View Full Version : What kind of Saddle should i get?

Sep. 19, 2007, 03:25 PM
I wanted to ask everyone what saddle they would recommend I get. I ride 15 hand arabs with stocky frames and I am a heavyweight rider. I am looking for something that will be comfortable for me and my horse. I tend to have issues with my knees after rides. I am totally new to CTR's so all help is great! I have shown arabs for years and trail rode.


Sep. 19, 2007, 08:14 PM
Treeless saddles are really popular now but many say they are not for heavyweights.

I like Sharon Saare and DeSoto saddles. The DeSotos are custom made- came to almost $2k when you add it all up, but I love it. Fits my horse and is extremely well balanced for me.

Abettas are a good value if you are on a tight budget and they are decent saddles.

Definitely invest in a good pad like Equipedic or Skito.

Sep. 19, 2007, 09:42 PM
I have a Desoto too and love love love it. Balanced and centered and fits my arab great. Close contact and very comfortable. Really can't say enough good things about it and Marilyn is great to work with, definitely worth the wait and not as costly as some. Fit for my horse is fantastic. And it is so light compared to the western saddles.

Have also ridden in Tucker Cheyenne which is a nice saddle and had a Circle Y flex western that was a comfy ride.

Did not like the Tucker english-style saddle or the Tucker High Plains western. The horn was too high on the High Plains and the pommel too wide for me.

Good luck - I was a saddle junkie until the Desoto and what a relief to have a good fitting saddle.

Sep. 19, 2007, 10:58 PM
Make sure the seat is well padded..wehatever you get.
My Aussie saddle has a hard seat..and I can barely walk after a three hour ride....

Sep. 20, 2007, 03:35 PM
Good luck - I was a saddle junkie until the Desoto and what a relief to have a good fitting saddle.

Me too :) Now, i dont even want to put any other saddle on my gelding's back, even for 5 minutes!

Sep. 21, 2007, 09:58 AM
Thanks everyone for your input. I am looking into the Desoto now. It sounds like it would be a great saddle. My only problem would be that I ride different horses.

Oct. 3, 2007, 12:26 PM
I tend to have issues with my knees after rides.

If your knees bother you, you might want to try the jointed stirrups (Sprenger). I found that they made a big difference to me. Before I tried them, my knees hurt and I sometimes had numbness or tingling in my feet. No problem at all now. I wouldn't want to ride without them. :)

Oct. 3, 2007, 03:42 PM
I know a ton of heavyweight riders that use treeless saddles, doing 50-100 mile rides, year after year successfully. there are sooooo many types of treeless saddles available today, some are just fancy bareback pads and some have much more structure and rider weight distribution.

One of the best around for fitting a wide range of horses is the Bob Marshall Sport Saddle. I've used one for years and most of my neighbors compete in them also.

There are other' brands out there:


There are also several brands with flexing panels, I know you've heard Of Orthoflex saddles and there are other similar brands.

If you need one saddle to use on multiple horses or if your horse ever looses or gains weight, changes fitness levels and under goes back changes then do not think that a rigid treed saddle is right for your horse. especially if you are are your horses back for hours at a time. It may be right for you! But what about the horse?


Oct. 5, 2007, 06:45 PM
I am also a HW rider and LOVE my Bob Marshall! It's a treeless saddle, so you have to consider your padding carefully for your horse, but I have had great luck and absolutely love it... I use a Skito pad (http://www.aretesaddlery.com/tack/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=95) with a ThinLine pad (http://www.aretesaddlery.com/tack/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=15) on top. This works great to keep my horse comfy and my saddle in place!

Now, Bob Marshalls can run long for short backed horses, that's how I got mine. I ride in a 17" western saddle and got an 18" BMSS (they run 1-2" smaller in "feel") from a lady who's horse was too short backed for it (Morab I believe). I got it for $1,000 and it was only ridden in 2 or 3 times (I would have payed $1,400 for all the nifty options she ordered on it). http://www.sportsaddle.com and http://www.sportssaddle.com are two sites to see lots of pictures and all the options. You can demo a saddle too, so you can be sure it's for you.

Since switching to treeless, my mare's back rarely gets sore or fatigued, and she has more energy at the end of our rides. I did switch out the stirrups to those padded endurance stirrups (http://www.aretesaddlery.com/tack/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=156). Between those and the simple straps for leathers (no fenders), I have NO more knee pain!

Here's a picture of my set up shortly after I got it (before switching the stirrups). The ThinLine pad (the black one underneath) had slipped a little when I free lunged her before our ride, the girth wasn't very tight. It stays put nicely with my rear up in the saddle ;).

Have fun saddle shopping!

Nov. 1, 2007, 06:20 PM
I would recommend you try the Synergist Saddle- they are awesome to work with, will custom fit you and your horse. If your horse does not have an extremely odd shape, I find that my synergist is pretty versatile between horses. The best thing about a Synergist is the customer service, if you need details changed on your saddle year to year...season to season they are great! Craftsmanship, fit, wearability and style A+++:D

Nov. 11, 2007, 09:41 PM
I second the Synergist. If you ride more than one horse they can make you a more generic saddle. I just bought one for my Arab and he loves it. And he's very particular about his saddles.

Nov. 23, 2007, 03:40 PM
I recommend a saddle with a tree so the rider's weight can be distributed evenly over the horse's back rather than being concentrated in one spot. Schleese makes a trail saddle with round skirts and a wide gullet for Arabs, the panle accomadate the Arab's short coupled frame and wide spine. You can see it on their website: http://schleese.com/TrailSaddles
Happy hunting!