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I am trying to help my mom find an English saddle. She has a young quarter horse, so the mare will be growing with time. Additionally, while her mare gets trained up, she will be using the saddle on my mare. This is why we settled on an exchangeable gullet system. Reading reviews on wintec and bates, I'm hesitant about those saddles both because of what I have heard regarding the shape of the gullets. As well, I'd like wool flocking.

I am thinking of finding her a thorowgood. Is Thorowgood a decent brand of synthetic? Will she be able to *eventually* show in local shows with one? Does anybody have a suggestion between the T8 jumping saddle and the T8 anatomic saddles? If you don't like Thorowgood, why and what would you recommend instead?

I normally show in AQHA, but I no longer have my English saddle, nor do I have a strong drive to ride in it again. I imagine if my mom wanted to show there, she would have to upgrade, but, for now, will a Thorowgood be appropriate?
 

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I wanted a Thorowgood and know people that use them - if you wanted a leather saddle, you can look into "Kent & Masters" - it is the step-up company from Thorowgood.
 

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I got two on trial from Smartpak. Check out their test ride page. For the price I think they were decent saddles, they just didn't work for me.

I was trying to figure out which ones to try, so before I event ordered the trial saddles I contacted Thorowgood's customer support, with all the relevant information about my pony and me, and they tried to come up with a recommendation. So you might do that if you're not sure which one to try.
 

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If you are looking at Synthetic another good brand that isn't really mentioned much I think because not a lot of people know about it is Tekna. They make a fantastic synthetic saddle. It's made by the makers of Exselle saddles and the designs of their jumping saddle is absolutely awesome. It comes with different gullets and can be adjusted as well. I have no experience and don't know anyone with the brand you are mentioning. The new Wintecs that just came out are fantastic. They also have the changeable gullets as well as the shims.
 

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I have had a Tekna, a wintec, and a thorowgood. I love my Tekna but good luck finding gullets, so check that they have the size gullets you might need before purchasing. Thorowgood is a good saddle, and will fit larger riders. My Tekna has a narrow twist and won't work for taller or larger riders (at least the dressage saddle is that way).
 

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I don't have one, but I've heard they are really good.

I prefer my Tekna though, it's a synthetic, also has an interchangable gullet. I ended up just taking my gullet plate out, & it fits a lot better.
 

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I've fitted Thorowgoods for years. You'd likely want the Cob saddle for a QH (please bear in mind I'm in the UK and most we see over here are the wide, flat-backed variety, so I'm making assumptions). K&M use the same trees if you prefer leather but I once had a customer finish top Welsh Section D in the M&M Large Breeds Championship at Olympia using a tatty old Thorowgood Griffin I'd supplied them as an exercise saddle, so I wouldn't worry too much about whether a local show will look down on synthetics. Anyhow, the T8 has leather seat and flaps.

My admittedly limited experience of Tekna is their gullets are not as wide as Thorowgood or Wintec (widths of these last two are pretty much the same up to XW). Poptartshop is obviously aiming to give the horse a sore back using a saddle sans gullet, unless it's on top of a 4" thick blanket and even then I wouldn't. I'd second 4horses ref the narrow twist.

The Thorowgood Anatomics are new and based on the Fairfax panel (another Thorowgood Group company). Not sure how this will work yet as I've not seen one, but it should be ok - just like an old half-panel saddle!
 

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I loved my Thorowgood for years, before switching to an endurance saddle. My saddle fitter was less happy about it because it was stiff and hard to assess if the changes she made were actually reflected in the fit.

Good luck!
 

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We sold our Thorowgood synthetic because it got too stiff in the winter. We ride in very cold weather - up to about -20 C. It caused the saddle to be very stiff and uncomfortable. Otherwise it was ok.

I bought a Bates Elevation as a jump saddle (it's leather) and it's a lovely saddle that is very appropriate for the hunter ring. It has adjustable gullets and is very comfortable. Both my daughter and I have ridden it and I would consider it a far better saddle than the Thorowgood, but of course, it was more money.
 
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