Lori O Edw

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Saddles damaged/destroyed

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I am writing today in hopes you can help me recover the funds that I paid Ron Friedson of AllSaddles.com. I contracted with him to repair two of my saddles.

Instead of fixing them, he has irreparably damaged both. Although his website claims he "stands behind his work" that is not even close to my experience. I am not out $3,994 and my saddles are ruined beyond repair.

I originally contacted Mr. Friedson in October of 2019 because I was interested in purchasing a saddle brand that he sells as I was looking for a new saddle to replace my two County Stabilizer saddles.

Those saddles had been custom made for me with a smaller seat size and with flaps cut to accommodate my short legs.

Mr. Friedson convinced me I didn't need a new saddle, because he could modify my saddles to make them as good as new. I jumped at the opportunity as the model I own had been discontinued. Mr.

Friedson suggested replacing the leather on the seats and flaps of the saddles and even sent me a sample of the leather he planned to use.

In total, the original contract with Mr. Friedson specified that he would put new leather on the seats and flaps of both saddles, remake the leather panels on saddle #1 to match saddle #2, and put new wool flocking in the panels of both saddles. I paid him $3994 and sent him both saddles

When I received the saddles back in December 2019 I discovered several issues that had been caused by the work Mr. Friedson had performed.

First, he had put too much stuffing in the panels, which made them no longer fit my horses. Second, there were multiple gouges and scrapes on the "new" leather that had been put on the seats and flaps. Third, the new panels that Mr. Friedson had attached to saddle #2 did not properly fit the saddle, leaving a wide gap between the stirrup bars (where the stirrups attach) and the leather.

This created a serious safety issue since the stirrup leathers would no longer stay on the saddle. Fourth, I discovered that Mr. Friedson had modified the billet straps, by which you attach the girth (which holds the saddle in place), on both saddles, reattaching them improperly so that they were uneven and poorly secured. Both saddles were sound and undamaged in this area before they were sent off to him and he did not have my permission to modify them While I had requested that the original leather from my saddles be returned to me after the work was completed, the seats and part of #2 panels were not included.

Because of the defects in the workmanship and the safety issues they presented, I sent both saddles back to be fixed.

Mr. Friedson has referred to this as "changes" to the original work, that I requested. This is blatantly untrue. The only work I asked him to do was satisfactorily complete the original work that I paid for.

Neither came back corrected.

In particular, the stirrup bars were still had an unsafe gap in saddle #2, making it unsafe to use. I sent that saddle back a second time to make it safe, and also asked him to fix the panels, which had not been fabricated correctly. Rather than correct the panel problem, Mr. Friedson took it upon himself to remove the stirrup bars from the upper side of the saddle tree and reattach them to the bottom the tree.

This was done without my knowledge or permission.

During Covid I was not able to get a saddle fitter to my property to evaluate the work. When it was finally possible to have an authorized County Saddlery fitter come to my barn, we discovered that: Mr. Friedson had not put wool in the panels as contracted but had substituted a lower quality synthetic material. When I called him on this, he told me he would replace they synthetic stuffing with wool for an additional charge.

The modifications he made to the saddles voided any warranty with County. They called saddle #2 a "Frankensaddle" and claimed he had damaged it beyond repair. I had County send this saddle straight back to Mr. Friedson to reflock and also to put my stirrup bars back where they belonged.

A Certified Master Saddle Maker then examined my saddles and told me they had been "butchered" and were no longer safe to ride in. In addition to the visible damage, when the saddles were taken apart, he discovered that Mr. Friedson had:

o Bolted the stirrup bars onto the wooden saddle tree, removing the original rivets. This ruined the integrity of the tree and makes it unsafe to use.

o Glued new leather on top of the existing leather seats on both saddles instead of replacing it as he has promised.

This technique also ruined the original leather since it was also sanded prior to applying the glue.

o Glued new leather on top of a portion of #2 panels to fabricate his panels.

o Cut the existing webbing for the billet straps and then screwed new ones onto the underside of the wooden tree which is not an accepted manufacturing approach. This left both saddles dangerous to use.

I tried to get my money refunded through Paypal. Mr. Friedson came up with excuses blaming the "changes made out of courtesy" on me and complained that I did not "return the merchandise".

I was not willing to send what was originally my property, but I did send all of the leather and webbing that Mr. Friedson put onto my saddles. He rejected the shipment and sent the rain soaked box back to me stating that I had not called ahead for a "return authorization". He offered to set up a Facetime chat to try to make the saddles fit, but since he damaged the underlying structure and they are now in pieces, that isn't possible.

Mr. Friedson claims that my saddles no longer fit my horses because they have "changed shape" but in reality, the saddles are not even together any longer, so it is impossible to do anything with them. Two Master Saddlers and County Saddlery have declared them to be ruined and dangerous. I have written statements from two Master Saddle Makers and a County saddle repair shop both pointing out the damage to both of my saddles and stating that what was done to my saddles was neither appropriate or acceptable.

All have told me that my saddles are a total loss and a liability.

I could not even have resold them due to the liability issue.

I have extensive photos of both saddles before and after the leather was replaced along with photos of what is left of my saddles (attached).

I have now lost two high end saddles that were custom made for me. He refuses to refund my money and instead of owning up to his shoddy work, claims my saddles don't fit my horses because they changed shape.

Please let me know if there is any way you can help me get my money refunded.

View full review
  • Insists saddles are made with screws and bolts when they are not
  • Kept suggesting fittings when problems are due to shoddy work
  • Blames problems on my pony instead of shoddy work

Preferred solution: Full refund

User's recommendation: Do not recommend this business

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