Synthetic saddles.

(25 Posts)
Manchesterhistorygirl Sun 17-Nov-13 21:48:50

Dh's instructor has recommend that we get a synthetic saddle for his pony, new forest, and he does need one as the one she came with is quite frankly, crap.

Does anyone know or have one of the ones advertised on eBay for £40? They're two tone and I can't quite figure the link out properly. I'm thinking the usual, if it seems too good to be true it probably is.

Pixel Sun 17-Nov-13 23:09:28

I can only find these. Is that what you mean?

Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 18-Nov-13 08:16:45

Yep, that's the ones.

Littlebigbum Mon 18-Nov-13 14:04:36

Think there was about thread about these which was not positive. I agree it dose seem to be to good to be true.

Littlebigbum Mon 18-Nov-13 16:22:30

Thinking about it, because they can be so round with little whithers it may be all you can do.

Booboostoo Mon 18-Nov-13 17:25:46

This is not just a synthetic saddle, it's a treeless saddle.

Saddles can be either treed (traditional) or treeless. The tree is the solid part of the saddle over which the webbing/leather/synthetic material is built. The tree size gives the saddle its size (narrow, medium, wide) and it must be fitted to the horse to give clearance over the withers and the spinal cord, otherwise you get very serious back problems. Treeless saddles do not have a tree, can fit any horse and lie directly on the horses back. They are a bit like marmite, some horses love them, some horses hate them, some riders love them, some horses hate them. The cheaper ones are no more than a numnah and can cause problems by putting too much pressure on the spinal column. They can also be unstable and slip. I had a Solutions one for a horse that hated treed saddles and had no problems with it, but you get what you pay for (my Solutions was 1,700 pounds to give you an idea).

Synthetic saddles tend to be cheaper than leather ones but the material has less integrity and you may find they lose their shape more easily and don't last as long.

I don't know these saddles but 40 quid is such a small amount for a saddle I would assume the product is complete crap.

dopeysheep Mon 18-Nov-13 17:34:06

Not everyone's cup of tea but I love the black and purple one.
They probably aren't great quality but they do look tempting.

Pixel Mon 18-Nov-13 17:41:57

I don't think I would tbh, but that's because I've seen some truly awful indian tack in the past and even if they've improved a lot nowadays, old habits die hard! It might be ok, depends really if you want to take a chance on losing 40 quid, plus postage, plus possible 'additional charges' on the import, because if it doesn't fit I think you'll have trouble selling it on and it wouldn't be worth posting it back.

Pixel Mon 18-Nov-13 17:44:51

If you look at the description at the bottom it says "Flexible polyurethane tree" so I'm not sure if it is actually treeless or not, surely even if it's flexible you'd have to have some idea of the size?

Booboostoo Mon 18-Nov-13 18:14:03

The sizes only refer to the length of the saddle which is the only way to size a treeless saddle. Treeless are sized to fit the rider's bum, there is no pommel size because they do not offer wither clearance (the rule of thumb two fingers clearance at the pommel does not apply to treeless). These are 100% treeless, there is no such thing as a polyrethane treee, the tree is made of more robust materials.

Pixel Mon 18-Nov-13 18:15:47

That's what it says though, which does mean they haven't a clue what they are talking about ring alarm bells.

Booboostoo Mon 18-Nov-13 18:31:57

Yes I think that's the conclusion I would arrive at as well!!! They repeatedly say the saddles are treeless!

viperslast Mon 18-Nov-13 18:42:02

The cheap eBay ones are awful, they degrade very quickly and create odd pressure points causing back problems, bad behaviour etc. The only sensible way to shop for a saddle is to find a reputable saddle fitter who fits synthetics. A badly fitted synthetic is just as bad as a badly fitted leather.

Product wise the wintecs are good but often a bit too forward cut for low withered ponies. The gfs genesis is an excellent product and cheaper than a wintec. The thorogoods are good entry level but tend to fit the more slim breeds best. The pony club saddles are good quality but never seem to fit great. This is all in my personal experience of course so others may have other thoughts.

Pixel Mon 18-Nov-13 19:04:01

My friend's two new forests have always been fine in Wintecs, no problems at all, and they are ridden by a variety of riders, mainly adults. I don't think the OP actually said her pony has low withers did she? My Wintec did used to roll a bit on my barrel-shaped cob but it was solved by having an extra girth strap fitted.
If the pony does have low withers and a barrel body I would say avoid Thorogoods. The pony ds borrows (new forest type) has one and it's awful. Ds actually prefers to ride bareback than sit on that because it slides over all the time. We can't even add a crupper as there is no ring at the back.

viperslast Mon 18-Nov-13 19:13:37

Pixel, just an idea, the gfs genesis have a removable ring for the crupper, it's a kind of t piece that slides into the channel. If you could get into a tack shop that stocks these and thorogoods could you see if the t from the genesis fits the thorogood? If it does you may be able to get one as a spare from gfs? In fact I could probably try it if you like as I have both saddles - of course I don't know if my thorogood is exactly the same as yours.

Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 18-Nov-13 20:09:21

Omg it's a mine field isn't it? Glad I went with my feeling of too good to be true. I'm looking at a second hand wintec on eBay.

She doesn't have low withers no, but she is a bit barrel shaped. I don't want to spend £1700 to be honest, because at some point next year were intending on getting ds a more forward going pony and this one will teach ds2 to ride and be used for hacking out by ds1. She's an old lady and we fully intend to have her live with us and retire in the next few years. Hence not wanting to spend a fortune, but equally I don't want to get something that's no good for her.

Booboostoo Mon 18-Nov-13 20:15:04

Get her a Saddle Company saddle. They are very light weight as they are only partly leather, very good quality for the price so excellent value for money overall and their tree is adjustable. A good saddle-fitter should have a few second hand ones at more reasonable prices.

There was a time when the Wintecs were a good bargain, but the prices have just gone up while the quality has remained middling.

Whatever you do get it fitted before you buy it, it's very difficult to buy a second hand saddle unseen unless you really know the make and model you want (and even then I would be weary).

Pixel Mon 18-Nov-13 20:19:32

Thanks Vipers but I'd have to have a word with the owner as it's not our pony or our saddle, we only borrow her occasionally so ds can have a ride.

Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 18-Nov-13 20:23:53

Thanks boo. Will research my nearest saddle fitters.

viperslast Mon 18-Nov-13 20:31:19

No problem, let me know if it would help. They aren't a permanent thing and don't cause any damage so could just be left buckled to your crupper to be used when you ride rather than on the saddle full time. They literally slide in and out.

Op, it is a minefield sadly, I am lucky enough to live close to a second hand saddle stockists who let you try on so you know what to look for cheaper elsewhere wintecs tend to fit well or terribly, there is no middle ground sadly.

Depending on budget of course the best saddle I have ever found to fit almost everything is the bates. They come up for around 300 second hand and have the wintec adjustable gullet system. The main difficulty tends to be seat size, they come up most often in 17" and above but smaller do turn up occasionally. Possibly worth investing with a view to passing on to the new pony when the time comes?

Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 18-Nov-13 20:39:42

Do you know the really annoying thing, my dad's cousin is a saddler, but based up in North Yorkshire! (Wonders if pony fancies a road trip?)

They are shite. Got a great second hand saddle for £350 from a saddle fitter.

Pixel Mon 18-Nov-13 20:42:54

Or does the cousin fancy a little family catch-up visit accompanied by a van load of saddles? grin

Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 18-Nov-13 20:43:49

I'm seriously considering it! I wonder if he would?

viperslast Mon 18-Nov-13 21:04:54

Ooh, care to pm a recommendation? We are always on the look out for recommended experts grin

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