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Old 07-26-2006, 09:49 AM  
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Ortho-flex Saddles

Hey,

Was wondering if anyone here rides/has ridden or can give input on the Ortho-flex saddles.

When we went out to visit Strider, we got to ride his dam, and his owner put an Ortho-flex up on her and WHOOO!! Well, I mean, I'm sure it was a combo of the mare and the saddle, but it was like heaven.

His owner was mentioning that they're great saddles for the gaited horses because the trees have some give and flex so the gaited horses could move underneath them, and my boyfriend loved that they're vented, so now he's looking at one. Though, UGH! Sticker shock!!!

Anyone out here have experience with them on ANY horse? We are looking to add another gaited to our group, and while we're not seriously hunting for another saddle right now, we're keeping our eyes peeled for one.

And, if anyone can, how do they stack up against, say, a Circle Y? One of the ladies at our barn got a new saddle/headstall/reins/breastcollar for her TB for $1,000 and I'm thinking, "I'm going to THAT tack store!!" But I'd like to know which is the saddle of preference? Though I've got a feeling it's going to come back that Circle Y's the way to go, thought I'd ask about the Ortho-flex though.
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:52 AM  
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I've only ridden in an Ortho Flex English saddle, but I can tell you if any one dies and leaves me money, that the first thing I'm buying

They are fantastic.....
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:54 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocking Horse
I've only ridden in an Ortho Flex English saddle, but I can tell you if any one dies and leaves me money, that the first thing I'm buying

They are fantastic.....
We were in one of their Western saddles, and, like I said, I can't tell if it was the mare gaiting or the saddle, but so far, I agree. Good to know that it holds true for the saddles too (well, at least so far!).

Thank you!!

HAHAHAA!!! Yeah, me too!! If someone dies and leaves me money, I'm buying horsey things!!!
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:10 AM  
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The reports on Ortho-flex saddles are generally very good, but there have been some problems, too.

I worked with the owner 8 or 10 years ago when the company relocated from Nevada, Missouri to Warren, Arkansas. Very nice guy.

The company did experience some difficulties not too long after the move, and that may have precipitated some of the temporary "bad press" on their products, but for the most part I think they have a very good reputation, although they are a little on the pricey side.
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:19 AM  
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You may want to browse Synergist saddles too-custom and lots of endurance riders have them. nice folks own the company
Tucker also carries some nice off the rack saddles for gaited horses-price may be more to your liking.
Sticker shock can be deadly
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Old 07-27-2006, 03:11 PM  
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I have a friend who can only ride her Paso gelding in a treeless saddle. I've seen her show him in it, and it looks like an english. While in TX last summer, hubby and I went to a PasoFino breeder and they were/are licensed Ortho-Flex dealers. We rode 3 yrs olds so were in comfy western trail saddles. But the OrthoFlex seems pretty popular in the Paso world. Have you looked at any used OrthoFlexes?
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Old 07-27-2006, 03:49 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToveroMom
You may want to browse Synergist saddles too-custom and lots of endurance riders have them. nice folks own the company
Tucker also carries some nice off the rack saddles for gaited horses-price may be more to your liking.
Sticker shock can be deadly
I'll take a look at those, thanks TMom!! And you are SO not kidding about sticker shock!! We've both almost swallowed our tounges looking at saddles. I think we just have expensive taste.

Someday I'd like a saddle with lots of "bling" on it....right now I have a saddle with lots of "ding" on it *heh* Can't complain though-it's serviceable, the price was excellent and I like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGaiter
I have a friend who can only ride her Paso gelding in a treeless saddle. I've seen her show him in it, and it looks like an english. While in TX last summer, hubby and I went to a PasoFino breeder and they were/are licensed Ortho-Flex dealers. We rode 3 yrs olds so were in comfy western trail saddles. But the OrthoFlex seems pretty popular in the Paso world. Have you looked at any used OrthoFlexes?
OHHH yeah, we've looked at the used ones, the scratch and dent, and their eBay ones, we're still talking in the thousands.

The lady we're buying my Paso colt from offered to sell us her husband's (which was a custom roper) for about $1600 I think. I can't justify spending more on a saddle than I just did on a horse, though I really liked that saddle (so'd my boyfriend).

I'm going to keep looking though.

It also seems like they're sized different. I know that sounds weird, but the saddle I rode in was sized smaller than my Western, but fit me just about the same-am I imagining that or is that so?

And yeah, I've seen the treeless saddles too that look english. My BF just hates anything 'Englishy' looking. *sigh*
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:40 PM  
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Have you heard the old cowboy saying "riding a $40 saddle on a $10 horse"? Most likely a good quality saddle will outlast your horse and probably you as well. But that still doesn't make the cost any easier. As far as Ortho flex goes I know of people who love "em and people who have had alot of problems. I am a custom saddle maker and do alot of repair work as well. Right now I have an Ortho flex in that was built as the company was changing hands and it has a major problem. I suggested to the owner of the saddle that she return it to them for the work, since if it were one that I had built I would fix it for free, but she said that the company had been so difficult to work with that she was willing to pay me to try and get it fixed . But that said, I'd say if you like the feel and it fits your horse I'd say go ahead and get one. I know a number of gaited horse folks with them that love them, although I have talked to others that say it rubs their horses loins. A well made saddle that fits you and your horse properly will just add to your enjoyment of riding.
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:29 PM  
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Shayla, I have an Eli Miller plantation style saddle with the horn. It fits the Pasos well, and has a tree for gaited horses. It ran me $800 when I bought it. You might want to check them out if you see them. I have friend who decided he really liked my saddle and wanted one like it. Wouldn't you know I found one for sale on line, barely used for $400! Good for him, he bought it in a heartbeat. Kind of made me sick though.

Also check out the Steele saddles, particularly if you see one used, which is rare. They are absolutely fabulous! They do have a website where you can check them out. That is what I really wanted, but it cost about twice what mine did.

The only thing I would caution you about the Circle Y is that the ones I have seen are on Quarter Horse bars, and they don't usually fit Pasos well. And also I want to mention because of the Paso conformation, usually square skirts on the saddles don't work well either. Unfortunately I found that out the hard way, after I had bought a saddle with them. You may find a Circle Y barrel saddle that will work, but I would sure check it out on the horse before I bought it.
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Old 07-28-2006, 05:27 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasodeb
Shayla, I have an Eli Miller plantation style saddle with the horn. It fits the Pasos well, and has a tree for gaited horses. It ran me $800 when I bought it. You might want to check them out if you see them. I have friend who decided he really liked my saddle and wanted one like it. Wouldn't you know I found one for sale on line, barely used for $400! Good for him, he bought it in a heartbeat. Kind of made me sick though.

Also check out the Steele saddles, particularly if you see one used, which is rare. They are absolutely fabulous! They do have a website where you can check them out. That is what I really wanted, but it cost about twice what mine did.

The only thing I would caution you about the Circle Y is that the ones I have seen are on Quarter Horse bars, and they don't usually fit Pasos well. And also I want to mention because of the Paso conformation, usually square skirts on the saddles don't work well either. Unfortunately I found that out the hard way, after I had bought a saddle with them. You may find a Circle Y barrel saddle that will work, but I would sure check it out on the horse before I bought it.
Thank you for the input! I knew that a gaited horse would be slightly more different to fit, so the input on the Circle Y is so appreciated!!

We'll look into the other saddles as well!! We're constantly bargain hunting!!

And of course we're looking for something comfortable for our horse(s) as well (again, doubly important since we're leaning SO heavily on getting another Paso).

And Mule Fool-I agree that a great saddle should be worth it's cost, it's that darn ol' sticker shock!! *heh* Can't believe that your customer's having such a tough time dealing with them, but that too is interesting to note since, it seems like somewhere Hunter'd read that they guaranteed them. Sounds like really bad customer service on their part. SO not good.

All of this input's really helpful, and again, thanks everyone!!
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:11 PM  
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Shayla,I have a friend that custom builds saddles GUARANTEED to fit your horse and I think hers are Ortho-flex trees. PM me and I will PM you her site. These saddles are not cheap...
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:14 PM  
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Shayla,I have a friend that custom builds saddles GUARANTEED to fit your horse and I think hers are Ortho-flex trees. PM me and I will PM you her site. These saddles are not cheap...
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:19 PM  
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I use a royal king RB auto adjust saddle. It is almost the exact thing as a ortho flex except it only cost me 700 including shipping. They are great western saddles!!! We have two and love them.
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:02 AM  
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I own a Ortho-Flex and I just love it. we use them at my barn that I am at and they fit every one of the horses. Highly recommended
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:32 PM  
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Only downside to a flex panel saddle (there are other quality makers besides Ortho-Flex, with less of a sticker shock) is that it does place you slightly more above the horse than you would be on a traditional saddle.

On smaller or narrow horses, they can bridge somewhat. Even though the panels flex, they aren't completely flexible so they will NOT fit ALL horses.

Look at Watson saddles for more of a price break. He handmakes each one, so there is a wait, but he used to make Ortho-Flex saddles way back in the day, and his saddles are every bit as good, if not better -but are cheaper without being cheap.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:19 PM  
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This is here in Alberta but here's an ad for an ortho-flex that's not a bad price.

http://calgary.kijiji.ca/c-pets-live...AdIdZ220704407

It's about $100 to have one brought up from Texas so i'd guess it would be the same to send one down.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:27 AM  
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Ohhh my ortho flex ...

I have the old Cadence dressage saddle. I call it my retirement saddle and I love love love it! It's like riding on a couch and fits all of my horses! Every now and then you can find someone who doesn't know what they have and sells it reasonably .. I'd wait for that rather than buy a Circle Y if they're the two you're stuck on. Every Circle Y I've sat on hurts my bum and isn't a fit for all.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:52 AM  
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We have the Caliente -- fits both our horses and both of us. What a great saddle! I bought it off ebay pretty cheap and drove to pick it up.

The woman I bought my mare from was an Ortho-flex dealer, but said she started having having too many quality control issues with the new company. She said any time you can buy an older one (from the original company), do it. She also said Timberline is a good flex panel saddle (as is American-flex from Hillview Farms). If you check out Hillview Farms web page, they have some really good pictures and info on flex panel saddles and how they work.

There is one potential problem with these saddles: if they are not cinched up properly (with the correct length cinch), they can "bounce" and cause soreness on the shoulders. So it's important, particularly with a new one, to make sure when you are mounted that you cannot pull the cinch much more then 1" from the body of the horse.

The RB auto adjust saddle is a flex tree saddle, where the bars swivel, but it does "open" and "close" in a similar fashion to the flex panel saddles. And building a saddle on an Ortho-flex tree with no panels doesn't really mean much -- the tree in a flex panel saddle never makes contact with the horse, so while the tree may be a nice one, you lose the advantage of the flexible panels.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:24 AM  
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I have had Ortho Flex Saddles for years. All western 2 Roping, 2 Cutting, 1 Barrel racing. The horses don't leave the white hair on the whethers which means they don't have a pressure point where most saddles do. On a low whithered horse it will allow for the horses normal stride front. The reason they have a longer stride in front is becase the shoulders hit the hard tree of the normal saddle so they shorten up the stride to the point where they dont interfere. The first thing you notice is your horse is smother. I also break about 10 or 12 colts in the summer and you have less trouble with them bucking out of control. If you do it right most colts won't even buck. I also go to Colorado in the summer to ride. Before I had ortho flex the horses would come back so sore I couldn't ride them for a month or more. With the ortho flex they just come back tired. They work the best with the flex panel covers and not the blanket. With that set up they really stick to the horses back after riding for a few minutes. Four of the saddles are from the orginal dealer in Nevada and one is the new dealer in Arkansas. The older saddles are better so my advise is to buy a used ortho flex.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:30 AM  
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I have had Ortho Flex Saddles for years. All western 2 Roping, 2 Cutting, 1 Barrel racing. The horses don't leave the white hair on the whethers which means they don't have a pressure point where most saddles do. On a low whithered horse it will allow for the horses normal stride front. The reason they have a longer stride in front is becase the shoulders hit the hard tree of the normal saddle so they shorten up the stride to the point where they dont interfere. The first thing you notice is your horse is smother. I also break about 10 or 12 colts in the summer and you have less trouble with them bucking out of control. If you do it right most colts won't even buck. I also go to Colorado in the summer to ride. Before I had ortho flex the horses would come back so sore I couldn't ride them for a month or more. With the ortho flex they just come back tired. They work the best with the flex panel covers and not the blanket. With that set up they really stick to the horses back after riding for a few minutes. Four of the saddles are from the orginal dealer in Nevada and one is the new dealer in Arkansas. The older saddles are better so my advise is to buy a used ortho flex.
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