Thursday, August 14, 2014

Product Review: Tekna S Line Dressage Saddle

I liked that everyone was like, "Yay, you dress like an equestrian hobo, and we love you for it!" for my participation in the latest blog hop. (A quick update on my breeches: definitely seeing daylight down there now, if you know what I mean.) In the spirit of sharing things that people with exceptionally limited budgets like myself might like, I thought I'd give an update on the dressage saddle I got for my birthday.

literally the first time i ever rode in it was at a show.

Since I'm not particularly good at product reviews, and since I am so easily distracted and lead myself off on wild tangents not at all pertinent to the subject at hand, I figured I'd break this down into bold headlines and possibly bullet points. Because I love that shit.

Fit, for horse and rider:

I'll start with the pony. Now from what I understand, the tree is based on the Passier tree which means it's somewhat banana shaped. I rode in BO's Passier over the winter and while it didn't fit me in the slightest, it fit Bobby to perfection. Bobby has the typical high withers of a Thoroughbred, and while his rib cage is deceptively enormous, he's not particularly wide. The slightly cutback pommel gives him ample wither clearance, and the medium tree that comes with the saddle was spot on for him.

I can't comment on the ease of changing out the gullets on this saddle since I haven't needed to do it, but just giving the underside of the saddle a glance it appears to be a lot easier than the Wintec system.

you can see the cutback pommel for high withered loving.

For the rider, the only thing I was concerned about is that the flap is shorter than what I was used to in a dressage saddle. I have very long legs, and I was concerned both about feel and how my leg would look. It turned out not to be a problem at all. I still think a longer flap is more attractive for a long legged rider, but as far as how it feels, I haven't noticed any difference while riding.

The seat is deep and comfortable, though I'm sure not as cushiony as more expensive saddles. I wouldn't know. I've never sat in such things. But for a cheap synthetic, it's pretty fabulous. The twist isn't that god awful hip splitting wideness of the Wintecs which is a major plus in my book.

The knee blocks are movable, but I've kept them in their original place. They're unobtrusive, and I don't mind them.

But it's synthetic!

Right, but it really genuinely does not look or feel like a cheap synthetic saddle. It actually doesn't look synthetic at all in person, and the material is very soft without being that plastic slippery shit a lot of synthetics are. My only complaint is that the billets do look like they belong on a cheap synthetic. They're shiny and ugly.

much shinier than the rest of the saddle,
and i don't like the way the holes are numbered.


Tekna is proud of their product I guess. There's no question what brand this baby is. The Tekna name is written at the top of the left saddle flap, both buttons above the dees are the Tekna symbol, and there's a great big, ugly Tekna button on the back where a name plate would go.

ignore the momentary lift of the saddle.
note that someone's head has disappeared to take care of flies.

But are they really for broke folk?

Running around $600, for the quality of this saddle you absolutely cannot beat the price. I would buy another one in a heart beat, and I've already convinced another barn goer to buy one herself after she fondled mine. In fact, once show season is officially over, I'm putting my HDR up for sale and buying a Tekna jump saddle because I love this dressage one so much.

literally a split second from having a full blow pissy attack over flies,
hence the soon to be kicking out hind leg and swishing tail. awkward horse.


  • I would definitely recommend this for any Thoroughbred owners out there. While I'm sure it would fit plenty of other breeds, the generous cutback pommel is a godsend for high withers.
  • If you're short, you will love the flap length. If you're tall, you won't mind it.
  • It looks classy enough and cleans up well enough that for once I'm not at all embarrassed to flaunt a saddle in the show ring. At the same time, I have no qualms about not rubbing a rag over it for two weeks while it collects arena dust. 
  • Can't beat the price for the quality. Seriously cannot. 

As an end note, my horse is totes sound at all three gaits. Totally throwing a taco party tonight to celebrate because fuck yeah, tacos!

Also, I'm eleven followers away from 200. Want a contest? Want a chance to win something free? FUCKING FOLLOW ME.

Wait, one more thing. What is this Google+ thing and why do people keep adding me to their circles? Who are these people? Why does Google stalk my life?


  1. I'm liking this review. Out of all the synthetic tack things out there, I have liked touching the Tekna stuff the best. So it is good to know that their products are enjoyed!

    Bob- Good job buddy. Kick that lameness in the ass, and tell those goddamn flies to shove off.

  2. I have recently heard rave reviews for Tekna's boots, bridles, halters and now saddles! Must suss this out. I ride in an older style Wintec dressage and love it because it fits well on my Fat horse and I hardly ever have to clean it.

  3. Selling an HDR for a Tekna jump saddle - that's the true sign of a positive review (more $$ for Tekna). I can tell you the Bates/Wintec gullet system is a bitch to change sizes. Instead of a contest/giveaway, buy a sticker/decal for yourself to cover that Tekna button at the back. Congrats on almost 200.

  4. I have several Tekna products and like most of them well enough. I have a tekna bridle (eh …), Tekna leathers (eh …), and two Tekna halters (LOVE!!!!). I considered the Tekna saddle, but in the end, I was able to go with a high end dressage saddle, but the Tekna products are always on my radar.

  5. I've been a bad follower recently and haven't managed to catch up on your blog in ages. Am delighted this new saddle o's working out so well. Shall tell my friend with an ottb about it ☺

  6. Oh, thanks for the review! I've been lightly considering a dressage saddle for the hubby to learn to ride in, and this might be a good option for him!

  7. I want to try the jump saddle, but I need a really forward flap to accomodate my 15 1/2" femur in jumping-length stirrups!
    Can't wait for that review, either! :)

  8. Am I invited to the taco party and you know materials are getting better and better, for a synthetic saddle it looks pretty damn good.

  9. Can I come to this taco party! Does this mean I'll see you next week?

    1. Yes ma'am. We'll be there and I'll bring your tacos then!

  10. I wouldn't have guessed offhand from the pictures it's synthetic. Nice.

    And I want a taco now. Thanks dammit.

  11. I have seen a few nice synthetic saddles, glad this one is working out for you!

  12. I NEVER participate in blogs/forums/chats but check them out every now and then, particularly in search of saddle and gear info. I am always dissapointed and bemused by the negativity and nastiness. What a lovely Saturday mornind surprise to find such a civilised (and VERY useful) review! Love all the positivity.
    And actually, THANK YOU for including the photo of the saddle being modelled - gorgeous! That is so very very helpful for me as I have a tb who is similarly shaped.

  13. I've been (not very seriously) saddle shopping for almost a year now - switched over from hunters to dressage, and am thinking the dressage thing is going to stick, so maybe I should get a saddle :) Stumbled upon this blog after googling Tekna S Line saddles and really enjoyed it. Off to browse through your cache of old entries now!


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