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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,628

    Smile Best trail saddle for big TB?

    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.

    THANKS!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 7, 2007
    Posts
    150

    Default

    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!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
    Posts
    13,787

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthwestRerider View Post
    I bought a quarter horse bar (as opposed to full quarter horse), wide flex tree model,
    So did you have the Wide tree, or the Semi QH bars? Your post is confusing.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 7, 2007
    Posts
    150

    Default

    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.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 3, 2006
    Posts
    188

    Default

    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.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,273

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TBPNW View Post
    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.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2002
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    3,058

    Default

    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



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Posts
    514

    Default

    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.

    Website is www.aboutthehorse.com



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,628

    Default

    How is leg alignment in the black rhino. I worry about "chair seat."



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2008
    Location
    Alachua, Florida
    Posts
    644

    Default ...try the hunting forum

    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.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Posts
    514

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
    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.

    Highly recommended.

    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.

    http://esiforum.mywowbb.com/forum1/188.html



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2008
    Location
    Under a rock
    Posts
    198

    Default

    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.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
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    Default

    Wintec would make sense. Then I could use it if I ever show dressage again as well. I've always shown in my jumping saddle, but at the lower levels it doesn't really matter.

    I actually would prefer the synthetic for trail too.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2006
    Location
    Williamston, NC
    Posts
    1,513

    Default

    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?



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