Light Weight, Custom Fit
Specialized Saddles are designed to be custom fitted to your horse’s back and can be adjusted as your horse's back changes from fitness conditioning (or being out to pasture for too long
:-) through the use of customized neoprene pads and shims.
Also, if you have more than one horse with the same tree width, you can
use the same Specialized Saddle and simply have customized pads and shims for each horse, - a big advantage for multi horse owners.
The neoprene pads and shims do require some care when storing. It's highly recommended these saddles aren't stored on regular saddle stands as the neoprene pads and shims can compress and become deformed. Also, don't stack saddles on top of each other for the same reason.
Specialized Saddles have the distinct benefit of truly fitting to the horse’s back, similar to traditional English saddles where the flocking can be adjusted to the horse's back by a professional fitter. This is especially important for horses with pronounced asymmetry in their backs.
Also, these saddles tend to be shorter in length than most. The saddle in the review is about 22 inches in length which is great for breeds with typically short backs (Arabian, Icelandic, Paso Fino, etc.), but it doesn't compromise the rider's seat size.
The saddle style selection goes from the bare minimum Eurolight (endurance style), to International (english type trail), to Trailmaster and TW Saddles (western type). All of the Specialized Saddles are known to be light weight, with the endurance style Eurolight barely there at
only about 12 pounds.
The saddle featured in this review is an International style weighing in at about 20 pounds. There is a large selection of options for your saddle, from color combinations, seat type, seat texture, stirrups, rigging, and more. The saddle for this review is brown with basketweave edging, black accents, smooth endurance seat, pencil roll cantle, leather covered trail stirrups, English rigging, and antique silver berry conchos.
All that being said, if light weight and a custom fit are what is needed for your horse then Specialized Saddles may be the answer for you.
Specialized has a number of representatives who
perform saddle fitting, or you can use an instructional
video to do your own fitting. We chose to utilize an expert
for the fitting process which includes an examination of
the horse's back both static and in motion. The fitter
determines the best tree to use, then neoprene pads and
shims are attached to a demo saddle tree and used to build
a saddle base which best conforms to the horse's back.
The fitter sells the custom fitted pad and shims, then you can select the saddle style and options you want.
The saddle fitters and representatives we partnered with are Rick and Carol Brand
of Lost Juniper Ranch. They carefully explained the process, answered all questions, and
created fitted shims for the horses.