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View Full Version : Who rides in a western saddle and what brand do you prefer?



Luckydonkey
Oct. 4, 2011, 12:12 PM
What is your western preference? Crates, Circle y, Simco..an ebay cheapie???

I ride Clydesdales, and my favorite saddle for them is the late 80's to mid 90's circle y equitation seat. Preferably a richard shrake version, as they have a super wide low profile that fits a draft horse very nicely.

Bluey
Oct. 4, 2011, 12:20 PM
Two local saddlers have made saddles for most cowboys around here and have made ranch saddles for me many years ago.
Here is one, the other has retired:

http://www.oliversaddle.com/page/page/535187.htm

We also have some old Ryons saddles from Fort Worth, TX, that are excellent quality and fit very well all around:

http://www.seanryon.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi

If you go with top of the line saddlers, those rarely put out a bad saddle.

If I was looking for a saddle, I would check local saddlers first.
They may have something you can try on your horse and your behind right where you are, no guessing about it.

For reining, I have a Bob's lady reiner, as those are just right to keep you where you need to be while reining.
Those are also good for any other flat work, not so much for hard outside riding or roping except in a pinch.

I had long ago a very hard to fit arabian ranch horse.
English saddles fit him fine, but the only western saddle that fit him was a medium quality Courts barrel racing saddle, that didn't have any padding and was hard on the rider's behind.
Since it was the only one that fitted him, well, the rider just had to endure.
A friend bought it later and it fits her very well, hard seat and all. She is still using it all these years later.
It was a tough saddle, hard work didn't tear it, but of course you could not do any serious roping with it either.

Diamondindykin
Oct. 4, 2011, 12:34 PM
I ride reining horses and I bought a nice custom made Martin's a few years ago and I LOVE it. It is fantastic quality and fits every horse I have ever put it on. I probably would always buy a Martin's now. However, my second choice would be Bob's.

With western saddle you really get what you pay for........

BabyGoose
Oct. 4, 2011, 12:40 PM
Lately I have been using my husbands Crates. My draft cross mare that I was taking dressage lessons on was diagnosed with EPM and I am not sure what her recovery is going to be. But, with her also have hock and neck arthritis I am thinking she will be limited in what she can do. So I am horse shopping and looking for a quarter horse, and have been using the Crates. I leased a horse for several months, took lessons using it, and it is very comfortable. My plan is to keep up the dressage lessons, but also looking at possibly doing some western events, ranch versatility type stuff, in the future..... once I find a horse.

Not to stray too far off topic, but I tried a horse the other day using my saddle and when we longed him, he acted like he was spooked and even humped up his back a little. This was a nicely trained reining horse, started roping. My trainer immediately saw the problem. The saddle strings! She said show saddles, reining saddles etc, don't have saddle strings. We tied them up and sure enough, no more problems. Then a roper friend of mine said they don't have strings on their saddles either. So for those more familiar with western saddles... do most western saddles not have strings? I thought it was pretty common. I would think they would be handy to have working on ranch or trail riding to tie stuff on the saddle.

JollyBadger
Oct. 4, 2011, 12:40 PM
I ride my TWH in a Tucker saddle (western, Cheyenne model, before they went to the Gen II series) and love it - except for the horn. It just kind of gets in the way when we're climbing a hill or if I have to duck under a low branch.

Still, I don't think I would ever sell or trade it unless it was to get another Tucker.:yes:

Lady Counselor
Oct. 4, 2011, 12:54 PM
I ride in a variety of saddles, both English and Western. For young horses, nothing beats the security of a nice deep Western seat when you first start one. I've had a couple of times when I was glad for the added grip and security.
Plus with the weight difference, the English saddles are nothing to them after that.
For my trail riding/young horse starting I have a nice trail saddle by American Saddlery. Full bars, decent twist for me, fits my chunkier QH well. When riding English, I usually use my Courbette A/P saddle with a nice deep seat on the broader horses. I have others, including a Congress leather show saddle, but these two are the ones most often used.
Sometimes switching up the discipline on my horses helps keep them engaged in training rides, and it keeps me a bit sharper too.

Grataan
Oct. 4, 2011, 12:57 PM
I have a Crates, 2 Circle Y's, and a Dale Chavez. Mr G has a Bob's Custom.

fordtraktor
Oct. 4, 2011, 01:11 PM
My western pleasure saddle was a circle Y, liked it.

My brother's reining saddle (now mine for breaking babies) is a Billy Cook, LOVE it!

Airfern
Oct. 4, 2011, 02:11 PM
I have two western saddles. One for my friesian and one for my tb X draft.
Circle Y flex2 trail topeka
Tucker Gen II high plains saddle

I prefer the tucker to the circle y. The tucker had for me better quality. It came with wool lining, leather latigo and and billets, and flank strap. It also came with nice saddle strings. The seat is deep and cushy and makes a really nice comfortable trail ride. The fenders were already turned and the saddle had a very good broke in feeling from out of the box.

The circle y was lighter in weight, but the leather seemed "cheaper" the latigo and billets were nylon instead of leather and the lining was synthetic sheepskin.
The gel seat is not as comfortable as the tucker's seat. and the saddle had no tie strings. I'm still working on softening the fenders and turning them. Overall the saddle is not what I expected from a brand I used to love. I would gladly trade it for another Tucker or older circle Y.

Rackonteur
Oct. 4, 2011, 02:18 PM
15-lb. Big Horn. Love it!

acoustic
Oct. 4, 2011, 02:40 PM
Two local saddlers have made saddles for most cowboys around here and have made ranch saddles for me many years ago.
Here is one, the other has retired:

http://www.oliversaddle.com/page/page/535187.htm

We also have some old Ryons saddles from Fort Worth, TX, that are excellent quality and fit very well all around:

http://www.seanryon.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi

If you go with top of the line saddlers, those rarely put out a bad saddle.

If I was looking for a saddle, I would check local saddlers first.
They may have something you can try on your horse and your behind right where you are, no guessing about it.

For reining, I have a Bob's lady reiner, as those are just right to keep you where you need to be while reining.
Those are also good for any other flat work, not so much for hard outside riding or roping except in a pinch.

I had long ago a very hard to fit arabian ranch horse.
English saddles fit him fine, but the only western saddle that fit him was a medium quality Courts barrel racing saddle, that didn't have any padding and was hard on the rider's behind.
Since it was the only one that fitted him, well, the rider just had to endure.
A friend bought it later and it fits her very well, hard seat and all. She is still using it all these years later.
It was a tough saddle, hard work didn't tear it, but of course you could not do any serious roping with it either.

WOW those are pretty saddles! I LOVE the one that pops up when you open the Oliver Saddle Shop especially!

My favorite saddles from the mainstream are Ammerman saddles. I also like the ranch-type Billy Cooks but I do not like their barrel racing models.

Bob Marshall treeless aren't bad, but I had to stick with short rides in them. They always made my hips sore after a longer ride (or it was fatty Arab's fault), but I do love being able to feel my horse under my bum! Also great for pole bending and barrel racing for a horse that really turns hard 'cause you aren't going anywhere in one of those!

leilatigress
Oct. 4, 2011, 02:48 PM
ML Letty Cutting saddle is what I rode in for YEARS! I still have it at the house though the chances of me swinging that rig over the back of anything big enough to carry it are slim to none. http://leddys.com/prodcat.asp?id=4

Barrel racing I rode a 1970s Circle Y that did not have the huge honkin horn at the front. I outgrew that saddle and miss it so much! They don't make them like that anymore. :(

Show saddle was a Circle Y square skirt that I won at my first congress. LOVED that thing!

NEVER EVER EVER buy a western saddle new unless you want to spend lots of time sore and cranky. I always go to the local auction to buy mine and it's where I got all of my saddles. Sold lots of saddles at the auction too. Nothing like picking up a real Stubben circa 1960s for $65 at the sale. :)

OveroHunter
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:14 PM
My absolute favorite is a Billy Cook reiner!

BUT, since I couldn't afford it, I got a Corriente Association saddle. It weighs 40+ lbs, but it is so comfortable and it is (supposedly) made by the same people as the Billy Cooks.

Tamara in TN
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:16 PM
Coats Cutter

Tamara



What is your western preference? Crates, Circle y, Simco..an ebay cheapie???

I ride Clydesdales, and my favorite saddle for them is the late 80's to mid 90's circle y equitation seat. Preferably a richard shrake version, as they have a super wide low profile that fits a draft horse very nicely.

ddashaq
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:17 PM
1994 Circle Y Park and Trail saddle. I LOVE that thing and despite it being too wide for my horses (therefore sitting unused) I refuse to sell it. Some day I will have something super wide, just so I can use that saddle!;)

rivenoak
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:20 PM
Rocking R Old West "2223"

http://www.rockingrsaddlery.com/c_oldwest.asp

DLee
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:22 PM
Years ago I had a Dale Harwood saddle, and sold it when I was very poor. Kind of sick about that. :(
Kent Frecker studied under him and makes saddles now, I have my eye on one of those.

spotnnotfarm
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:28 PM
Years ago I had a Dale Harwood saddle, and sold it when I was very poor. Kind of sick about that. :(
Kent Frecker studied under him and makes saddles now, I have my eye on one of those.

I bet you are!!! Those are nice!

I ride in a Cactus ranch saddle and LOVE IT!!! This is my saddle
http://teskeys.com/cactus-rancher.html

My husband has a Martin Wade and he loves it but it is too wide for me. I would love a Bob's or a Mad Cow Saddle.

candyappy
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:32 PM
1994 Circle Y Park and Trail saddle. I LOVE that thing and despite it being too wide for my horses (therefore sitting unused) I refuse to sell it. Some day I will have something super wide, just so I can use that saddle!;)

I had one too! an early 1980's model and when I rode in it I loved it. I also used it on a variety of horses and it never caused a problem. Wish I never sold it now...

Monica67
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:46 PM
Coats Cutter

Tamara


I want a Coats so bad. Currently I have a Dakota roping saddle. Got it used, nice and comfy for long rides.

Liberty
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:55 PM
Mine is a mid-1990's Tucker Cheyenne (back when you could only get them from Tucker). I love it.

However, my favorite saddle is now hubby's - a vintage Circle Y. He "inherited" it from me when he bought me the Tucker, which is featherweight compared to the Circle Y.

Luckydonkey
Oct. 4, 2011, 04:09 PM
The new circle y's are not near as good as they used to be. If i had to buy a "new" saddle, it would not be a circle y.

OveroHunter
Oct. 4, 2011, 04:12 PM
I agree, and the same things goes for Billy Cooks.


The new circle y's are not near as good as they used to be. If i had to buy a "new" saddle, it would not be a circle y.

saddleup
Oct. 4, 2011, 05:19 PM
I love my Martin trail saddle. I also have a Circle Y flex saddle. My show saddle is a Blue Ribbon, and it's really comfortable, but heavy. I also have a Chavez show saddle, but once I got the Blue Ribbon I stopped riding in it. It has sentimental value, so I keep it.

wkw
Oct. 4, 2011, 05:28 PM
Vic Bennett team penner

ddashaq
Oct. 4, 2011, 05:35 PM
The new circle y's are not near as good as they used to be. If i had to buy a "new" saddle, it would not be a circle y.

I COMPLETELY agree. I worked in a tack store from 1997-2005 and watched the quality decline every year.:no: So sad, as the older ones are lovely. If I were to buy new, I would steer clear of all of the mass produced brands.

smokygirl
Oct. 4, 2011, 05:45 PM
I have a 1970s (ish?) Circle Y saddle. I don't like the newer ones as much, but if i needed a new saddle, I'd look for an older one like that one.

wireweiners
Oct. 4, 2011, 05:50 PM
Mine is a (probably) custom made bear trap saddle made circa 1920's. It has the name Fay Rucks tooled across the back of the cantle. It's very comfortable and fits my rather narrow horse quite well. It won't do for the wide backed haflinger I'm fixing to start though. I lust after a Tucker Old West saddle. It looks like the old fashioned high back saddles but has all the modern conviences.

mypaintwattie
Oct. 4, 2011, 06:22 PM
I love my Champion Turf show saddle, I even trail ride in it. Otherwise my favorites are Blue Ribbon, Bob's, Broken Horn, Harris, or Crates.

charlo
Oct. 4, 2011, 06:29 PM
My boarder rides in a Reinsmen....she loves it. When I tried out her horse for her before she purchased, the people selling it had a billy cook saddle - ALMOST Like heaven - keep in mind I'm thoroughly an English rider I DO not like western saddles, never felt comfortable in any western saddle...but that saddle was wonderful. My son rides in a circle y...I never liked it, but he seems to enjoy it...I also have a couple of older fairly nice saddles, not sure of brands...but generally I just don't like them - He is ok with them...

nhhaflngr
Oct. 4, 2011, 06:31 PM
--bought used, model just before the Gen II, but still very comfy seat and the wide fits my Haflie. Lots of tie down strings. Works very well and fits me and my horse. We do mostly easy but mountainous trail riding, no team events or barrel racing.

jumpytoo
Oct. 4, 2011, 06:40 PM
I have 3 Circle Y that are about 20 years old, a Dale Chavez reining saddle, and a Bob's eq.. also older. I mostly ride in the Chavez lately.. it's not as heavy so easier to get up on a 17+h horse.

I have looked at a western dressage saddle..kinda wondering about the thigh block.. my thighs dont really wander around in a western saddle sooooo why ???? anyone know? Or is that a question for the western forum?

ClassNTime
Oct. 4, 2011, 07:00 PM
I have a Bona Allen and I just love it, bought it from our local tack store - last one they ever sold! When I have to get myself a new one - no idea what I will get... I hope my BA lasts forever and ever and ever!

GallopingGrape
Oct. 4, 2011, 07:36 PM
I recently just switched to the Cross Trail, the all leather model made by Fabtron in Tennessee. They are marketing it as the western saddle for english riders but basically, they cut out a ton of leather, so it has super close contact, very light weight at only 20 pounds, leather is super soft and pliable... fenders turn very easily. Memory foam seat.. and my favorite part, the tree bars are covered in 9lb memory foam, as opposed to fleece or wool. All you need is a simple felt pad and you are all set! http://gallopinggrape.com/crosstrailfullquarterhorsebars-allseatsizes.aspx

HuntJumpSC
Oct. 4, 2011, 08:28 PM
A vintage late 70's Double R (RR). Hubby got it for me off of Ebay for $150 this past Christmas (I picked it out of course) :D

Rides great, fits great, no complaints. :)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/163071_1773624897424_1143349940_32129866_436436_n. jpg

cutter99
Oct. 4, 2011, 08:43 PM
I have 4 Dale Martin saddles that I had done custom about 9-10 years ago- 2 cutters and 2 ranch cutters. They are like sitting in butter and I never had an issue as far as break in. I love these saddles and figure I should have them for the rest of my life. I look at them as an investment. I love to trail ride in the ranch cutters because the horn is not as high as my cutters but all my seats are similar as far as fit. I picked the tooling and/or roughout and hardware and conchos. They have worn really well!

Just saw something on RFD-TV with Dale Martin on Sunday. He is now president or vice-president of Reinsmen. Does anyone know what their saddles are like?

ERollison
Oct. 4, 2011, 11:28 PM
I ride in a Bob's Custom Saddlery "Bob Avila Reiner" and a Dorrie Reese training saddle. I love how close contact both of them are!

The Bobs
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q2/cowgirlnclemson/DSC_0120.jpg
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q2/cowgirlnclemson/DSC_0124.jpg
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q2/cowgirlnclemson/DSC_0131.jpg

The Dorie
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q2/cowgirlnclemson/IMG_0931.jpg
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q2/cowgirlnclemson/IMG_0937.jpg

I also have two J-N Cutting Saddles and an older Tex Tan show saddle that I won in 1996.

I school my hunter in western saddles quite a bit.

bugsynskeeter
Oct. 4, 2011, 11:51 PM
I adore my Piland. The year I bought it I literally sat in EVERY SINGLE reining saddle at Congress. The Piland was the last saddle I sat in and once I sat in it - it was like being home. It is not going anywhere.

MunchkinsMom
Oct. 4, 2011, 11:56 PM
My absolute favorite is a Billy Cook reiner!



Mine too, and I have one that I bought back in 1990 from Sheplers in Wichita while on vacation, it was all by itself in a sea of Circle Y saddles, and the salesman gave me a heck of a deal and free shipping because I was from Massachusetts.

I still have it, had the tree rebuilt to fit my narrow shark withered horse.

I also have a Billy Cook training saddle that I purchased 4 years ago, and it fits my wide low withered horses much better.

For show I have a Blue Ribbon custom saddle, that I'm glad I bought when I did since the price has almost doubled on them now.

Hampton Bay
Oct. 5, 2011, 12:03 AM
Billy Cook, the ones made by him in OK, not the copies with his name from the factory in TX. There is a local tack shop that sells them for a couple hundred cheaper than you can find them online. Hubby had one on the modified Wade tree, border tooling, roughout seat. Yummy.

Jazzy's mom
Oct. 5, 2011, 12:07 AM
I have an older Saddlesmith Todd Bergen reiner. The leather is far better than the new ones, I think it is quite good quality for a non custom. I have no cartilage in my knees and this has been the best saddle for me on long rides. It is very comfortable and has fit everything I have put it on from my mom's arab to my very broad paint. I like the freedom that the reining saddles have.

I have had the saddle for sale and a lady who came to try it said it was one of the most comfortable saddles she had ever tried, loved the look of it and the good care it has had. She didn't buy it because it wasn't a Bob's and her friends all have Bob's. I just shook my head. I am only sellling it because I am out of horses until my babies are grown and thought someone else might really love it too. I just can't imagine loving something, loving the price but not being able to make a decision without worrying about what your friends think. Oy.

UrbanHennery
Oct. 5, 2011, 12:27 AM
My Billy Cook Classic Pro Reiner. It's probably 15 years old, so nicely broken in that the suede is almost smooth. Love it. I rein in it and trail ride in it.

http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/classic-reiner.html
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6008/5972412533_93b3f58b53_b.jpg

We had a custom Y-L Saddlery wade tree for a while. Also loved it, but it was a wide tree (bought for a specific horse) and I sold it earlier this year since it doesn't fit any horse I know.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6072/6092981767_18c5ec0c75_b.jpg

I had a Crates for a while because it was the only thing that fit my crazy paint. I never found it all that comfortable and wouldn't buy another except in the same situation.

7HL
Oct. 5, 2011, 12:32 AM
Light NRHA Reining Saddle by Bob’s

Tee
Oct. 5, 2011, 01:22 AM
I used to have a Crates trail saddle and loved it. Til I shrunk out of it and my young horse got too wide for it. Now I have a Crates gaited tree and it is super comfy. Hoping to find a nice Crates reiner once my 4 year old has finished growing and filling out.

And I've drooled over my fair share of Martins as well.

goneriding24
Oct. 5, 2011, 12:12 PM
I'm a Billy Cook fan. All arounds mostly. The Sulphur Springs one. But these days, they sure are getting heavy on my old bones....

zipperfoot
Oct. 5, 2011, 12:57 PM
Fallis Balanced Ride--puts you in the middle of the saddle with your legs under you instead of in a chair seat. Rigged so you don't have a bunch of stuff under your leg too. I had mine custom made years and years ago. Used ones can be hard to find, but they turn up occasionally. Worth the money.

Bluey
Oct. 5, 2011, 01:09 PM
Fallis Balanced Ride--puts you in the middle of the saddle with your legs under you instead of in a chair seat. Rigged so you don't have a bunch of stuff under your leg too. I had mine custom made years and years ago. Used ones can be hard to find, but they turn up occasionally. Worth the money.

I had one of those many years ago and it didn't stay together, fell apart quickly, they are not made too well.
I used it mostly to start colts gently, no wild stuff.,
For a western saddle and more than light work, I would not put money in one of those.

spinandslide
Oct. 5, 2011, 01:25 PM
I have a Bob's, a Teskey's and a Double C.

Surprisingly, the Double C I bought from a friend to help jumpstart his tack selling..and its a nice saddle..a breaking saddle, but super comfy and fits a variety of horses..including my 13.2 hand pony.

As Bluey said, a good course of action is to stick with the better known saddle makers..it doesnt always guarantee quality workmanship, but it does increase your odds.

When I barrel raced, I rode in a circle Y and a Billy Cook. They were alright..Ive noticed, recently, espc in the circle Y's, the quality seems to have gone downhill abit.

My next saddle I am going custom I think.

Auventera Two
Oct. 5, 2011, 03:33 PM
I own two Bob Marshall sport saddles, which are technically endurance saddles and not "western" although they are more western styled. I absolutely love them and can't imagine going back to a treed saddle.

But.....if aliens came and ate all the Bob Marshalls in the world, I would go back to the Abetta endurance saddle. They are lightweight, comfortable, affordable, and easy to maintain.

M.K.Smith
Oct. 6, 2011, 01:13 AM
Circle Y Equitation saddle- love my saddle!

Looking for a saddle for my 3 year old son :winkgrin: He enjoys riding and has an english saddle. I want to find a western saddle for something that won't completely break the budget (don't mind to pay a little more for something that will hold value and can resell- not looking for anything to show Congress with). Want something that is safe, well built, and puts him in a good position. Hopefully something he can use for quite a few years. Any ideas?

MunchkinsMom
Oct. 6, 2011, 01:30 AM
Circle Y Equitation saddle- love my saddle!

Looking for a saddle for my 3 year old son :winkgrin: He enjoys riding and has an english saddle. I want to find a western saddle for something that won't completely break the budget (don't mind to pay a little more for something that will hold value and can resell- not looking for anything to show Congress with). Want something that is safe, well built, and puts him in a good position. Hopefully something he can use for quite a few years. Any ideas?

I have a terrific lead line western saddle, I tried for a few years to sell it, but decided to just hang onto it, before I know it I might have grandchildren that can use it. My daughter started riding in it at age 3, and outgrew it when she was 9. It has more silver on it than my Blue Ribbon. I don't know the name brand (can't find any name on it anywhere). I bought it at a small back yard tack shop, the owner would go to the auctions, and resell stuff that he bought at the auctions.

Just so you can see it - here is the youth saddle on my 15.2 hand QH:

http://pic90.picturetrail.com:80/VOL2147/2908252/8807817/397594783.jpg

Billy Cook makes a nice youth saddle, you might want to check EBay also for deals.

MunchkinsMom
Oct. 6, 2011, 01:45 AM
Also, Alamo makes a decent Youth saddle as small as 12".

http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/kids-show-saddles.html

If you don't want all the silver, here is the plain version:

http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/alamo-youth-saddle.html

zipperfoot
Oct. 6, 2011, 02:12 PM
I had one of those many years ago and it didn't stay together, fell apart quickly, they are not made too well.
I used it mostly to start colts gently, no wild stuff.,
For a western saddle and more than light work, I would not put money in one of those.

Wow. I've never heard that before about Fallis saddles, nor has it been my experience. There was a company that manufactured the same design of balanced ride saddles, but they were mass-produced not custom. I don't know what their quality was like. My saddle was made way back in the late 70s, if that makes a difference.

Everythingbutwings
Oct. 6, 2011, 02:19 PM
I had one of those many years ago and it didn't stay together, fell apart quickly, they are not made too well.
I used it mostly to start colts gently, no wild stuff.,
For a western saddle and more than light work, I would not put money in one of those.

We've got a Fallis balanced ride and it's fabulous! We've had it for over 15 years with no problems such as you've experienced.

We recently took a co-worker (relocated Texan ex-marine) for a trail ride over at Meadowood (http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL766/13308784/23787300/396534167.jpg) and he loved it. :)

purplnurpl
Oct. 6, 2011, 02:40 PM
What is your western preference? Crates, Circle y, Simco..an ebay cheapie???

I ride Clydesdales, and my favorite saddle for them is the late 80's to mid 90's circle y equitation seat. Preferably a richard shrake version, as they have a super wide low profile that fits a draft horse very nicely.

Richard shrake equitation. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I think Richard shrake is the same as circle y. We bought a circle y trail saddle for my mom. It's really nice too.

HydroPHILE
Oct. 6, 2011, 02:45 PM
Earlier model Textan or Simco saddles for me unless there are tough trails, then it's a Billy Cook saddle (real Billy Cook...not fake.)

spurgirl
Oct. 6, 2011, 09:34 PM
I have a Bob's Custom Saddle "Monte Foreman" pleasure saddle. I have never seen another one, it's a basic basketweave pattern, with a gel seat, and SUPER comfy.... Not a lot of leather under your leg/thigh area. Hubby bought it for me for my birthday at a hole-in-the-wall consignment tack shop for $700 about 6 years ago.

Come to find out, new it was about $2,200, and the previous owner had customized it a tiny bit by putting sterling conchos on it. We happened to meet the tack shop owner who originally sold/customized it-he would give us $1,200 for it if we wanted to sell it...that was about a month after we bought it. NO WAY-most comfortable Western saddle ever...for me, anyway!

M.K.Smith
Oct. 7, 2011, 10:44 AM
Cute saddle!!!


I have a terrific lead line western saddle, I tried for a few years to sell it, but decided to just hang onto it, before I know it I might have grandchildren that can use it. My daughter started riding in it at age 3, and outgrew it when she was 9. It has more silver on it than my Blue Ribbon. I don't know the name brand (can't find any name on it anywhere). I bought it at a small back yard tack shop, the owner would go to the auctions, and resell stuff that he bought at the auctions.

Just so you can see it - here is the youth saddle on my 15.2 hand QH:

http://pic90.picturetrail.com:80/VOL2147/2908252/8807817/397594783.jpg

Billy Cook makes a nice youth saddle, you might want to check EBay also for deals.

DJB
Oct. 7, 2011, 01:20 PM
I learned to restore saddles while growing up so I never developed a brand loyalty just because I always bought used saddles and restored them for use. My favorite saddle was a no brand (custom build?)saddle from the 1940s, it was rock solid and the quality was so great that 60 some years later it was still going strong.

spinandslide
Oct. 7, 2011, 04:06 PM
Looking for youth saddles-

Teskey's in weatherford makes a variety of youth saddles..some as small as 10"

I just sold my sons 10" and bought him a 13". they seem to retain value well..a big plus in a kids saddle. :)

lilitiger2
May. 3, 2012, 09:03 PM
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6072/6092981767_18c5ec0c75_b.jpg

I had a Crates for a while because it was the only thing that fit my crazy paint. I never found it all that comfortable and wouldn't buy another except in the same situation.

Funny we have a CRates and I do not like it (fits one horse). Would not buy another but LOVE the Circle Y!!!

M.K.Smith
May. 3, 2012, 10:40 PM
Love my Circle Y & recently after waiting and waiting and waiting I got my son a Circle Y- http://www.leakycreek.com/modules.php?set_albumName=new&id=Lu_Lu_4_30&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php

I'd heard bad things about some of the pony saddles and figured I wanted to get him something that was quality (used) and would keep a re-sale value or could even be re-cycled if he ever has kids.

Pa Rural
May. 3, 2012, 10:59 PM
Billy Cook Original barrel saddle-from Oklahoma- comfortable, secure, economical and well made- no bling

sadlmakr
May. 3, 2012, 11:10 PM
I have had several in my lifetime but the best was a vintage Circle Y. It seemed to fit the most horses. I assume it was the old rawhide bound tree in it, seemed to fit all of them well. Next in line was my old Simco. It was also a vintage saddle. It was old when I got it and it went on to another lady and is still in use. When you get one that fits you and the horses it is a good saddle.

paulosey
May. 4, 2012, 08:17 AM
I have had quite a few western production saddles. My favourite so far (who says I can't get a few more?!) is my Billy Cook Pro Reiner. It is very close contact, has a leather, not suede seat, and low horn. It seems to fit any of the horses I have tried it on including my Morgan who is a little hard to fit. It is really comfortable on long trail rides and the low horn makes it easier to duck under low branches. I plan to use it for Western Dressage.

altermeup
May. 4, 2012, 09:56 AM
I have two favorite saddles, five saddles total.

My favorite is my Double J roping saddle. It's a nice enough ride for roping or barrels, very secure but not restricting my ability to get up out of the saddle. Very nice quality saddle, it fits my horse and myself. You can't ever beat a saddle that fits both. http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d77/DontBelieveInMe/saddle001.jpg

My second favorite is my Billy Cook (Sulphur, OK) roping saddle. Very comfortable to ride in, nice secure seat, and just a solid saddle. The only two problems are 1) the stirrups don't adjust short enough to feel secure and 2) it doesn't fit my current horse. I got it for a great price and will probably hold on to it. http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d77/DontBelieveInMe/60.jpg

Third on my list would be my Corriente roping saddle. Inexpensive saddle and not made of the highest quality material, but it's a great value for the price. Probably one of the best cheap saddles I've bought over the years. https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/184993_10150149386862354_617097353_8175734_4825272 _n.jpg

Fourth is a Circle S barrel saddle, it's cheap and only comes in Semi Quarter bars. The leather finally broke in after 5 months of hard daily riding, and it's comfortable. Not too bad for a $500 new saddle. http://www.montgomerysaddlesandtack.net/1012131415circlesbarrelracingsaddle-1-1.aspx

Last is my old Simco trail saddle. Only reason it's last on my list is because it is old, it is dry rotted in spots, and it's small with an uphill feel. http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d77/DontBelieveInMe/cody_001.jpg

My two old favorite saddles before the roping phase started were my Nathan Lamb barrel saddles. I had one in a 13" with a narrower tree and a 14" with a wider tree. Wonderful saddles, but my bum outgrew them after a few years and pounds. I regret selling them.
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d77/DontBelieveInMe/sale_017.jpg
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d77/DontBelieveInMe/saddles_100.jpg

airhorse
May. 4, 2012, 10:14 AM
We have two Frecker's Brannaman saddles and absolutely love them. They are all day comfortable and fit every horse we have.

http://www.freckerssaddlery.com/

eeyore4176
May. 4, 2012, 12:10 PM
I ride in a Textan flex tree trail saddle. Absolutely love it and it fits my gelding great. I started riding with a wool seat saver and that made a world of difference with me getting sore from longer rides.

My husband has a Circle Y park & trail custom flex tree. Fits all our horses great. I personally don't like riding in it as it has an A pommel and I just don't feel as secure in it. Hubby loves it.

I also have a no name barrel saddle I picked up at an auction that fits all our horses. It use to be my main trail saddle, but now it's just used when we have friends riding with us.

My husband bought a Billy Cook roping saddle a few years ago for $100 from a coworker. VERY comfortable saddle, but the stirrups don't go short enough for me and it's very heavy. It fits our paint mare great, but is a little long in the back our other horses. It mostly sits as decoration anymore since our other saddles are much lighter and we opt for them for trail riding.

We have an old King Series that we use for kids when they come out and ride. It fits all our horses pretty good and the stirrups go up super short. Picked it up for $25 at an auction and hate to part with it since it's easy to throw on a horse getting started under saddle and it works for kids to use.

Last saddle I have is a 1940's JC Higgins hard seat saddle that belonged to my grandpa. It's in our house on display now and hasn't been used in years.

I've had many other saddles that have come and gone.

ddashaq
May. 4, 2012, 02:37 PM
1994 Circle Y Park and Trail. I LOVE that saddle and it is worth more now than when I bought it in 1998. Beautiful and so comfy. I just which I had a big stout QH for it to fit since it is too wide for my current boys.

Jennifer Alcott
May. 4, 2012, 02:38 PM
Let's see...I have a Teskey training saddle that was very reasonably priced (around $1,000), sturdy, but HEAVY. VERY HEAVY. It has full QH bars, but I've used it on several different horses, including a couple of short, bulldog-type QHs, my 7/8 Arabian gelding, a very TB-type Appendix QH, and a more QH-type Appendix QH. I varied the pads according to the horses' needs, but the saddle seemed to work well on all of these horses:
http://www.merrickstudios.com/Events-07/ECR-Finals/Allott_Jennifer/photos/dscf9680.jpg

I have been very impressed with the quality of this saddle in relation to its pricing. The ONLY thing I would change about it would be its weight--but then again, one of the things that makes it a good, versatile saddle is that it's sturdy and can stand up to some work, like roping--that is, IF there was ever any chance that I might actually rope something, catch it, and want to dally! The only thing I'm likely to actually catch with a rope would be either myself, or my horse's ears!

I also have a Dale Chavez show saddle, Arabian tree, and shorter from front to back to accommodate the shorter backs that many Arabians have:
http://www.merrickstudios.com/Events-07/ECR-Finals/Allott_Jennifer/photos/dscf6370.jpg

(This photo was taken 1 stride after a jump, thus, the two-point position and the "Ay-rab tail"!)

I've used the Dale Chavez on a variety of horses, too--again, varying the pads as the horses' build has dictated.

Obviously, you can't make a HUGE change in saddle fit with pads; I'm talking minor tweaking here and there.

My husband has an OLD Circle Y saddle (around 1980 or so?) that belongs to my sister's husband, who got it at the factory when he was a teenager and it is a great saddle. I have not been impressed with the quality of the newer Circle Ys, but maybe that's just me.

sublimequine
May. 4, 2012, 02:47 PM
Circle Y will probably always be my favorite. Alas, my mare's western saddle is an Abetta, and her western sidesaddle is an Escalera (small brand, some guy that works out of a shop I've been told).

olehossgal
May. 4, 2012, 05:38 PM
Wow...I don't visit here too often, so just noticed the 'Western' forum...YAY! Good to see us 'cowhand' types w/ our 'own place'!
I have been at this a LONG time, so have had several Western saddles, all good ones. First was a "Jumbo", by Schoelkopf...anyone remember those? It was a youth size(I was 10 and had had my first 'own' horse for some time when my uncle gave it to me.) Good 'mass-produced' brand.
When I was @ 14, my mother bought me an R.E.Donaho saddlemaker saddle, made in San Angelo,TX. It was also a great saddle, handmade,fulltool, but NO silver(that was WAY before everything 'dripped' w/ silver.)

In college and doing barrels and poles in the NIRA, I had a barrel racing saddle, but don't recall the maker.It was a good little well-made saddle, that I do remember.In the late 60's, I bought a SUPER light handmade barrel saddle; so tough it survived w/ only 'ridges' in the horn cover when my husband dallyed a lariat to it one time(I was NOT amused!) Sold it to an acquaintance in the '90's, and have been sorry ever since; it was both SUPER lightweight, yet comfortable to ride AND well-made..fiberglass tree, 'new idea' when it was built, and pert near 'one of a kind'.
I had the Donoho until the mid-'70s, at which time I got interested in showing QH and Paint/Pinto and wanted a 'show saddle', so I sold the Donohoe(regret doing so), and got a Circle Y equitation w/ buckstitching(the current 'fad' of the time). Soon, buckstitching was out of favor, and I sold THAT Circle Y and got another Equitation(input on the design of those came fromm my instructor at the time, Jack Bates of Albuquerque.) They were pretty heavy, and after I lost enthusiam for breed showing(after 'peanut rolling' became the 'norm') and wanted to 'just' trail/pleasure ride, and wanted a lighter saddle, I sold the second Circle Y. I bought an inexpensive Big Horn synthetic. It was OK, but not really what I wanted, and I ordered a Fallis(now built by John, the son of the 'original' builder, 'Slim' Fallis, who originally worked w/ Monte Foreman); it is reasonably light in weight, handsome,comfortable, and well-made. Took a while to get used to sitting in the 'middle' of a saddle, but well-worth it now! I knew @ three other local riders who had Balanced Rides, and they were VERY well-regarded, and 'snapped up' if/when one came up for sale; I never heard ANYONE who had an issue with how well-built it was!
If I needed another saddle, I'd buy another Fallis in a heartbeat, but I don't expect to ever need/want any more saddles, at my age!

Margo in NM(aka olehossgal)

mvp
May. 4, 2012, 06:55 PM
Fallis Balanced Ride--puts you in the middle of the saddle with your legs under you instead of in a chair seat. Rigged so you don't have a bunch of stuff under your leg too. I had mine custom made years and years ago. Used ones can be hard to find, but they turn up occasionally. Worth the money.


I had a Fallis fetish for a while. I never could find one to buy. I still look from time to time.

Mine are fabulous equitation buckets:

MacPherson, circa 1980

Broken Horn, single skirt medium oil.

I love them. If I got so broke that I had to live in my car, I'd hope it had 3rd row seating for the saddles.

daisyduke
May. 4, 2012, 09:07 PM
My favorite over all the years is a Vic Bennett. Very comfortable, fits many horses, reasonable weight. For me, it is an all around good saddle. The down side, is the price. I also have a Billy Cook (I believe it is an all purpose). Compared to the Vic Bennett, it is extremely heavy and I don't find it as comfortable. The price is a definite plus for Billy Cook saddles. I have had Wintecs, which, for little investment, are a great starter saddle or general purpose saddle. They are so lightweight and of course very economical.

Zu Zu
May. 4, 2012, 09:35 PM
JUST FOUND AND PURCHASED A USED CIRCLE 'Y' ~ LOVE IT

TOOK MONTHS TO FIND A WESTERN SADDLE I LIKED ~~~ NOT AN EASY ASSIGNMENT

I HAD JUST 'GIVEN UP !' AND IT APPEARED :D

BUT HOW DO YOU KEEP THOSE STIRRUPS ON :confused::lol: ~ YES I HAVE IT SET UP WITH A BROOKSTICK TWISTING THE STIRRUPS BUT ... SO FAR JUST HAVE TO RIDE WITHOUT STIRRUPS !

ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A 'COWBOY' BUT IT REALLY DID NOT WORK OUT :lol:

Flagstaff Foxhunter
May. 4, 2012, 10:12 PM
Mine is a (probably) custom made bear trap saddle made circa 1920's. It has the name Fay Rucks tooled across the back of the cantle. It's very comfortable and fits my rather narrow horse quite well. It won't do for the wide backed haflinger I'm fixing to start though. I lust after a Tucker Old West saddle. It looks like the old fashioned high back saddles but has all the modern conviences.

I recently got an Old West and it's very comfy as well as great looking. I don't know what it is but as soon as I get my "grail" saddle, I dream up the next one I'd rather have. Now I'm lusting after a black Wade tree. And I'm cheap, and picky. So it's gonna be a LONG wait!

Agree with other posts about Circle Y saddles. I had a 1980s Park and Trail that was a very nice saddle. Bought a flex tree model #1551 in 2007 and promply sold it--was not very nice and it sored my horse instantly.

I briefly had a JC Martin A-fork, slick loop saddle that I could not get to fit any horse we own, the tree curved up in the back like a banana. The guy I sold it to on eBay loved it and reported being a happy camper. It was so great looking and I loved the way it rode. It was one of those saddles that felt like coming home, and that I could not fall out of. Sigh....

I have a Simco John Lyons saddle that is pretty nice and I think quite rare. For some reason it just bores me. So lots of saddle opinions for a primarily english rider! Glad to see this fun new forum.

Bump
May. 4, 2012, 10:34 PM
Tucker!


Tried a synthetic from Equestrian International (nice, but something wasn't quite right) and didn't even stay on for 10 minutes. Took it back and walked out with my Tucker and haven't regretted that move in years.

Rambler
May. 6, 2012, 06:55 AM
Yay for a western forum! I have had 2 Oklahoma made Billy Cooks, a pro reiner and a pleasure saddle. Didn't find the quality of either of them that great. I now have a Dale Chavez pleasure saddle. It is pretty but not super comfy and doesn't hold you in place like some equitation saddles. Maybe I will like it better when it is more broken in.

Mtn trails
May. 8, 2012, 04:58 PM
I have a K & S Saddlery made saddle, right here in the PNW. Looks similar to the first one here:

http://www.kandssaddlery.com/products.php?category=3

Mine is darker and has an "A" fork and doesn't have that type of tooling and has a bigger, flatter horn. It was custom made for a woman who didn't like it so I bought it somewhat used. It is so comfortable and fits my 2 quite well. The only thing I don't like it doesn't have crupper dees.

Also have a very old Big Horn. It's very heavy, full 1/4 bars, buckstitching, and has wild rose tooling with a large horsehead tooled in on each fender. I used this before I got my K & S but now we use it as a training saddle or a spare.

DH has an Imus 4 beat saddle that he adores. Nice saddle but I don't care for black western tack.

potteryshop
May. 8, 2012, 06:30 PM
Circle Y that is 25+ years old for everyday. Blue Ribbon for show.
Huntseat saddle is Beval Natural. All sit me so that I do not have to fight to be balanced.

Maude
May. 8, 2012, 07:38 PM
What?! No one here rides in a McCall Lady Wade? I sooo covet one. I have a Reinsman All-Around that I really like. It has a padded seat and a drop flat plate rigging. Unfortunately, it is rigged in 3/4 position and I need it rigged in 7/8. The fenders are set back so your leg is under you rather than kicked out in front. I ride my now retired PSG mare in it. It has a Steele Equifit tree which flares in the front to accomodate the horse's shoulders. It has semi-QH bars, but is still a bit wide for my mare. Love the saddle though. I can sit like I do in my dressage saddle though it is a bit wiiider in the seat and twist. The McCall has a wider seat, but horses really seem to like it. I'd love to find a wade tree saddle with a narrower (equitation style?) seat that has a drop plate in 7/8. For the price, the Reinsman has been great. I did have to get a rear cinch and I have to snug it up to keep the saddle from bouncing. My mare has quite a bit of suspension...Any suggestions on a wade type saddle with flat plate 7/8?

AZ Native
May. 8, 2012, 09:57 PM
We have two Frecker's Brannaman saddles and absolutely love them. They are all day comfortable and fit every horse we have.

http://www.freckerssaddlery.com/


Love his saddles. Any chance you ride a warmblood or an Arabian?
I've tried a Wade tree on these guys. Does not fit :(.
Like to get a custom at some point but worried as the trakehner builds a topline, that eventually it wouldn't fit.

MidlifeCrisis
May. 8, 2012, 11:54 PM
What?! No one here rides in a McCall Lady Wade? I do. I won't give it up until I find something better and that will only happen when I go custom. I've heard about a guy in Nevada who carves out the seat to fit your butt. You bring a book and sit in the tree for hours while he makes adjustments. It usually takes 8-10 hours:eek:

sparkette
May. 9, 2012, 01:09 PM
Usually what fits the horse correct. Circle Y, Big Horn, or Abetta.

kwsbongo
May. 14, 2012, 03:47 PM
Billy Cook(OK) trainer here and a Crates reiner. Just recently sold Crates show saddle but loved it as well.

WHEN I win the Lotto there will be a Martin on my saddle rack!

sterling2000
May. 14, 2012, 04:55 PM
I found a used Dale Chavez at a tack swap this spring, and have been riding in that ever since. I really don't ride western yet, but when I do, I love that Chavez and how it puts me in the right position on the horse. It fits my Quarter Horse pretty well, it's just a bit wide in the front, easily corrected by a thicker pad. The only problem is I think it will be too big in the skirt for my other western horse (an arab) until he grows up a bit more. Ah, well. It was an absolute steal, although it came without corner plates on the rear of the skirts. It is absolutely stunning, even without the rear corner plates (and unless you're up close, you can't tell the corner plates are missing). I made a deal with myself: save up the pennies, and if I start winning I can order a custom set of corner plates as well as get the seat refurbished (it has a stain on it, you can only see it if you aren't sitting in it).

I have also ridden in a Circle Y Mojave Flex-2. It fit the majority of the horses I put it on, but I HATED it. It was too big in the seat, and I was in so bad of a chair seat I couldn't get my balance.

I had my eye on a Billy Cook for awhile, until that Chavez came and stole my heart.

altermeup
May. 15, 2012, 09:00 AM
I don't recall seeing any Ammerman on this thread, or am I just missing it? I've really enjoyed riding in the Ammerman ropers, but I don't own one.

spotnnotfarm
May. 15, 2012, 09:35 AM
I love my Cactus Ranch Saddle and am hoping to buy my trainers Vinton Reiner.

aktill
May. 15, 2012, 03:44 PM
Love his saddles. Any chance you ride a warmblood or an Arabian?
I've tried a Wade tree on these guys. Does not fit :(.
Like to get a custom at some point but worried as the trakehner builds a topline, that eventually it wouldn't fit.

Try fitting an Icelandic with one...same joy! Got one custom made down to the tree, and I still had to pull the skirts and reshape things to get it to fit like I wanted. Fun though, in a frustrating way.

Fingerlakes
May. 15, 2012, 10:40 PM
Love Circle Y.

UrbanHennery
May. 16, 2012, 12:02 AM
I had a McCall Lady Wade on trial about 18 months ago. LOVED it. I would have kept it but it didn't fit the crazy paint I had at the time so I returned it from trial, bought a used Crates that did, and spent the difference on another horse. Crazy paint was sold for $1 about 6 months later - wish I'd kept the saddle as I think it would fit that new FQHA perfectly and would be much more comfortable than trail riding in my reining saddle. Alas, any money for a second saddle is being spent on showing my reiner this year. :)

dreamswept
May. 16, 2012, 02:39 AM
I've got a Fabtron gaited western for my mare. She's not a gaited horse, but a Morgan/QH cross with some wither and fairly narrow, so it fits her well, and she's also a diva about having shoulder freedom.

My Haffie fits a Billy Cook Wade roper like nobody's business. Best fitting saddle I've ever had on him, and that includes our brief flirtation with treeless saddles. He has a super forward trot in it, and really a nice canter too. It just fits. I hope someday the stars will align that allow me to own it, but for now, we're just borrowing it from a friend. And while 40 lbs seemed awful heavy at first, I don't even think about the weight anymore.

ViewParadise
May. 20, 2012, 03:43 PM
Anyone else ride in a western treeless??