View Full Version : suggestions for gaited trail saddles?

Jul. 10, 2010, 09:34 PM
I just purchased a TWH a couple of months ago.He came to me with the classic white spots either side of his withers. I knowm bad saddle fit.

Coming from very round broad backed Arabians, most of my saddles are too wide for him. My one western saddle is too narrow, it really pinches him on his withers. The best fit is a medium wide tree dressage saddle. It clears his spine well enough but seem now to be increasing the white spots, so that tells me it is too narrow.

Suggestions would be appreciated. I am not able to purchase a 4 digit saddle at this time. So am interested in a site perhaps that has used gaited saddles.

I am more interested is something less western, less australian like as they put the rider way too far from the horse. I would like something like my dressage saddle that allows the feel of the horse, yet fits my horse.

I know enough about saddle fit to do a rough fit at home.


Jul. 10, 2010, 09:57 PM
So ride him in a dressage saddle...just find one that fits. I found an old as dirt Kiefer at a show for 400 bucks, fits like a glove.

Gaited saddle is a marketing gimmick. You just need something that fits.

Jul. 10, 2010, 10:24 PM
Ditto to what Katarine said.

I ride my MFT in my Barrel Saddle. It fits him fine along with the Abetta Deluxe trail saddle he came with. I just prefer my Barrel Saddle. :lol:

Jul. 11, 2010, 12:59 AM
A number of my riding buddies have gated horses. All but one ride in Western saddles and she has a Steele Plantation Saddle that is fabulous. I think any saddle will do pretty much as long as it fits. As I understand from my stable mate that has the Steele, sometimes gated horses need more room so certain Western saddles with long skirts don't work as well. That comes under fit! Find something that fits and pray the marks go away. My boy looked like a kindergartner got after him with finger paints from a bad fitting saddle. That was last year - you can barely see the marks now, Thank God!

Jul. 11, 2010, 02:09 AM
As others have said, you don't need a "gaited" horse saddle.

If you want true close contact, consider going treeless.

I got a Black Forest Shasta for my Paso, and I LOVE it. I've had 4 people ride in it that promptly go and buy one of their own.

The best part is that I can also use it on my Paint.


Jul. 11, 2010, 11:29 AM
Anyone with a gaited horse understands what you are going through. We have gaited horses and mostly ride Western in Tuckers. I have had a Tennessean gaited saddle.

Is there any hair breakage at the white spot? Or any place else on the horse's back? I ask because sometimes a saddle will shift slightly as the horse gaits. I had good luck with skitto pads with shims for one of my horses but what I'm find now that works best for the same horse is a thin line pad placed on top of the regular pad.

I have a youngster who is ridden by a trainer in a dressage saddle. When we began, we did get the white spot at the withers. The trainer now uses a half pad (it has fleece under the pommel)to help bring the saddle up off the withers and no white spot now. I ride the same horse in a Tucker Western saddle with a wide tree and a skitto fleece pad with no shims with good results.

Hope this helps.

Jul. 11, 2010, 06:34 PM
twhs, the spots are elongating but there is no hair breakage. I know exactly what you are talking about-- and have considered them. They are somewhat pricey and I hate the idea of chasing a saddle fit.

Leather, thanks for the link to Black Forest--they look cery interesting. I just am a more traditional saddle sort of folk, never have like the treeless saddles.

But if I can;t make this saddle work, then I may have to rethink.

Jul. 11, 2010, 07:35 PM
Also check out Sycamore Creek Saddlery. They can custom make a saddle for you at a very reasonable price, and the saddles are very nice.

Tony is great to deal with too!


Jul. 11, 2010, 08:56 PM
I ride my Rocky Mt in a Arabian Saddle Company Solstice. It is a wide width. Same as what I use on my endurance arabian. The rocky has no withers so to speak of - very flat, and the arab tiny bit more withers. The saddle slides neither forward or backwards. There are ones out there used, which are still in really good condition. Have had mine since 2002. Started riding my rocky in it in late 08 to the present. Gaited horses need room for their shoulders to move, but I think that goes for any horse. No white on either horse.

I have found many many treeless are too narrow in the front, and lots are just too long in length and interfere with the hips.

Do a template (wither tracing - easy!) and make sure you know the shoulder width of your horse. If you get a used english/dressage type saddle, you may have to get it reflocked.

Jul. 11, 2010, 09:06 PM
Also check out Sycamore Creek Saddlery. They can custom make a saddle for you at a very reasonable price, and the saddles are very nice.

Tony is great to deal with too!


Sycamore Creek is getting rave reviews over on the Pleasure Paso Fino board.

I'm saving up to get one for my hard to fit Paso Fino mare. She's got high withers, is narrow up front, has a well sprung ribcage, and is really short backed. Only thing I've found to fit her so far is an old Stubben, but I don't want to trail ride in that.

Jul. 16, 2010, 10:49 PM
We have Imus saddles, however, do not drink the Kool Aid. And IIRC they are not being very well made now, not that they ever were.

We have changed the nails in many places to skrews that stay in: breast collar tugs, swell/seat connection, etc.

Jul. 17, 2010, 07:40 PM
As I look at the situation from when I first purchased Smokey 6 months ago, the saddle fit him then. The original white spots that he came with are growing in dark. This tells me this saddle hits him differently than whatever he was ridden in.

That said --the saddle fit him 6 months ago when he was underweight and not ridden much. I have ridden 3 or 4 times a week and he has muscled up. The last two times I have ridden him, we are now getting dry spots on the bars,

Simple as that my saddle no longer fits. So I will try my very wide AP saddle. I can pad that up and hopefully get to a point where I can get something that works.

I absolutely hate saddle hunting.:(

Thanks for all of the suggestions.

Jul. 20, 2010, 03:03 PM
Hillview Farm's Evolutionary saddles. You will never need to buy another saddle, no matter what horse you ride.

Well worth the extra cash no more headaches. She breeds Peruvians so is great with gaited horses.