Greetings. I'm looking for advice on what kind of saddle to use for trails on a 16'3 wide wither thoroughbred. I normally ride in a jumping saddle with a forward flap, but want a little more security and definitely more comfort for long trail rides. My knees and ankles can't take hours of trails in my saddle and I don't really want it to get scratched or wet either.
He's tall and I have to be able to life the saddle, so keep weight in mind. I also have wicked long legs (33 1/2 inseam) and normal close cantact saddles don't fit me, but I imagine it is different in a trail or western saddle. He has a white spot on his wither from where he was ridden in a western saddle before (previous owner) and this is what I want to avoid.
Hopefully I can find something used that is comfortable for both of us.
I can't help but want to hear about the same thing. I tried an Abetta-western but very light and your legs are positioned under you- more comfortable I think for an english rider. I bought a quarter horse bar (as opposed to full quarter horse), wide flex tree model, which fit my old TB, though I did get only a few rides on him before losing him. The web site www.horsetack.com has a huge variety of options and are very inexpensive.
I am still riding Abetta with other horses (different model)- but also cannot find a western saddle to fit my new taller, high withered TB- who is narrower. SO I am interested in answers on this topic. Please POST AWAY!
Sorry, it IS confusing. You really have to go to the website and look at the options for the second saddle listed under the abetta corduras. I had a horse with wide withers, but hollows just behind the withers(so kind of narrow there), and then a broad back, so I got a wide gullet but narrower bars than FQHB- he also had a lot of slope (contour- almost sway, but just high withers) so I got a flex tree.
So it is kind of an odd size- special fit.
Does it have to be a western saddle? I can't seem to stand any torque on my knees so English style stirrups are it for me. We use dressage saddles on our TB's. The longer, straighter leg is more comfortable than a cc on longer rides and has more surface area to spread the weight. They're also synthetic, no worries when it rains or branches scrape across it. One's a Wintec with changeable gullet, the other Thorowgood with "fish". They're secure, but don't lock you in.
Does it have to be a western saddle? I can't seem to stand any torque on my knees so English style stirrups are it for me.
I can't take any torque on my knees either but I was pleasantly surprised when I borrowed a Big Horn saddle from a friend that had cordura (or canvas maybe??) fenders. They don't constantly pull your toes in like leather fenders do. The seat was leather but nothing else was... very comfortable and lightweight! They didn't chafe my shins like my English leathers do either.
If you want a english saddle check out the Wintecs. I just got a Wintec 2000 and so for I'm really liking it. My horse is a wide TB too... not as tall as yours, but pretty wide... and I have long legs and usually need an extra forward flap in jumping saddles. The wintec is comfortable... I'm not sure I'd want to put my stirrups up short enough for serious jumping (the flaps are plently long, but not especially forward) but for hacking and trail rides they seem just right. I haven't used it much yet, but so far, so good
My horse is the same height and build as yours seems to be (mine is half Holsteiner as well), and I've been very happy with my Black Rhino endurance and light trail saddles. I know Dave Genadek makes female and male specific seats as well, which is nice. I opted for the cordura versions due to weight, and they've worked excellently for a couple of years.
The first suggestion that came to mind was an old kieffer AP. I used to ride a couple of hunters in the owner's hunting saddle, and it was like getting into a big cadillac. Their new line up looks a bit different, so my best suggestion is is something like the L&R AP http://www.stcroixsaddlery.com/Used_...ca_con_394.htm
but to get more current recommendations from those that spend hours in the saddle in a discipline close to your own, try the hunting forum.
How is leg alignment in the black rhino. I worry about "chair seat."
"Dressage"/balanced seat. These are my first "western" saddles, and I only even decided on them because I couldn't find a dressage saddle that fit both my horse and I. Have been so thrilled with how they've worked out that I'm now designing a dressage saddle with the same seat/structure as these ones.
There are a number of threads on Dr. Bennett's Equine Studies Institute board where Dave has posted on his saddle design concepts, if you're interested.
On long trail rides, I want my dressage saddle. I ride a Barefoot London treeless saddle now for trail rides and my horse and I both really love it. I put my stirrups up a little more than normal for a dressage saddle, so I can lift myself up in case I need to jump something or whatever. But on my other horse, I had a Wintec Isabel dressage and LOVED it for trails. The wintecs are nice trail saddles, they hold up pretty well for trail conditions, and you don't have to worry abut them getting wet or too schratched up like leather saddles.
Same question except my OTTB is narrower built. I want the saddle for security reasons. He's still in the process of being retrained and there are moments when having a horn would be beneficial to my mind. How 'bout some of those speciality pads with extra wither padding?