.
Picture of mine, it's not the "fake me out" wannabe treed looking type nor the overstuffed quilted type.
Do you ride in it still? Or like it?
It seems their treeless can be a little wonky sometimes, I wouldn’t have went with one of theirs if I was going for a treeless since it seems most the Hilason bad reviews are on those!!! But I’m not seeing much for the other ranch and wade saddles with trees.
 

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There are tack sale groups on facebook that have good used saddles of all brands at decent prices. I would be hesitant to buy a Hilason if you are looking for a saddle that will last.
 

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Be aware that a cheap saddle is not only uncomfortable for the rider, but also the horse. A saddle that is uneven or poorly made can ruin a horse's back. If you MUST use a cheapie, spend the money on a quality saddle pad-- you can get away with a mid-grade pad with a good saddle, but a poor saddle needs a top-end pad to give your horse the best chance of remaining comfortable.

A few local gals (teens) bought Hilason/Tough 1 barrel saddles this spring. All three started having problems with their nice horses shortly thereafter. Someone finally clued them in that running barrels in a cheap saddle was the equivalent of asking their horses to run the 100-meter dash in flip-flops. All three horses went back to their usual solid selves when the girls went back to their old saddles. One girl had no choice-- she was rounding the first barrel and the latigo D broke on her saddle. In other fortuitous events, the cheap breastcollar D's also ripped out so the whole works fell cleanly off the horse and she wasn't hurt, but that made the others realize their saddles were not worth the risk.
 

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Like so many other things, it depends. What kind of riding do you do? Walking in an arena for an hour or galloping on the trails? how spooky is your horse?

The main thing I would look at is what the tree is made of. Because some trees are cheap junk.

I've seen some tough 1 semi synthetic saddles. Those look nice for someone on a budget, but again the tree issue. If the saddle doesn't have a decent tree, it is trash.
 

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I know of someone with a Hilason saddle and I didn't care for the quality. It seemed very cheap to me. It also started falling apart pretty quickly, but it was also heavily used and not well cared for (they ran a trail string, so it was used quite frequently). I've never really heard much about their tack other than that it was cheap and of low quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
On their site they say all of them come with a 5 yr warranty, trees made out of wood and rawhide covered ? And supposedly thick “ genuine” leather... any company can say that .Mine came and I’m somewhat impressed. It looks good, I’ve only really used old beat up leather saddles before so I easy might be missin something. Everything seems built solid, it’s tight, but that doesn’t say anything. It seems to fit her, maybe too long. Id too be concerned with something going wrong in the tree and it doing damage, even tho that can happen with any saddle. Like someone else said I guess you can get a lemon or gold. Im not seeing a lot of reviews or people that have had good or bad experiences with this brand. I’ve heard they supposedly upped their game in the last couple years but ??? Im curious y’all...is there someone out there who bought from this company recently? I’m wanting a new-er saddle, but I don’t have a huge budget with Christmas and family trips coming up. I’m wondering if I want to take the chance and break it in if I’ll like it, or not...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Like so many other things, it depends. What kind of riding do you do? Walking in an arena for an hour or galloping on the trails? how spooky is your horse?

The main thing I would look at is what the tree is made of. Because some trees are cheap junk.

I've seen some tough 1 semi synthetic saddles. Those look nice for someone on a budget, but again the tree issue. If the saddle doesn't have a decent tree, it is trash.
It says most of the trees if not all are wooden and rawhide covered? Which sounds strong to me.As far as the rest of the saddle I’m not 100% sure... I don’t ride competitively, I just kinda do my thing, try new things work on this and that, lope, go for a spin around the house, random things and spontaneous. I try to ride 3+ times a week, and it varies but it’s normally 3+ hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Be aware that a cheap saddle is not only uncomfortable for the rider, but also the horse. A saddle that is uneven or poorly made can ruin a horse's back. If you MUST use a cheapie, spend the money on a quality saddle pad-- you can get away with a mid-grade pad with a good saddle, but a poor saddle needs a top-end pad to give your horse the best chance of remaining comfortable.

A few local gals (teens) bought Hilason/Tough 1 barrel saddles this spring. All three started having problems with their nice horses shortly thereafter. Someone finally clued them in that running barrels in a cheap saddle was the equivalent of asking their horses to run the 100-meter dash in flip-flops. All three horses went back to their usual solid selves when the girls went back to their old saddles. One girl had no choice-- she was rounding the first barrel and the latigo D broke on her saddle. In other fortuitous events, the cheap breastcollar D's also ripped out so the whole works fell cleanly off the horse and she wasn't hurt, but that made the others realize their saddles were not worth the risk.
Yikes no kidding.... were they the treeless ones by chance?? That definitely could get someone killed.
 

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Nope, not treeless. Treeless isn't a big thing here... she turned the barrel and then she and the saddle were sitting on the ground and her horse was rounding the second...
 

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Trust me. Hilason saddles aren't worth setting on fire in the back yard. Just because it says the tree is wood doesn't mean it's actual wood or good quality wood. They're super light saddles - because they use a super light (weak) wood (pine? I think? and today's pine does not have the structural integrity of old timey pine - the trees are usually Loblolly Pines and they grow too fast to ever get the strength of a regular pine). The description of the leather may say thick, but that's a terribly subjective adjective. The leather is NOT thick when compared to, say, a 1990s saddle made by Ammerman or even a vintage, for real Billy Cook Maker made in Greenville (Before the sale to Action Saddle and he set up shop in Sulphur, OK). The tanning process is garbage, the leather jockeys will start to curl up like a flying nun's habit within two or three years and it will be a constant problem, trying to get the leather to hold it's shape. I've even heard of the entire tree squirting out from between the skirts and jockeys/seat.

Get your hands on a good used saddle made 20 or 25 years ago and you will understand why we're saying Hilason saddles are absolute rubbish.

Because they are.


Note: Edits for clarity.
 

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Do you ride in it still? Or like it?
It seems their treeless can be a little wonky sometimes, I wouldn’t have went with one of theirs if I was going for a treeless since it seems most the Hilason bad reviews are on those!!! But I’m not seeing much for the other ranch and wade saddles with trees.
Yes, I still ride in it. Cantle sometimes annoys me, but I try not to pay attention to it.
I won't waste thousands until they make the pommel angle adjustable on a locking hinge, then it would fit any horse. Until then, it's good enough with a custom wither shim.
 
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