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Saddle for casual trail rider on TB and a budget

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  • Saddle for casual trail rider on TB and a budget

    Hi all,
    I'm trying to sort out what type of saddle to purchase for my TB and I. I've been having fun taking himk out on little trrail walks but I feel nervous when he shies. I've gotten on horses i've never met and gone for miles- no problems- I just want something a little deeper then my AP saddle for my security. I don't have a lot of spare cash, and don't really care about aesthetics. I want my horse to be comfortable (normal TB conformation- no shark withers but not mutton withered either. ) and to feel secure.

    I've heard Aussie, Wintec, Western, Barrel etc and I am confused. I am not planning to go anywhere strenuous or fast, or for more then a n hour or so.

    So- fit and price are my #1 concerns I guess. Any suggestions for someone trying to transition into a trail rider?
    Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

  • #2
    I bought an abetta western saddle for my husband to trail ride in. It's comfy, secure and not too much $$$. I think we paid $260 new. I like their endurance saddle (no horn) but it's slightly more.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


    • #3
      I vote for the Abetta Endurance saddle with the Flex tree!! I paid $600 for mine. Be sure to get the FLEX tree, and not the Ralide. The Ralide version is the cheapo model and causes a lot of horses to go backsore and lame. The Flex tree is made of hard rubber that flexes and shapes to nearly any horse's back.

      Abetta endurance saddles are comfortable, safe, washable, easy to lift (less than 14 lbs) very well manufactured, and best of all - affordable!


      • #4
        Yes, abettas are nice saddles for the price. I have a regular semi-QH barred abetta for trail rides for my TB. and it works fine. Its just the "ralide" tree". Lots of endurance riders even use these saddles for long rides.


        • #5
          If you are looking for security, I would try an Aussie saddle. I had one and loved it, but it did not fit my new horse. Check out downunderweb.net they have a clearance section and the staff is alot of help.


          • #6
            You may also want to try a dressage saddle - the deeper seat and longer leg flaps give a nice secure feeling, plus if you're used to an AP it may be an easier transition for both of you. The Aussies are good too. I do most of my trail riding in a western endurance saddle.

            I would suggest you go to your local saddle shop and talk with someone there. Many have a variety of used saddles you can try out. Take a tracing of your horse with you for his fit.
            Check this out for fitting a saddle...
            Bridal Sweet 05/28/1983 to 01/23/2008


            • #7
              I trail ride the TB's and one Arab I have in Wintec 500 dressage saddles. They are without CAIR. For me, they've been worth their price and much more. There are no worries with the synthetic about scraping it up or splashing in the water. I've had good luck with them fitting a shark withered TB to a mutton withered Arab. I spend hours in those saddles and stay comfortable. The only modification is using fleece covers over the stirrup straps. However, I have been the outcast with most everyone riding western. Those people seem to wonder how I could be comfortable or secure in a dressage saddle, but that's what works for me. I have a Circle Y but don't like to use it on sticky trails because I feel too locked in. Likewise, I probably wouldn't feel comfortable using it on a spooky horse.


              • #8
                Another vote for Aussies and downunderweb!



                • #9
                  I adore my Bates Caprilli all purpose. Though I'm not a saddle guru, it has the deepest seat of any all purpose saddle I tried. I found it very much like the dressage seatwise, without giving up my beloved knee rolls. And the changable gullets are wonderful! I've been in mine for 3 years now. I also have the wintec version--#500 I think (for rainy days) it's seat is almost as deep but not nearly as cushy.


                  • #10
                    Second the used dressage saddle - very comfy for both horse and rider, longer flaps for a longer leg, and just a very secure feeling.

                    ALTHOUGH, if I ever have extra $$$ laying around (yeah, right), I'm getting a Tucker Plantation Saddle for pleasure/trail riding. Those are pure comfort!!!! And feel VERY secure.
                    Originally posted by SmartAlex

                    Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.


                    • #11
                      I have an abetta western that I use on the trails and I LOVE it. Really secure, so no sweat when my horse has an 'arab moment'. I do a lot of trail riding and its reasonably comfortable.


                      • #12
                        I LOVE my Aussie saddle. I'll never go back to a western saddle for trail riding. They have a deep seat which makes you feel very secure. I got mine from http://www.frontierequestrian.com
                        It is the stock rider. Very reasonably priced. It is made fairly well and I have been happy with it. I didn't have alot of money to spend on a trail saddle either. I spend it all on hunter/jumper stuff
                        “And live like you ain’t afraid to die. And don’t be scared, just enjoy your ride.” Chris Ledoux ~ The Ride


                        • #13
                          I ride Miles in my Thorowgood Griffin dressage saddle. It is synthetic so will hold up to weather and bushwacking and whatnot. Amazingly, it is my cheapest saddle and Miles loves it the best. They make different types of models for different types of horses - broadback, TB, regular.
                          "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                          • Original Poster

                            Ok- I already have a fairly deepish wintec AP saddle- I want something with a high cantle, no horn, but a serious pommel. Synthetic too. I'v been looking on ebay at the trekkers and such but I have a very small budget. Where's a good source for used (as long as the tree isn't twisted and it has a billets I'm happy) saddles like this?

                            We've been doing a lot of outside work for the past month, both in hand and under saddle - I just don't feel BRAVE in the saddle- my thighs start to shake and he knows I'm nervous and his head goes up and he starts finding things to get snorty about.

                            Things he's seen a trillion times before, things we looked at in hand yesterday with no issue, things he's been ridden past by a different rider before even!

                            I guess I'll never get away from dressage- I need to have relaxed draping thighs. Sigh.
                            Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                            • #15
                              Would an Abetta fit a 'wide body' MOrgan?
                              \"It is never too late to be what you might have been\"


                              • #16
                                I went with an Aussie 7 years ago and never looked back! Just bought another one off eBay for use on the new mare

                                My old one is from the Australian Stock Saddle Company and the newer one is from Toowoomba. I got each of them used, paid $300 for the first and $355 for the second. I lucked out and got stirrups, leathers, girths, overgirths, and breastcollars with both of them for those prices!

                                I have fit the older one on many different horses. You can move the stuffing around (you do for normal maintenance anyhow) to fit backs and withers better if you change horses or they gain or lose weight. Aussies are great for people and horses with bad backs and if you get the proper fit for you and your horse you will be way more comfy than in any other saddle! I knew as soon as I sat in my first one that it was perfect for me

                                As for horses I've fit with the one saddle: 16.3hh slb sided TB, 15.3hh average TB, 12.2hh Welsh type pony, 14hh rounded TWH (think big pony). Also fits my new 15.3hh pacer standie mare with little work. Soon as the new saddle comes I will work on them to figger out who gets what saddle and make adjustments if need be. Belle (TWH) is very round and gets fat so has little wither, Sam (standie) is round too, but has more wither.
                                ~ Shannon Hayden ~


                                • #17
                                  Oh yes- speaking of dressage... I have had dressage riders ride in my Aussie and liked it very much. Felt familiar to them but with increased safety. It's really hard to fall out of an Aussie, LOL. You have to do it on purpose!
                                  ~ Shannon Hayden ~


                                  • Original Poster

                                    So I went ahead and bought a Trekker Neutron off ebay. Along with a bitless bridle so I don;t look QUITE so casual as when I ride in his halter and western reins/rope lead. I am SO excited- it's exactly what i wanted in my brain- high pommel and cantle, comfy seat, semi QH bars, no horn. Yay!

                                    Can't WAAAAAAAAAAAIT for it to get here so I can try it out!
                                    Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                                    • #19
                                      Cool! Glad you finally found something! Let us know how you like it.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Hmm. Looked at it in person and I don't love it.
                                        I think I may trade it for a different saddle.
                                        Oh well, the search goes on.
                                        Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.