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JLR1
Nov. 17, 2009, 09:24 PM
I am a dressage rider looking to venture out of the arena. I have a young Arabian and I think I would feel more secure on the trails in case of a spook in a western style saddle with a horn. Any recommendations as to what brands are comfortable for both horse and human? I have been trolling ebay and have come across names such as Simco, Circle Y, and Abetta...and of course the Bob Marshall treeless. I don't want to spend more than $700.

Dazednconfused
Nov. 17, 2009, 09:54 PM
Try and find a used Billy Royal. I bought one 7 or 8 years ago, and there were several other Billys in the barn at the time, and all were good quality saddles that fit arabians well.

Some of the old school Circle Ys fit arabians quite well but I don't think the newer ones are very good.

Raleigh's Mom
Nov. 18, 2009, 05:55 AM
Big Horn also makes a synthetic saddle on an Arabian tree. IMO, they are nicer quality than the Abettas.

http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/black-cordura-saddle.html

chicamuxen1
Nov. 18, 2009, 07:47 AM
The Big Horns seem to be quite popular with the endurance folks, but most people choose the hornless endurance model. I really suggest you pass on the horn. If you can't stay on without grabbing a horn, well, I won't go there. Really, you'll hate how it gets in the way of your reins/hands, and IMO they are horrible when jumping or going up steep hills. an endurance model saddle (hornless) still has a good handhold type of pommel and you can add an "Aw Sh*t" strap to grab hold of too if you feel the need. What I found most useful with my young Arabian (the firt spooky one I've ever had) was covering the slippery leather saddle seat with a suede seat cover. What a difference!!

Bonnie S.

SouthernTrailsGA
Nov. 18, 2009, 08:11 AM
Here is a nice lightweight American Made Saddle that the Tree can be customized to fit any sized Arabian, notice the nice small diameter Pommel for easy gripping if the need arises, has 3/4 center-fire rigging, other options available, Cantle height, stirrup position placement, etc.

http://www.southerntrailssaddle.com/images/E-541R.jpg


.

cloudy18
Nov. 18, 2009, 11:07 AM
I like my Dakota and it fits the horse well, but the horn could go. It comes way too close when we lope uphill, if I lean forward at all.

LisaW-B
Nov. 18, 2009, 11:36 AM
What's your Arabian shaped like? I have two Arabs, who are half-brothers, but they're shaped very differently.

The short-backed, barrel-shaped one with a low withers has a Fabtron western saddle, with full QH bars.

The long-backed, narrow one with a high withers has a Wintec, with semi-QH bars.

GreyDes
Nov. 18, 2009, 05:57 PM
Love my Bob Marshall! I have the endurance model (no horn) and it fits my two Arab geldings very well.

My guys have similar builds - short backs, wide shoulders, almost no withers. Saddle shopping for them is about as much fun as it sounds :)

Anyway, I can't say enough good things about the Bob Marshall, and they do have western models, if you like the horn. It is a bit over $700, but you can find them on ebay if you scout around.

Good luck!

GallopingGrape
Nov. 18, 2009, 06:32 PM
I second on the DAKOTA... awesome saddle. Can be custom made for well under $900-ish. And on the horn.. if your horse is to skid or dodge.. the horn wont keep you on no matter how hard you try. You are better off with a "night latch" or what the english riders refer to as an "oh Sh*t" strap... the horn wont hold you. Now the western swells and deep seat, that's comfort and security for you on a young horse... imo.

JLR1
Nov. 18, 2009, 08:06 PM
You guys are awesome! Thanks for all the great suggestions. I do have the "oh sh$%! strap" on my saddle in case of a spook...glad to know I don't need a horn.

SweetLatte
Nov. 18, 2009, 09:46 PM
Good rule of thumb for fitting a typical round-backed arabian is full-quarter horse bars.

starkissed
Nov. 19, 2009, 06:16 PM
I would love to find a western saddle to bop around in with my warmblood. But he is about as far from a QH back as it gets. I suppose he is more araby- slim back, with a rather large dip behind his withers.

Nasarka
Feb. 22, 2010, 01:51 AM
I'd like to know how the Arab tree compares with a full Qh tree in width. I assume the bars are shorter on the Arab tree, but how wide are they? I have broad, flat, short backs on my horses.

chemteach
Feb. 22, 2010, 05:49 AM
Definately Billy Royal.

SouthernTrailsGA
Feb. 22, 2010, 12:11 PM
I'd like to know how the Arab tree compares with a full Qh tree in width. I assume the bars are shorter on the Arab tree, but how wide are they? I have broad, flat, short backs on my horses.

The Typical 16" Seat "Arab Tree" has a 6.75" Gullet, 20" Long Bars, slight rock and pulled in rear bars.

The Typical 16" Seat "FQH Tree" has a 7" Gullet, 22.25" Long Bars and the rear of the bars are wider, less rock.

Based on our Arab and the 10 or so Arabs my neighbor has, a FQH will never fit, just the same as an off the shelf "Arab Saddle" fits less than 50% of them too.

Arabs as with Gaited Horses, QH's, TB, Drafts, etc. come in many sizes and should be measured for the best Saddle fit.

Side note: I have seen a few Arabs and some other breeds that actually were well fitted with an off the shelf Mule Saddle, those saddles are most often, shorter and very flat at the rear of the bars and have a little flatter angle in the Wither Area for medium withered Horses.

.

Grataan
Feb. 22, 2010, 12:13 PM
We've got Billy Royals, Circle Ys, Billy Cooks, Reinsmans, and a few Crateses.

Huntertwo
Feb. 22, 2010, 01:50 PM
Fabtron makes a Western trail saddle for Arabs.

Honestly, when I do ride Western, I hate the horn and never use it. That is why I like the Abetta Endurance saddle or my Throwogood Equisuede AP saddle - (very grippy)

I've got jabbed with the horn, or have gotten my shirt/jacket over the horn more times than I can count.

IMO grabbing for the horn throws you more off balance as now you are twisting your body instead of sitting up straight in a nice secure seat.

Nasarka
Feb. 24, 2010, 01:58 AM
The Typical 16" Seat "Arab Tree" has a 6.75" Gullet, 20" Long Bars, slight rock and pulled in rear bars.

The Typical 16" Seat "FQH Tree" has a 7" Gullet, 22.25" Long Bars and the rear of the bars are wider, less rock.

Based on our Arab and the 10 or so Arabs my neighbor has, a FQH will never fit, just the same as an off the shelf "Arab Saddle" fits less than 50% of them too.

Arabs as with Gaited Horses, QH's, TB, Drafts, etc. come in many sizes and should be measured for the best Saddle fit.

Side note: I have seen a few Arabs and some other breeds that actually were well fitted with an off the shelf Mule Saddle, those saddles are most often, shorter and very flat at the rear of the bars and have a little flatter angle in the Wither Area for medium withered Horses.

.

I"ve wondered about the mule saddle trees too. Also how all these compare to gaited horse trees. Two of mine are shaped like eggs---with the wider part over the back.