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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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(Revised 5/9/18)
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Western type saddle for life long English rider

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  • #21
    In an effort to find common ground, to find things we might agree on, I failed. Lol.

    I do dressage in a 20 year old saddle known for modest thigh support and a thoroughly average seat. I hate bucket seats and blocks. ..I completely agree with you!!
    No Buena Vista I've ever ridden on any horse felt anything like any dressage saddle I've ridden, from Trumbull Mtn to County to everything in between. They feel like this weuro shield between you and the horse, like the Tuckers and the M&Ws do.

    again, I entirely agree about some of the newer dressage saddles that are popular with some.


    • #22
      Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
      The Stubben Scout remnds me of an officer's field saddle.

      Indeed. I'd love to find a 1917 Officer's Field Saddle with a wide tree. I keep hoping I'll run across a 1925 German Armee Saddle in serviceable condition to try. With gaited horses and their broader shoulders you have to have more tree room. I tried a 1936 Phillips Officer's Saddle.. The seat was not quite right more me, but I could have lived with it as a parade or historical impression saddle. The tree, however, was pure TB and that just didn't work with the Marchador conformation. Too bad, too, 'cause a friend had a COMPLETE, serviceable, '36 Phillips saddle with all the parts (girth, leathers, cantle bags, pommel pockets, cantle shelf, etc.).

      OP, I would prefer an English saddle for trails, both because of the absence of a horn but also because if you have to dismount and can't find anything handy for a mounting block it is much easier to let your stirrup down for mounting with English leathers than with western fenders, whether the western saddle has Blevins buckles or regular buckles. Not to mention shortening the leathers again.

      Good points. Or get one of these https://www.sstack.com/Stable_Barn-S...waAgziEALw_wcB

      I have one and it works quite well.

      What about a McClellan saddle? No horn, lots of dee rings, and you can get one with fenders and western stirrups, or leathers and stirrup irons, or either with hooded western stirrups. I rode in one in my early 20s and found it very comfortable, and it fit the horses as well as the pony.
      If all you're going to do is flat work then a Mac might work if it fits YOU. But the Mac was designed for small framed men, circa the 19th Century. I've NEVER found it comfortable. Originals are particularly problematical as they have the narrow trees of the time and will sore up a back in short order if they are not fitted correctly. They were designed to put the rider into a forked, chair seat. For anything other than flat work they are at best marginally suitable. The Army tried as early as the md-1880s to retire the Mac as they knew of it's shortcomings. They did some testing and decided a Whitman design would work well and the proposal was on it's way to acceptance until it got to the desk of the Chief of Staff in those days, one William Tecumseh Sherman. He declined to make the switch because at that time the Army had tens of thousands of Mac trees in warehouses left over from the ACW.

      They tried again in 1912 with the Experimental saddles for both Officers and Troopers. They were characterized by an attempt at a "flexible" tree. The design failed as it was not robust enough for field work.

      There were additional trials being conducted post 1912 but by the time a few were starting to emerge as possibles the Army saw WWI on the horizon and decided not to try and change saddles just before a major conflict. So when the U.S. went to war in 1917 the '04 Mac went, too. During the War over 900,000 Macs were produced. It stayed in service until 1948.


      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


      • #23
        I have a Schleese Devin Trail saddle which I LOVE. Definitely has the narrower twist and lots of flexibility in terms of fit. Pricey tho.
        "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


        • #24
          In my father's WWII Field Artillery manual there are two saddles in the Equitation chapter, the McClellan and the "modified" McClellan (with English-style flaps).

          In the early-to-mid-'70s I did some trail riding in an old McClellan (no flaps, western-style cinch) and found it very comfortable as well as lightweight. And I have never been a small-framed man!

          ETA: I don't guess any of our recommendations matter to the thread as the OP apparently hasn't been here in over a week.
          Rack on!


          • #25
            Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
            In my father's WWII Field Artillery manual there are two saddles in the Equitation chapter, the McClellan and the "modified" McClellan (with English-style flaps).

            In the early-to-mid-'70s I did some trail riding in an old McClellan (no flaps, western-style cinch) and found it very comfortable as well as lightweight. And I have never been a small-framed man!

            ETA: I don't guess any of our recommendations matter to the thread as the OP apparently hasn't been here in over a week.
            I guess you either love the Mac or you don't. I don't. I did get to try a Grimsley Dragoon saddle and a Whitman from the 1880s. The Grimsley puts you where it thinks you need to be and keeps you there! But it wasn't unpleasant. The Whitman was less "structured" but still quite comfortable.

            I hope the OP found what they needed!!!

            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


            • #26
              I will not recommend any brand, but you can get an endurance saddle in western leathers, or a hybrid. For size you fit a 15" western seat you will need a 16" minimum in an endurance. Cantle 3" gullet 7-7.5 inches, swell 10 - 11 inches. If you ride english 19" you will need a 17 - 18" seat, perhaps choosing the larger. Also make sure they have double D's on each side. You may want to center fire cinch. I do not want to predict gender but a narrow twist implies a female rider, so this would mean a lady saddle. So I suggest you google ladies endurance saddle. Since I train gaiters, I have a ladies endurance gaited treed saddle that fits a variety of horses, feels like an english contact saddle, has a rounded skirt, and a lower than most leather drop and is light. I did have to change out the nylon girth to leather, and changed the endurance western stirrups to english stirrups and leathers. Mine is just a clean looking saddle that will accept english or western leathers and cinches /girths and is probably the best thing I have ever rode. You can get them with or without a horn. Mine is hornless.


              • #27
                Try the Ghost Treeless saddles. Narrow twist, leg blocks, only 10 lbs, adjustable stirrup positions, flexible and adjustable panels to fit a wide variety of horses.
                The Galloping Grape
                Warrenton, VA