• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Western saddle reco'd for a dressage rider?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Western saddle reco'd for a dressage rider?

    I would like to get one to trail ride in and use for ponying the young horses I raise. I am also in an area where there are some good western horsemen I'd like to learn from.

    OK - I don't know anything about western saddles. I know like "english" they are different for reigning, trail-riding, ranch work etc. I am hoping someone on here is somewhat expert and can suggest one that would give me good balance, and have my leg a bit under my hip (lots i"ve seen put the leg in front and you sit on your pockets) Essentially, I want ti to feel as close to a dressage saddle as I can find. I also have a big, strong but high-withered horse. So suggestions in that area also welcome.

    Dressage purists, please don't banish me from the kingdom.

  • #2
    Western saddles come in 2 tree sizes, semi and full QH bars. The semi QH trees are made for a bit narrower, higher wither horse, while the FQH trees tend to fit the no-wither, bulldog style QH, or ultra-wide WB. My show saddle is by Champion Turf and I love it, and am lusting after a Blue Ribbon Custom. Crates also makes nice saddles, as are the older Circle Y. Look used, a well made western saddle is a good investment, and tends to last longer than some of the newer ones. You will probably want to look more for a trail or show type saddle, a cutting or reining saddle may put you too far back on your pockets. For seat size, you usually subtract 1 or 2 inches from your english seat size- I ride in a 16 1/2" close contact and 17" dressage, and my western saddles are 15" and 15 1/2". PM me if you have any other questions.

    Comment


    • #3
      You may want to also look into endurance saddles (many of which are like western) as they don't have horns which I personally can't stand.
      I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wanted a deeper seated saddle for trail riding my TB mare. I ended up getting a western style endurance saddle. I ended up getting one from Crest Ridge Saddlery as they would make a saddle to fit my mare if they had nothing in stock. I took some measurements and sent them some pictures and the saddle I got fit my mare perfectly, plus very reasonable in price. It is part synthetic(fenders and skirt with seat, pommel and cantel in leather). They have an option of with or without horn. Since I ride hunt seat and dabble in dressage, didn't really want the horn.

        Comment


        • #5
          Remember that western the pads take the place of wool stuffed panels for english. So you have to get the angle of the bars right, but then if you need some lift in front, or a thicker pad, that is OK. Seasonally you'll find you need to pad differently as well if the horse gets time off, or gains weight on spring pasture etc. Really, only top notch western saddles REALLY made to fit the horse are the ones you can use with just a doubled navajo. So plan to invest in good pads too.

          My personal favorite is Crates. I would look for a Crates "performance horse tree." I schooled my stallion in my Crates for the last 6 weeks before his first ever show while waiting for his dressage saddle.

          An equitation seat has a lovely pocket that puts you into nice upright balance.

          You can't go wrong with used in a GOOD brand.

          I also like Abetta for a nice balanced seat, and the older Circle Y's

          In 99% of western saddles the first thing you want to do is slide the fenders out a little, then slide them back. Most are set too far forward for proper balance. The only ones you can't do this on are the really cheap ones that are rivetted too high, or rivetted in a small loop over the bars. In good saddles, the fenders come completely off, just like english leathers. They loop over the bars. So you can slide them back into position where it's best for you and your horse.

          There are actually many different tree sizes and types these days. The gaited or arab trees can work nicely on horses with long, sloped withers. Crates "Teneseean" line is a lovely choice for many WB types.

          I am also in an area where there are some good western horsemen I'd like to learn from.
          I would go and see what they like to ride in. And let them see the horses you're looking to fit, and ask them! The LAST thing a working western rider wants is a saddle that doesn't fit the horse and doesn't help the rider into a good position--because face it, you can't WORK if it isn't comfortable and effective!

          There was a thread not too terribly long ago on Off Course. If you search there for 'western saddle' you might find it... were some good brand names I can't really remember now.
          InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

          Comment


          • #6
            Imagine a western reiner deciding it wants to learn "English" riding and goes on looking for saddles.
            Who knows what that rider would need, before knowing what it really wants?
            That rider would be better off taking a few lessons, seeing what it likes and which kind of saddle feels better.

            I would go to those western people you want to learn from and take a few lessons in their saddles.

            Once you know what kind of western riding you may want to do, then you could buy a good used saddle that will fit your real, not imagined needs.
            You may even like one while taking lessons that may be for sale.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a pimped out Crates show saddle, full QH bars. Lovely and balanced, very comfortable. Even though I got it just for trails, I must confess to geting a pimped out silver headstall and reins to go with it. And then got pimped out silver stirrups. Then drew the line at acquiring more western tack (well, after I got the curb bit), but it's jolly fun!

              Comment


              • #8
                From what I've heard the Wade style saddles are really good at putting your leg under you (at least most of them). Somebody on UDDB has a McCall's Lady Wade that she is in total love with.

                If you are not in a huge hurry, you might also want to give Dave Genadek at About the Horse a call...he will build a cordura type saddle for about $1500. The trees he has are designed to really free the shoulder up, and the saddles have a balanced seat (dressage type seat w/ your feet under you).

                He said his lead time is usually 3 weeks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I trail ride in a bob marshall treeless and had the stirrups set on further back. I cant hardly post in it if i wanted to, and the horn is rather high. I think i would like the endurance model a little better. But for security, it doesnt matter what that pony does, i'm sticking it. And i can ride in it all day if needed, even with my stupid feminine issues, i CANT ride in a treed western saddle any more for more than 20min without severe pain for days, but i'm totally not the norm.

                  I rode western starting out, showed arabian western pleasure on the A circuit, even competed in ranch sorting, loved that! My favorite saddle was a billy royal training saddle that they dont make the same any more. I remember it having great balance and fit everything i ever sat the thing on.

                  But yes, good pads are essential. When i was competing we used the Pro Choice air ride pads with a wool pad over top. I now use a Sharon Camarillo orthopedic wool pad:
                  http://store.reinsman.com/products/s...n_1/1220458000

                  Best pad i've ever had, love the way its cut back on the spine, so do my mares. Though i would say it would fit a barrel saddle or round skirt saddle best.

                  For that matter, a barrel saddle is going to have a nice deep seat if you want the security, but the horn might kill you.

                  I agree with others, go to the guys you want to take lessons with and ask them what they prefer, see if you can try out what they've got and if it works for you. Western saddle shopping is just as big a pain as dressage saddle shopping in my experience... If you are picky about getting that perfect feel and fit anyway!
                  Your Horse's Home On The Road!
                  www.KaydanFarmsEquineTransport.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    if you normally prefer dressage i'd start by looking at barrel saddles. they will place your pelvis in a similar position, where regular trail and pleasure saddles usually are a bit flatter with a really wide twist.
                    I have a big horn model 808. It has memory foam flocking for the horse, and for the rider's butt. the stirrups have lots of mobility, and the rigging possibilities are endless. I paid i think $950 for it, and on the net they can still be found even though Big Horn was eaten by another company
                    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                    chaque pas est fait ensemble

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                      That rider would be better off taking a few lessons, seeing what it likes and which kind of saddle feels better. I would go to those western people you want to learn from and take a few lessons in their saddles.
                      Well said, Bluey!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Western saddle that I found to be closest to a dressage saddle in how you sit is the Blue Ribbon equitation seat. However, they are VERY expensive compared to other brands. (They do hold their value for resale).
                        You want to avoid anything marked "pleasure" or "trail" because they are made to keep your legs in front of you. Go for an equitation/horsemanship saddle, which puts your legs underneath you.

                        Good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You may find the weight of the stirrups bothers your knees, particularly on long rides. You can train the fenders to turn, so the stirrups are more perpendicular to the horse's barrel, or you can get the Cashel EZ Knees or similar product.

                          Welcome to dresstern.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I currently have a custom western saddle that was made for my FEI horse. He is extremely wide and short backed so it took having a custom tree.

                            The stirrups are hung right under my seat (like a dressage saddle). The fenders were made shorter for my short legs. The rigging has double rings so I can hang the girth pretty much where ever is most comfortable for my horse.

                            I also had a Bob's of Phoenix custom for my old horse. Again, with the features I mentioned above.

                            GREAT for trail riding. Comfortable for me and for my horse.

                            AND the added advantage, while my dressage saddle was being repaired (for two weeks) I ended up having to ride in my western saddle to school because nothing else fit him (except for my jumping saddle). After doing a couple half halts so he could figure out where my seat was, we did tempis, we did pirouettes, we did passage and piaffe.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You usually can't go wrong with these :

                              http://www.jackbrainard.com/SaddleInfo.html

                              Fits me and DH (the 15 1/2 ''), my Arab , litte cow horse, big ranch horse and 16 h high withered TK. With pad tweeking, of course. Customize it, fenders can be slid back for classical seat, can't say enough about this saddle and really super prices.
                              I rode in a 4 day clinic with a brand new one. Horse wasn't sore and I've never had one get sore in this saddle.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by mjhco View Post
                                I currently have a custom western saddle that was made for my FEI horse. He is extremely wide and short backed so it took having a custom tree.

                                The stirrups are hung right under my seat (like a dressage saddle). The fenders were made shorter for my short legs. The rigging has double rings so I can hang the girth pretty much where ever is most comfortable for my horse.

                                I also had a Bob's of Phoenix custom for my old horse. Again, with the features I mentioned above.

                                GREAT for trail riding. Comfortable for me and for my horse.

                                AND the added advantage, while my dressage saddle was being repaired (for two weeks) I ended up having to ride in my western saddle to school because nothing else fit him (except for my jumping saddle). After doing a couple half halts so he could figure out where my seat was, we did tempis, we did pirouettes, we did passage and piaffe.
                                My reining saddle is a Bob's and those saddles seem to fit most any horse you put them on, from skinny little two year olds, to fat older big, mature horses, to old, swayback ones.
                                They also tend to be rather light saddles, don't weight as much as standard western saddles weigh.

                                Still, each saddle, type and model is so different, as is every person's conformation, that if I was looking for a saddle in a discipline new to me, I would first ride in several different types, before buying one that may not even be close to what I may use later.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by tollertwins View Post
                                  From what I've heard the Wade style saddles are really good at putting your leg under you (at least most of them). Somebody on UDDB has a McCall's Lady Wade that she is in total love with.

                                  If you are not in a huge hurry, you might also want to give Dave Genadek at About the Horse a call...he will build a cordura type saddle for about $1500. The trees he has are designed to really free the shoulder up, and the saddles have a balanced seat (dressage type seat w/ your feet under you).

                                  He said his lead time is usually 3 weeks.
                                  Second the Lady Wade. Loved mine, but it bothered my bad hip on my broad drafty mare, so I sold it. Loved where it put my leg and seat, and the communication with Boo was magical. Pricey, but well worth it. Had full QH bars.
                                  Form follows function, or does function follow form?

                                  www.clearvisionequine.com

                                  http://clearvisionequine.blogspot.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I haven't read through all the responses, so if I'm, well, redundant, sorry about that.

                                    I lose my landmarks in most western saddles. The two that I like are:

                                    1. A Billy Cook cutting saddle. The seat feels so much like my old Steubben Romanus that I have a great comfort level in it. The horn of a cutting saddle is meant to be pushed or pulled against (or grabbed, if necessary), not dallied on.

                                    2. A Simco model 452 or 4520 - they are 'cutter trainer' saddles. A big ol' pillow for softness & they seem to fit a lot of different horses' backs. You'd have to ride it to make sure you like it - but I do.

                                    But make sure you get stirrups you like - I can't get used to the ox bow stirrups that came with my Billy Cook, but like the broad flat ones that were original with my husband's Simco 452 (which is his "breaking saddle" for starting youngsters.)
                                    Hidden Echo Farm, Carlisle, PA -- home of JC palomino sire Canadian Kid (1990 - 2013) & AQHA sire Lark's Favorite, son of Rugged Lark.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      This is the one I got. Pic is a bit dark, but just love this Crates saddle.
                                      Attached Files

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Western Saddles come in more than just 2 trees!

                                        I actually found that an Arabian tree fits TBs and Warmbloods much better than the QH trees. They have wider bars to accomodate the wide shoulders, but a narrower gullet to accommodate higher whithers. They also have a much shorter tree than the QH trees, so they are better for a horse with a shorter back.

                                        I tried about a dozen western saddles for my little Hanoverian mare, and had lost hope (thinking I would have to go custom). Thank Goodness someone had a Circle Y Sahara trail saddle at my barn that I could try, it fits like it were custom made for her. Another person at the barn sold me theirs. It has an equitation seat and it
                                        s wonderful to ride in.

                                        IMO you should really try an Arab saddle if you have any trouble with the QH or semi-QH trees.
                                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X