View Full Version : Lightweight saddle with good weight distribution?

Beam Me Up
Apr. 29, 2010, 02:25 AM
First post on this Endurance/Trail forum.

I've never ridden in an endurance/trail/stock saddle, but am wondering if it might be a better choice for my horse than our current x-c jumping saddle. Was curious if others had found those to provide better weight distribution than English saddles, and if so if anyone had specific suggestions for relatively lightweight ones that might be found used at a reasonable price?

Horse is a 16 yo TB, had a decent jumper/eventing career, but was always a bit "NQR" (exhibited as tantrums, not lameness)--spent way too much $$ on vet exams, never really got to the bottom of it. (He had a completely clean bone scan, many x-rays, showed slight back arthritis which was not helped by injections--4 of the 5 vets I consulted over 5 yrs or so felt it was mental and not physical, I'm still not sure though).

Anyway, I ran out money to try to fix him or compete him, he seemed increasingly fried, so I gave him 1.5 yrs off. He always loved trail riding, so recently have been taking him out a little bit and he seems very happy and comfortable. I don't have competitive trail aspirations, it just would be nice to be able to ride him again, have him do something other than just sit.

Given that the back is most likely his weak link physically, I wonder if I could make him even more comfortable in something other than my x-c saddle.

Would an endurance saddle likely give better weight distribution?

Thanks for any advice!

Apr. 30, 2010, 12:15 PM
yes, probably--bigger weight bearing surface=fewer #/sq ". Or you could look at lightweight (for the most part synthetic) western saddles (abetta, fabtron, big horn) or some of the lighter Tuckers (river plantation, even the troopers). Or an Aussie saddle. Endurance saddles are supposed to help the horse (and rider) stay sound and comfortable for long distances, so surely would help for shorter rides, provided the saddle fits the horse. A lot of endurance saddles, though, are sized for endurance horses, who tend to be little Arabs, not honking big TB's, so that could be a consideration for you.

Having said that, I personally since last year have switched to trail riding my two in cheapo Wintec saddles (note--NEVER get a wintec western saddle unless you like the sensation of straddling a cinder block) of the dressage and AP persuasion. The horse that is a nightmare to fit is happier and the horse that doesnt care what you put on his back, well, he's at least as happy as he was in a Western saddle. (and my large, old, tired butt is happier in an english saddle, something I thought would never happen.) I am not a competitor but I do go on some longish trail rides (more than 10 miles) and I everytime I ride I go up and down hills and thru swamps and over gravel and deep sand and so on. Horse's backs seem to be fine so far.