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Intro western saddle for starting a horse and trail riding

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  • Intro western saddle for starting a horse and trail riding

    i have just bought a new eventing prospect who is very green broke. I’d like to continue working him in a western saddle initially and then have one for trail riding too (and who knows, maybe endurance as well?). I want to find something that will fit him and I, be comfortable and light and preferably with a short skirt? He’s 3/4 connemara and 1/4 tb. I thought i’d Ask for recommendations. Thanks!!

  • #2
    I like Circle Y saddles with the Flex2 tree. They seem to fit a variety of horses and they are broke-in right out of the box. I shop on, which will have the weight of each saddle in the specs. They also have gullet tracings you can cut out and put on your horse - as stone age as that is, I've found that it's pretty accurate and I've used it several times, and the saddles fit great.
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


    • Original Poster

      Those look like they are over $2000? Since I already have significant investments in my dressage and jumping saddles, i’m definitely looking below $1000. It looks like winter and double d are inexpensive, but do they fit like crap?


      • #4
        Horse Saddle Shop has used saddles on there as well. They also sell a saddle fit tool for less than $10 that is helpful as well.

        There are various Circle Y Facebook pages that have saddles for sale. Another option would be eBay.

        The most important thing is to find a saddle that fits both you and your horse properly so you are both comfortable!
        Last edited by cutter99; Sep. 15, 2019, 01:29 PM.
        "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


        • #5
          Originally posted by Rainier View Post
          Those look like they are over $2000? Since I already have significant investments in my dressage and jumping saddles, i’m definitely looking below $1000. It looks like winter and double d are inexpensive, but do they fit like crap?
          You get what you pay for. Frankly I’m wondering why you want another saddle. Either of your current saddles are fine for trail riding, and maybe your jumping saddle can handle water better than your dressage saddle. There are new Circle Ys that should be around $1500 if you want to buy new. Older Western saddles can be pretty heavy; the newer ones are lighter.
          "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


          • Original Poster

            I’ve trail ridden in my dressage saddle for many years, but have been doing more working with cows, sheep, etc and I also thought it would be good for working with this very green broke horse. I won’t ever be using a western saddles for my main sports (i don’t think), but am also interested in more diversity now ... working equitation, mountain trail, endurance.


            • #7
              Post pictures of the horse without a saddle. I could make some recommendations based on back shape.

              Ebay is a good place to start. Facebook marketplace.

              You need to determine if you need full QH bars or semi QH bars. There are templates on the horse saddle shop website.

              Circle Y is nice but didn't fit my horses.


              • #8
                When I was starting my green arab on trails I thought I wanted a bit more security of a western saddle. Borrowed a friend's Big Horn, which is half leather and half cordura. It fit him well (and me ok, didn't love the stirrup placement), was lightweight, I only used it for a couple months before I preferred my dressage trail saddle. Any friends have something you could try?
                "Do your best, and leave the rest, twill all come right, some day or night" -Black Beauty



                • #9
                  I love my Lady Fabtron, it is lightweight, I like the stirrup placement( more like a dressage saddle) and I really love the ability to hang my water on the horn on these very hot days!
                  It is my go to saddle for trail riding if I don't plan on jumping.


                  • #10
                    Lady fabtron . Very comfortable .


                    • #11
                      I just bought an older Crates for my TB. I love the older saddles, the new ones with the Steele tree, don't fit anything and they're heavy. I have several friends who bought crates when the newer trail saddle came out and all have sold them due to poor fit. Plus now that Fabtron owns crates, the quality is not like it was.


                      • #12
                        If your horse doesn't have high withers, look up used Arabian western saddles on eBay. Their tree shape is sort of like the western equivalent to a hoop tree - a U-shape instead of an A-frame, so pretty versatile. They usually come with a round skirt for short-backed horses. I have an old Simco arab tree saddle that weighs about 25 lbs - guessing it's maybe 30 years old and still going strong. I find that it puts me in a pretty good position and the seat's not as deep as some other western saddles so it gives you more room to move while still providing security. It's basically an old-style endurance saddle with a horn.

                        There's actually one on eBay right now (not my saddle for sale):
                        Arabian Pleasure saddle.


                        • #13
                          I like my Abetta better than my $2000 leather saddle. Short, round skirt, under 20 lbs and fits both me and my horse. Worthless for cattle, of course, but might be worth a look.