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Flex-Lite Trail Saddles - Need Opinions

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  • Flex-Lite Trail Saddles - Need Opinions

    Has anybody used any of the Flex-Lite Trail Saddles for long trail rides? I am specifically looking at the Mesquite Trail model. My husband wants a western-type saddle for trail riding; however, after riding an hour his knees begin to ache - when he gets off the horse and walks, the knee aches stop. He is currently using a synthetic Big Horn trail saddle. The description of the Mesquite trail saddle states the saddle is built with pre-twisted fenders to allow for a more comfortable position. Also, the sizing of the saddle is regular and wide? Does anybody know what types of horse the sizing would accomodate (ie, does the sizing run small or larger)?

    Any comments, opinions, experiences with this type of saddle would be appreciated.

  • #2
    I don't have any experience with this particular saddle but I do have experience with achey knees. Every time I've gotten really sore knees it was a result of my stirrups being too short. Even 1/4 inch can make a difference. Have him try lengthening his stirrups a little bit.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


    • #3
      Flex-Lite Trail Saddle

      I don't have any experience with those either, sorry. But I can't ride in a western saddle without my knees killing me. It doesn't matter if the fenders are pre turned, cordura or whatever. I can ride pain free in an english saddle though. I would have him try a saddle of endurance/ western type that has the same type of leathers that come on an english saddle.


      • #4
        there are contraptions that set Western stirrups at right angles to the fender, there are contraptions that have other adjustment options, and there are truly low tech options like using dog collars to turn them suckers so your knees and ankles arent torqued wrong. There are trail stirrups that help with shock absorption. And the nuclear option (sliding aussie or english leathers/fenders thru the slot in the tree after ditching the big clunkly western fender) works just great. Might look odd but, yeah, English leathers are inherently easier on the knees and ankles (though if you live in the world of short boots and too hot a climate for halfchaps, not so easy on the calves....)


        • Original Poster

          Thank you for the suggestions. Yes, I understand about English type leathers as I ride in a Passier All Purpose Paxton (I used to event in this saddle). Love it.... I do not run into the issue with sore knees. But, my husband feels uncomfortable/insecure in English and would like to ride in a Western-type saddle.


          • Original Poster

            Bumping up. Hi folks, has anybody out there had any experiences with Circle Y trail saddles? Thank you


            • #7
              Here is a link to Independent reviews of many Brands of Trail Saddles




              • #8
                Yes! I have owned a Circle Y flex tree for about 10 years now. Purchased one of
                the first ones to come out in 2000 and is has always been my favorite western
                saddle. I think back then it was called the "iron tunnel" and it was their only
                version. I have done all sorts of riding, on all sorts on horses in this saddle.

                They use the softee leather on them and I've never had an issue with knee
                probs.Leather is nice and soft. Cordura fenders, however, can kill me.

                This saddle looks nearly new, has the neoprene sandwiched in the bars and
                I can honestly say it is my favorite saddle and the only one I would never
                sell. I use a wool felt pad under it and I have never had an issue with it
                soring a horse.

                I bought mine from Valley Vet back then for $900. Let us know if you decide to get one!


                • #9
                  Agree with the 90 degree stirrup dangler... also... get yourself some endurance style stirrups with the big cushy pad on them (E-Z Ride stirrups). Makes a world of difference!!
                  Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
                  Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
                  Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


                  • #10
                    I had knee issues and bought an Aussie with polies and a horn. I was finally able to ride in comfort with the same security of my western saddle.


                    • #11
                      If you are looking for a comfortable, secure saddle that is good for the rider and the horse consider a treeless saddle. There are several models that have a traditional western look. I just purchased the Sensation Ride Hybrid and LOVE it!
                      "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."