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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2007
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    478

    Default Western Saddle styles most balanced like a dressage saddle?

    Hi - I'm looking to buy a western saddle for riding youngsters and other horses on longish trailrides. I've only ever ridden in Dressage and Jumping Saddles. I like to pony horses and think a western saddle would be better for that.

    Any suggestions on the styles that would be balanced most like a dressage saddle? The reining saddles seem really chair seated. Somebody mentioned an equitation saddle or a ranch saddle . . . Anyone with first hand knowledge? thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2006
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    1,396

    Default

    The old Monty Foreman saddles had a fairly flat seat. Don't know if you can still find one. My old working western saddle is, I believe, a Simco. Don't think they make those any more either. It was pretty comfortable, but still a little slouch into it compared to a dressage saddle. I understand that the McClelland saddles have a similar balance to the old army remount saddles, so if you can find one of those, you might give it a try.

    I never found any advantage to using a western saddle for riding youngsters, but if you are going to pony a horse, having a saddle horn around which to dally the lead, makes things a little safer.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
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    Desert Southwest
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    6,358

    Default

    I have an old Heiser that's well balanced, but it won't fit if the horse is very wide.

    The Wade saddles look pretty good and they're easy to find.



  4. #4
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Default

    Look up Bighorn 808 which is this model without the horn, and you should be able to find the model number with a horn.

    Memory foam against the horse, memory foam seat, very narrow twist and I have a heel, hip, shoulder alignment that's dead on.
    I use it for our "fat and lazy" days.

    I love to pony horses too, but I prefer my jumping saddle.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2010
    Posts
    199

    Default

    My gal pal uses a Wendy Allen saddle and the times I've ridden in it I would have to say I would feel totally comfortable riding my Dressage mare in it. I love that saddle!



  6. #6
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    Sep. 29, 2007
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    478

    Default

    thanks! Very helpful!



  7. #7
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    Sep. 29, 2007
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    478

    Default ponying . . .?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    Look up
    I love to pony horses too, but I prefer my jumping saddle.
    BTW - when you pony in your jumping saddle, do you attach the leadrope somewhere? or just hold? Some people tell me they tie to their girth. that sounds terrifying to me . . .



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2010
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    199

    Default

    I've always just held the leadrope. I'm usually riding my been there done that gelding who steers off either my legs or can sorta neck rein too. I use a medium length lead rope with a knot in the middle and the end and for the rowdy ones a chain or if they try to bite the other horses they get a muzzle. I have worked on polo farms for a good long time though so I'm accustomed to ponying 3-5 horses at a time. I would never tie any of the horses to my tack though especially not the girth. That's just asking for trouble.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2011
    Posts
    1,188

    Default

    Abetta Serenity...but it doesn't have a horn. It is a great substitute for a dressage saddle when riding youngsters and on trails. Unbelievably comfortable and balanced.



  10. #10
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fatorangehorse View Post
    BTW - when you pony in your jumping saddle, do you attach the leadrope somewhere? or just hold? Some people tell me they tie to their girth. that sounds terrifying to me . . .
    NEVER tie! I can pony 3 at a time for canter sets without tying.
    You can always drop a lead rope you're holding if sh:t hits the fan.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2009
    Location
    Arizona
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    1,110

    Default

    Definitely you don't want to tie the lead rope, and honestly probably not wrap it around a saddle horn either. If the horse you're ponying pulls backwards you're going to have the lead rope pinned against your leg and potentially get really hurt. Better just to hold it (wear gloves!), and I've ponied plenty from english saddles and if you're comfy and secure in them, it's no problem.

    I did used to do a lot of trail riding (and ponying, actually) in an old McClintock handmade endurance saddle and friggin loved it! I wish I never sold it… just did a quick google and found one used that's a lot like the one I had. My mare was super comfortable in it, too. http://www.sandiegotack.com/saddles/...urance-saddle/



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Azle, Teh-has
    Posts
    7,931

    Default

    I ride in a Circle Y Equitation.
    It's the love of my life when speaking western.

    It's def a woman's saddle. Men hate it. It's a nut crusher.

    : )

    I liked it so much that we took the stupid western saddle that the dude at the tack store talked us in to and returned it for a Circle Y Trail saddle.
    Even that saddle is tastey...though it has a wide flat seat (more for the weekend pleasure rider). I love the equitation seat. It's not flat AT ALL. And has a narrow twist.

    I think you will have the best luck with an equitation saddle.
    They are made to show off equitation. simple enough. : )
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  13. #13
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    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Tucson
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoBrooksFarm View Post
    I've always just held the leadrope. I'm usually riding my been there done that gelding who steers off either my legs or can sorta neck rein too. I use a medium length lead rope with a knot in the middle and the end and for the rowdy ones a chain or if they try to bite the other horses they get a muzzle. I have worked on polo farms for a good long time though so I'm accustomed to ponying 3-5 horses at a time. I would never tie any of the horses to my tack though especially not the girth. That's just asking for trouble.
    Yeah, I wouldn't be tying a horse I was trying to pony. Sounds like a dangerous proposition... And you definitely need a horse who is BROKE to use for ponying! Not dressage trained necessarily, but steers easily and only when asked to.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  14. #14
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    Sep. 26, 2011
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    WNC
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    931

    Default

    Look at the Tucker Equitation Endurance saddle. Western style tree, very comfortable gel seat, no horn but the big endurance pommel. And it has English girth and free-swinging English stirrup leathers that can be hung over or under the flaps. Pricey but you can sometimes find them used. Also comes in 2 or 3 widths.
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.



  15. #15
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    Dec. 7, 2001
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    Cullowhere?, NC
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    Default

    Those I know who are serious dressage riders find a Wade saddle to require no adjustment to their seat. Wades generally have a nice big post horn for dallying the lead to if you need a little leverage, but it's easy to pop the dally off (just pull straight up) if you need to turn loose. A dally is just a wrap around the horn, no knots (that would be very unsafe); the motion is left, right, left, right to wrap a dally, and straight up to pop if off. The post horn is wide enough that this is easy to do. Wades have a slick fork (no swells) but you can easily add bucking rolls for security on youngsters. They tend to be heavy, but there are light models. Google Brighton Feed and Saddlery in CO or Flat Creek Saddlery in Jackson Hole, WY or Colorado Saddlery in CO.

    Look at the trailer for the "Buck" film; I defy you to fault Buck's position on a horse. He rides Wade saddles (tho his are, of course, custom made and the cost puts most of the popular dressage saddles to shame, alas). But the production Wades (McCalls and CO Saddlery) are reasonable.
    Last edited by monstrpony; Dec. 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM.
    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

    Spay and neuter. Please.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2009
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    New England
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    944

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by monstrpony View Post
    Those I know who are serious dressage riders find a Wade saddle to require no adjustment to their seat. They generally have a nice big post horn for dallying the lead to if you need a little leverage, but it's east to pop the dally off (just pull straight up) if you need to turn loose. A dally is just a wrap around the horn, no knots (that would be very unsafe); the motion is left, right, left, right to wrap a dally, and straight up to pop if off. The post horn is wide enough that this is easy to do. Wades have a slick fork (no swells) but you can easily add bucking rolls for security on youngsters. They tend to be heavy, but there are light models. Google Brighton Feed and Saddlery in CO or Flat Creek Saddlery in Jackson Hole, WY or Colorado Saddlery in CO.

    Look at the trailer for the "Buck" film; I defy you to fault Buck's position on a horse. He rides Wade saddles (tho his are, of course, custom made and the cost puts most of the popular dressage saddles to shame, alas). But the production Wades (McCalls and CO Saddlery) are reasonable.
    THIS. pretty much the best western saddle money can buy.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2006
    Posts
    1,302

    Default

    McCall Lady Wade. The twist is a little narrower than most western saddles. It's about 30 lbs stripped down. I'm 5'2" (54 yo) and I can easily swing it up on my 15.2 horse's back. It's as balanced as anything I've ever ridden in. I can do leg yields and shoulder fores in it no problem. And the resale value is superb.




  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2009
    Location
    So Cal
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    812

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidlifeCrisis View Post
    McCall Lady Wade. The twist is a little narrower than most western saddles. It's about 30 lbs stripped down. I'm 5'2" (54 yo) and I can easily swing it up on my 15.2 horse's back. It's as balanced as anything I've ever ridden in. I can do leg yields and shoulder fores in it no problem. And the resale value is superb.
    Ditto. Would buy another in a heartbeat (if I could afford it. ).
    "And I will be an embarrassment to all
    Who have not found the peace in being free
    to have a horse as a best friend."



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
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    10,052

    Default a minor hijack

    Why get a Western saddle for trails?

    I've ridden lots of trail miles in my dressage saddle - both flat & with considerable vertical. Longest ride was 6h.
    Granted: it's an older model w/o thigh blocks or huge knee rolls, but it is totally comfy for me to ride in no matter what I'm doing, with the possible exception of jumping.

    I have ridden in borrowed Western saddles & a friend's Tucker, and generally find the way the stirrups are hung torques my knees so I end up riding w/o my feet in the stirrups.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  20. #20

    Default

    Textan Equitation is the only western saddle I haven't hated riding in.
    for more Joy then you can handle
    http://dangerbunny.blogspot.com/



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