Double Diamond TEK Saddles
The Double Diamond TEK (short for technical) saddles are hand built in the USA using Herman Oak leather, Steele Saddle Trees, and with many purposeful functional attributes to keep the weight down, the saddles very close contact, no break in, a suspended seat for a no concussion ride, open gullet/channel from front to back to allow heat to escape and to stay clear of the spine, short, light, minimal. Our experience comes from years fitting athletes in the broad categories of distance riding, trail riding, and western riding both for pleasure and in extreme competition. Our collection of models includes Endurance, Hybrid Endurance English, Trail, Western, and true working Ranch saddles. We practice "whole horse" fitting that is actually a collection of subjects beyond the back of the animal, with the aim of building a clear bond minus the pain and distraction of a poor fitting saddle. We have broad experience in all breeds including trotting, gaiting, and long ears.
Short Light Pared Down Close Contact All Leather Custom Reasonably Priced
Our aim is for quality, not quantity
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD A CUSTOM SADDLE? It depends on the model and the design features. It takes three to four weeks just for your tree, and then from there four to eight weeks to complete, sometimes considerably more if heavily tooled. We do close for major holidays and a summer and winter break as well. Illness, back ordered parts, all can affect your finish time. However anything quality is worth waiting for.
WHAT IS A SUSPENDED GROUND SEAT? a no-concussion narrow twist suspended webbing ground seat in either the TRAIL SEAT (a deeper pocket and slightly narrower twist) or the FLAT SEAT (a full inch lower where the seat attaches to the pommel results in a flatter sitting area and a bit more seat to sit on, lower pommel and cantle) or combinations. Unlike most saddles built with a tin, fiberglass, or hard leather ground seat covered with some foam that quickly crushes with your weight. You never hit a bottom or have to switch positions to be comfortable because the suspension webbing hangs right above the bars, not on the bars. A suspended seat is not bouncy, it has a low center of gravity. Actually when riding, the suspension will mold to your shape, the rise included so you are not crashing against something hard either! You'll especially note the suspension when posting the trot for hours on end or trail riding long miles. It's the bomb!! Many riders who have thought they had to give up riding have found a suspended seat the thing to keep them in the saddle.
TREE FIT FOR THE EQUINE: Our saddles are available on any Steele tree in a variety of semi and full quarter, gaited, true draft (not just a wide gullet), mule, Paso Fino, Arab, and more. As experienced fitters, we choose trees based on the angles, the pad you are using, and the sport you are riding. If you need a saddle for training, or several animals, we choose a tree that spans (within reason) all of them and by utilizing the fit system in the SKITO Equalizer pad, we can change the width, rock, and flare of the fit. Click on Choosing a Tree when placing an order. If you need more assistance, please feel free to call to discuss.
OUR FIT SYSTEM: we build on trees that follow the angles of the animal with the pad in mind because pads can change the fit. We do not build crooked or asymmetrical trees, so for slight fit adjustments(bridging, one side larger than the other, downhill build, or for several different animals) we use the SKITO Equalizer Pads. Look under accessories to read more. The SKITO pads offer the largest range of fit changes: by easily changing out the thickness of the interior of the pad, you change the width. By adding articulated flat and wedge shims, you can adjust the flare, bridging, and asymmetry. By adding substantial shims to the front, you can level a saddle on a young or downhill built animal. I teach each one of my customers how to "READ FIT', and that's not about sweat marks or dry marks on the dynamic ridden animal. Then I build and/or order shims according to the ever changing needs of the ever changing animal.
NOTE ABOUT OUR TREE DESIGNATIONS: we do not share with our customers the designation of the Steele tree that we choose. The reason for this company policy is you can easily take our Steele FTBS tree designation and have another saddle builder build on it, yet the fit is totally wrong for a variety of reasons. You may be able to rent a set of FTBS tree molds and do the fitting yourself should you decide to choose another saddle maker. If you have used the FTBS molds and have a designation chosen, we are happy to build on your tree choice however we cannot be certain of the fit.
FENDERS: We build our fenders to be soft, free swinging, and with no break-in by backing them with biothane, plus for the riders comfort and balanced seat we offer an adjustable 3 positions for your stirrup or fender. Four styles of fenders: western, narrow trail, a knee roll fender, and endurance fender. For those saddles built English we offer a velcro seat leather tube that fits over the biothane leathers for pinch-protection.
WEIGHT: we pare our saddles down by eliminating layers of unnecessary leather. The Endurance models start at 14lbs. up to 18 for an english style. The Old Timer western 22-24 lbs. Larger seat sizes = heavier saddle
RIGGING: as fitters we understand that rigging makes a difference. We typically build several types of adjustable center fire rigging. English 2 billet with guide, western center fire (under the fender) with blevin adjustment, and 3point center fire (utilizes the rear D).
BARE, CLOSE and PARED DOWN UNDERSIDE: we cover just the bars of the tree on the underside with 1/2" of wool felt to allow a complete open gullet channel from front to back to protect the spine and allow heat to escape easily. Our felt does not continue under your leg to maintain that very close contact feel our saddles are famous for. We choose to not use foams on the underside because 1) foams break down quickly with heat and sweat and 2) it's not a stationary material from the standpoint of fit and 3) it would be quite expensive to replace a foam underside on a saddle. Instead, we employ the use of foam in our go to saddle pads, the SKITO, EQUIPedic, and THINLINE .
LENGTH: for example, a seat size 16 will be built on a 22" tree, no matter what the fit is. With each seat size change the tree length changes with the seat size. 17" seat = 23" and so on. The leather skirt is kept to a minimum and is just beyond the length of the tree.
REINFORCED TREES are available: should you want to use your saddle for actual light ranch work or more rigorous sports such as mounted shooting, we can double fiberglass your tree or even have it rawhide wrapped for a small upcharge!
GUARANTEE: Steele trees are warranted for five years barring a vehicle running over it or such obviously horrible incidents that do happen with horses. To have your tree evaluated please call us for instructions. As for the saddle: if there's something wrong according to your order, that is our responsibility. You have a week from the day it arrives to look it over and if something is found, call us and we'll talk. Luckly we have very few problems with saddles, and often it's a fit or horse conformation subject truthfully so call and we'll chat first. Then if shipping back seems to be the answer, keep in mind it is up to the saddle maker to evaluate your saddle, not another saddle maker. Any and all labor involved including shipping is your responsibility until the evaluation is done. Then if it's our issue it's also our cost. It's that simple. If your saddle is damaged in transit with the shipper, we will need to file a claim which can take a long while. Thankfully that almost never happens. Be sure you insure your packages.
Why Choose Double Diamond TEK Saddles?
Because their riding comfort will change your riding! Your animals fit will change your bond! You are working with real fitters who won't leave you hanging after you receive your new saddle! We have years of experience in many categories of equines and their sports. The bottom line: Pain is a roadblock. It takes the focus from the ride, to the pain. In other words, it's distracting. We understand that it's a combination of things that is actually fit, it's never just the saddle.
Call us for more information, we love talking saddles. 336-267-0276 in North Carolina, ask for Shelby.