I am a huge fan of your trail saddles and own two Steele Plantation Saddles which I purchased used. I have called you a couple of times in the past about a refurbish on my older one, but I can’t bear to part with it long enough to fix it up. The other is a smaller seat and fits my hubby so I can’t use his. I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity to chat with you guys a couple of times at Rocky Mountain Horse Shows and picked up some accessories from you a time or two. I just missed a great buy on that brand new Trail Boss that was up on Ebay for $1,400.00 ‘Buy It Now’ option. Even though I knew it was a great price, I just couldn’t pull the trigger right now. As you probably know, if you monitor Ebay for your saddles. It was bid on for a grand, then was bid up past the ‘Buy Now’ option. Deals like that don’t come around often and I was just sick about it. Maybe next time. I love our Plantation trail saddle and would never part with them but both my husband and I would also like to have the traditional western style Steele saddle too. Anyway, I love your saddles and would never ride another brand EVER. I brag on your trail saddles every chance I get; especially when other middle-agers like ourselves can barely haul themselves out of the saddle and have to walk off their rides while they grumble about getting old. I just laugh, and tell them that they should get a Steele saddle cause I’m the same age with the same complaints but when I finish a ride I can still hop down and feel just fine. I don’t half to walk off the saddle pain.
So none of that is why I’m writing you, just can’t help testifying. There is a plantation style saddle up on Ebay right now with the the heading “Steele Saddle?”. The item number is: 190638839928. It looks an awfully lot like one of yours, but not quite. The hardware configuration is different from my plantations and it doesn’t have the Steele name plate on the back. Otherwise it looks very much like one of yours. Usually the first thing I question when I see a saddle purporting to be a Steele is if there is a Serial Number stamped under the crupper D-ring and make sure the name plate is there. This seller has posted about 8 pictures and I even super-sized them and zoomed in on the one back picture….still can’t tell for sure, however it doesn’t look like there’s a serial number there and definitely no name plate. The seller even states that there’s no name on it. I guess this saddle could have been refurbished by another company and they changed some things around or it was a custom by you or something. Anything is possible, it’s just bugging me. I did see a saddle maker one time that was set up at a gaited horse auction in Lexington, Kentucky that was producing a saddle that looked dead on yours, a very good knockoff for sure, right down to the nail pattern. He even said it was a Steele Tree, which I know you sell ‘stand alone’. I just think he was trying too hard to duplicate your Saddles to a ‘T’. That bugs me too. I was wondering if you’d take a gander at this one and let me know what you think? If I had to bet, I’d say “no it’s not a Steele” at first blush, but then ….I just don’t know. My guess would be that it was one of those near perfect knockoffs I saw in KY.
Hope your business is still doing well in the Oboma-economy!
Thanks for your time,
It probably is a knock off . The guy you a referring to actually buys his trees from a production tree co. Those trees would never come out of our shop . Cheap production trees are always crooked. Thank you for the super kind words . Thanks Eric at Steele Saddle