View Full Version : Recommendations for English style endurance saddle?
Jul. 8, 2011, 09:31 PM
I'm casually looking for an English style endurance saddle for my 14hh Arab. I don't compete, but do enjoy longer trail rides, and like to be comfortable!
I have a Bob Marshall endurance saddle now, which is quite comfy. However, I spend the majority of my riding time in an English saddle, and find that the endurance saddle feels bulky when I switch to it for a long ride.
I'm looking for something with lots of D-rings, a nice soft seat, and comfortable for 4-5 hours on the trail. My horse is a 14hh Arab, with WIDE shoulders, and almost no withers. I bought him a semi-custom Smith Worthington dressage saddle, and needed a 3X wide to fit his shoulders! He's also relatively short backed, so anything with extended panels is not a good match for him.
A few saddles that have looked interesting online are:
- Black Country Equinox
- Smith Worthington Danzig trail (I have the Danzig dressage)
I know a Wintec won't work- the whole tree shape is just wrong for this horse. I sat in a few Duett's, and found the twist to be too wide for me, although I would be willing to try a specific model if someone promises the twist is a little more "average" :)
I'd love any thoughts on the two saddles I've mentioned, or additional possibilities to check out.
Jul. 8, 2011, 09:50 PM
Have you looked at the Sensation Treeless saddles? They have an English Trail that looks very traditional but is soft and comfy for the rider. My horse loves his Sensation Hybrid.
One thing that I love about the Sensations is that each one is made to order. You get to choose the colors, and you can have them add as many D rings as you want. You change the flap length, choose the firmness of the foams in the seat, and to color and texture of the leather. These are NICE saddles and quite affordable for a custom saddle.
Jul. 8, 2011, 10:04 PM
Thornhill puts out a nice Icelandic saddle that is quite comfy. Fits a wide shouldered beast too.:) Twist is not wide.
Jul. 9, 2011, 06:45 AM
when i competed i got a semi-custom albion kontrol gp for my mare. the saddle is super comfy, soft seat, and they inserted extra d-rings all around for me. i love that saddle. the price was v. reasonable for a semi-custom. and btw, we got a semi custom b/c we had serious fit issues. if your horse is easy to fit, you can probably get one off the rack and just ask for the extra d's.
Jul. 9, 2011, 09:30 AM
Jul. 9, 2011, 12:01 PM
I had a Smith Worthington Trail Maxx that I bought used, but the saddle was too big for me and the twist too wide; I still rode in that thing for a whole season of 50 milers because it fit my mare so well. I ended up getting a smaller Smith Worthington Mystic A/P on ebay for a steal, and have been using that since. I understand the tree is similar to the Danzig and I much prefer the twist.
I am sending the Mystic back to get refitted to my mare I like it so much - and am saving up for a semi-custom Smith Worthington in the future. I think they are very much underrated saddles, and they freakin ' wear like iron.
I had demo'd a number of other English endurance saddles including ASC, Frank Baines, and the Black Country Equinox, and they all felt too built up and restrictive to me (the Equinox was the best of these, but I still felt "locked" into a position). The fact that I could manage a whole competition season in the SW that was so less than ideal for me without much pain on my part tells me a lot about their saddles. They also seem to fit just about everything I put them on.
Were I looking on a budget, I'd take a look at the Thorowgood synthetic endurance - I have their dressage saddle and have been really impressed with the quality of the saddle and the variety of methods they provide to customize the fit to your horse.
Jul. 9, 2011, 12:23 PM
You may want to check out the Arabian Saddle Company saddles also.
We like them so much, we actually have two Solstices that we use for two of our endurance horses. Treed, but an english style saddle with a nice dressage-y balance, good knee rolls and rigged for breast collars and cruppers and such with plenty of d-rings.
sign of Grace
Jul. 9, 2011, 01:17 PM
I'm a dressage rider turned endurance rider. I competed the first year on my dressage horse in my Albion dressage saddle. Just got a "real" endurance horse and a "real" endurance saddle. It's a Eurolight Specialized.
Almost a seamless transition from the Albion to this. They have a demo program too.
BTW, my new horse is a very wide backed 1/2 Arab with no withers. The wide tree (and a couple shims here and there) fits him very well.
Jul. 9, 2011, 01:39 PM
Yes, Arabian Saddle Company Solstice. Got one, a wide width, 18". Very secure, VERY comfortable for horse and rider. Huge wide panels underneath spread the rider's weight nicely. Large channel underneath to keep things cool for the horse.
I got mine in 02, retired from endurance and now riding my rocky mt horse in it. She is also a wide width (duh). No withers. Stays on her well. Just a thin cotton pad, or a woolbak works perfectly.
I have double stitched, lined leathers I got from bit o britian, and they are the nunn finer brand. They have not stretched at all since I got them in 2000. Yeah really. I use a wool cover on my saddle seat. Black saddle, black seat cover. Nice!
Secure enough if you wanna go cow pen, go! You are really in the saddle and on the horse. Mine fit right out of the box, no break in.
Another saddle I would recommend is a Crosby Sofride. More of an AP. But great to endurance ride in or hack or a little bit of this and that. Mine is a medium width so my 2 horses do not fit in it. Still have it though.
Good luck. Bev Grey is great to work with on a saddle.
Bank of Dad
Jul. 10, 2011, 05:14 PM
Another vote for the Solstice. I use mine on my short backed, wide App large pony. Very well fitting and comfortable. I got it used on Ebay, figured I could resell it for what I paid if it didn't work out.
Jul. 12, 2011, 01:29 PM
Another saddle I would recommend is a Crosby Sofride. More of an AP. But great to endurance ride in or hack or a little bit of this and that.
I have the Crosby Olympia which is the precursor to the Sofride. I love the saddle but it does not fit my arab cross that has shark fin withers and hollows.
The used Olympias are generally cheaper than the used Sofrides.
I don't do LD's or anything like that but I do frequently trail ride for 3+ hours. I find the Olympia plenty comfortable.
Jul. 12, 2011, 05:14 PM
Look at the Sommer saddles, they are GREAT and have endurance/trail models.
Jul. 12, 2011, 09:12 PM
I have a Black Country Equinox II and an Arabian Saddle Company Solstice. I like the Equinox, it's beautifully made and fits my horses well, but when it comes to comfort, my Solstice wins, hands down.
I did a 100 in it last weekend and getting back up at the last vet check after 85 miles it was like "ahhhhhhh" instead of "owwwwww." :cool:
Jul. 12, 2011, 09:18 PM
Test drive the Sensation. Butter soft leather, cushy as a down pillow and beautifully designed. I foxhunt in mine. The company is excellent for creating just the saddle you want with whatever features you want.
Also the Barefoot saddles are wonderful.
Treed saddles: The Solstice.
Jul. 13, 2011, 07:52 AM
Yes, mine is the Olympia II, was trying NOT to date myself. It is the traditional AP brown, really pretty even still. I have had the saddle since 1987. It is still in really really good condition. Which is why I would love to have the Crosby Sofride.
I like the english saddles over the treeless much better. Especially when it comes to longevity. I have heard treeless have a certain length of "shelf life".
The Solstice first fit my super, super short backed wide withered arab, now my RM. Yes, really really comfy. The sheepskin makes it even more comfy. I keep my saddles a long time. Coming 10 years on the Solstice. I think I have gotten my money's worth out of the saddle, well both of them. And they are still going.
Jul. 13, 2011, 03:59 PM
Wow! What a bunch of great suggestions. I'm definitely going to have to check out the Solstice, and a few others.
I'm sure I'll be checking back with more questions :)
Jul. 13, 2011, 11:25 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/Endurance-Saddle-/120748634918?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c1d2df326 Solstice on ebay for a good price. I'd have bid myself if I hadnt gotten a Eurolight this week.
Oct. 7, 2011, 05:23 PM
Certainly not the cheapest BUT a terrific saddle.After trying a dozen saddles I found the Strada, ex Michela Ling and completed 3 Tevis Cups with it, still have it several years later. Take a look at their website for more information. It isa gorgeous saddle, very comfortable for both horse and rider, can't say too much good things about it.
Oct. 8, 2011, 12:10 AM
Has anyone logged any serious trail time in L&R's Ellipse? I've ridden in one several times and loved it, but I'm not sure how it compares to their dedicated endurance saddle and am a lot less likely to be able to find a buddy around with one to try. :)