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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

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I am not an endurance rider, but I LOVE the saddle

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  • I am not an endurance rider, but I LOVE the saddle

    I have spent my whole riding career, albeit small, in a Western saddle. I tried an English saddle, I believe it was a jumping saddle, and it felt like a postage stamp to me. I tried my instructor's Crates endurance saddle from the 70's and I was instantly IN LOVE. I felt more balanced and comfortable than I have ever felt in a Western Saddle. Can anyone explain the difference to me? At a cursory glance from someone that knows very little it just looked like a Western without a horn but felt so much different.

    Also, I am in the market for one and would love input. I have been exploring the Steele Mountaineer, the Crest Ridge Ovation, and also Allegany's Renegade. They all look similar to the Crates. I looked at a Tucker but it was so squishy I felt like I might lose contact. Any suggestions or favorites from the batch listed?

  • #2
    Just like any style of saddle you need to try them and find the one that fits your bum. I've ridden in a fair number of Western saddles and felt absolutely secure in some, and like the saddle was popping me off in others.

    My experience with english saddles is similar.

    People come in so many shapes that it only makes sense that no saddle works for every rider.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Quality-wise have you heard good things about any of the brands listed above? They all look great, but of course they want to sell you a saddle so they are going to look great.

      Comment


      • #4
        Look up www.horsetackreview.com. There are reviews of all of those saddles on there, plus other models each company makes.

        Do any offer a demo model for you to try to see if you like it? Are any of them easier to work with in regards to fitting a saddle to your horse? Are return policies similar? Just some things to consider.

        ​​​​​​

        ​​​​​​

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by cloudy18 View Post
          Look up www.horsetackreview.com. There are reviews of all of those saddles on there, plus other models each company makes.

          ​​​​​
          Thank you for the suggestion! I have decided to go with Allegany. I liked the demo program offered by Steele, but when I called the various companies I got the best service from AMTS and I like their fitting program.

          Comment


          • #6
            It is without a doubt that they make "trail saddles" different than your typical english/western saddles. I think the best are when it's a combination of both. I was incredibly lucky on the purchase of my Tucker Endurance saddle I purchased new off eBay without every trying it out or putting it on my horse. It ended up fitting both my horses great.

            Going back to my statement about good trail saddles being a combo of the pros and cons of english and western saddles. Typically, you will see saddles without a horn, but a high pommel and deep seat for security. The saddles are usually designed to apply even pressure among the horse's backs whereas traditional western saddles apply more pressure towards the back of the horse or the lumbar region and we are encouraged to sit in such a way. Trail saddles are almost like a close contact saddle, yet not typically as narrow where it would lean a little bit more western.

            I am not surprised you found a saddle you like that is a perfect blend of both. That's what makes great trail saddles. I'm personally not a fan of the synthetic and minimalistic saddles that are gaining popularity here in the States. Our Endurance heritage is a reflection of how fearless riders tested their horses's stamina through rugged terrain and those riders had high pommels and high cantles on their saddles. We didn't typically ride hundreds of miles at a quick pace through hot, flat lands like in the Middle East. Therefore, regarding the rugged terrain of the Southwest I will respect what my 22lb leather endurance saddle with a high pommel and cantle so I can get up and down those mountains!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by AshleyandAnnabel View Post

              I am not surprised you found a saddle you like that is a perfect blend of both. That's what makes great trail saddles. I'm personally not a fan of the synthetic and minimalistic saddles that are gaining popularity here in the States.
              I feel you there! I LOVE the look, feel, and durability of leather. And horse sweat+ leather might be my favorite smell ever. My current saddle is a big old Mclellan roping saddle I found used at a random English tack shop; priced in a way that clearly showed they had no idea what they had. Worked great for my first horse, does not fit my TWH. Also, ever since I rode in a nice leather endurance, I don't know if I can go back.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Smashley View Post
                I feel you there! I LOVE the look, feel, and durability of leather. And horse sweat+ leather might be my favorite smell ever. My current saddle is a big old Mclellan roping saddle I found used at a random English tack shop; priced in a way that clearly showed they had no idea what they had. Worked great for my first horse, does not fit my TWH. Also, ever since I rode in a nice leather endurance, I don't know if I can go back.
                Yes, I agree with you. I did grow up competing in other equestrian disciplines where I spent a lot of time cleaning my leather tack. I take great pride in it and find it therapeutic. I'll admit I have Beta-Biothane bridles and breast collars but I too, love my leather saddle.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AshleyandAnnabel View Post
                  ...The saddles are usually designed to apply even pressure among the horse's backs whereas traditional western saddles apply more pressure towards the back of the horse or the lumbar region and we are encouraged to sit in such a way...
                  I've never seen a pressure read-out for a traditional saddle where more pressure was applied to the lumbar area. Consider:

                  http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/sad...-under-saddle/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AshleyandAnnabel View Post

                    Yes, I agree with you. I did grow up competing in other equestrian disciplines where I spent a lot of time cleaning my leather tack. I take great pride in it and find it therapeutic. I'll admit I have Beta-Biothane bridles and breast collars but I too, love my leather saddle.
                    Just curious....you mentioned that your saddle is 22 pounds. Is that average or typical for an endurance saddle?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Waa zombie thread????

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        There are various weights during my research depending on if you get a tree vs treeless. It does seem like the leather versions are in the 22-26 lb range but you can get options to trim that up even more such as a leather seat but cordova (sp?) fenders and such. I have seen some versions as light as 12-15 lbs without a tree but I question their ability to wear well.

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