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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

January 2, 2009

Crestridge Ovation Saddles

I've had the opportunity to test ride my new Crestridge saddle about 50 miles now. After an Abetta, Wintec, CTK GAITED, TREELESS, finally FINALLY a saddle with the bars angled right to not impinge at the shoulder. Crestridge built my Crusade Lite on an Ovation tree, with J bars that flare in the front. This allows the shoulder to fully rotate without binding against the bars of the saddle. I coupled the saddle with the pad made by Crestridge which has 1/4 inch panels that match the bars of the saddle. The synthetic version which my husband purchased with a suede seat for some grip was less than $800. You can go full leather on the Ovation and still come way below the price of most well made endurance saddles on the market today. The leather Ovation has less skirting than the Crusade Lite, which I really like. The weight of these saddles is about 22 pounds. This weight could be tweaked by changing out to a leather used on treeless saddles, and plastic easyride stirrups. You can also lighten the load by going synthetic cordura. Consider also if you purchase the pad made for the saddle at $89, you will lighten your overall load by a couple more pounds. So all said and done, a rider should be able to get that weight down to around 20 pounds. I also applaud Crestridge on thinking through the way an arabian horse is built, and the way they move. This is the first time that something fit to ride more than a few miles. We will soon be pushing toward 15-20 miles on our training sessions, and I don't have to worry what the sweat pattern will look like when I pull off the saddle. If you have a wide ride, consider Crestridge Saddlery for your next and last endurance saddle.

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