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Switching to a gaited breed, tack questions.

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  • Switching to a gaited breed, tack questions.

    Due to a pain disorder (fibromyalgia), I have decided it is time to switch to a gaited breed if I am going to be doing anymore riding at all. I pretty much have a deal worked out on a nice young Spotted Saddle horse gelding.

    He is a quite bit narrower than QH my mare that I am selling, so my current tack is not going to fit him, even when he is done filling out. Although I ride my mare in both English and western tack, my true love is my English saddle. The trainer style that I most like right now is Lee Zeilger, as it seems she promotes a balanced seat over the (dreaded) chair seat. She does suggest (at least that is what I understood) to use the same seat that dressage riders use to properly ride balanced.

    I am looking for suggestions for a relatively inexpensive (new or used) saddle that would work. My budget will probably be about $500 once I sell my current saddle. Would a dressage saddle work for this purpose? Would it be comfortable enough to trail ride with? I am not talking hours of riding right now, but for an hour or two? I've only ridden in close contact or AP saddles. Any help would be great! Thanks!
    Melissa

  • #2
    I've had good luck with the Wintec Pro dressage saddle. It fits a surprising number of medium to narrow horses. I picked up one used with wool reflockable panels for around $400.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have friends that ride their MFT's and TWH's in wintec dressage saddles and they find them quite comfortable.

      It's such ashame that Lee Ziegler passed away.
      Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

      Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think a dressage saddle would be the best choice. If you want to trail ride a gaited horse english I would look for a used Stubben trail saddle, here are a few of the models http://www.nationalbridle.com/Catego...SubCategory=14 as you can see the seats are a bit flatter and flaps wider so you can sit in a less rigid positiion than in a dressage saddle. Otherwise if you can't find a Stubben trail model look for a used all purpose Stubben. Stubben are nice for narrower horses as they usually aren't overly wide.
        Last edited by Renae; Jun. 26, 2007, 07:08 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          A stubben would be good, but fit can be tricky. You'd likely need a 29 cm tree for a narrow horse.

          A wintec with the changable gullet would be good, though I'd recommend the AP 2000 so you'll have more ability to adjust stirrup length. I like the wool panels better too, over the CAIR.
          "To be an equestrian in the classical sense is not just to be a rider.
          It is a position in life." --Charles de Kunffy

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Cashela View Post
            It's such ashame that Lee Ziegler passed away.
            Yes, everything I have read about her, and what she has published is wonderful. I love her attitude about keeping a gaited horse supple and soft instead of nose to the air like so many trainers seem to do.


            As much as I would LOVE to have a Stubben I can't afford a new one at this time, and used ones are hard to come buy. I can dream though.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Orn1218 View Post
              Yes, everything I have read about her, and what she has published is wonderful. I love her attitude about keeping a gaited horse supple and soft instead of nose to the air like so many trainers seem to do.


              As much as I would LOVE to have a Stubben I can't afford a new one at this time, and used ones are hard to come buy. I can dream though.
              Au contraite! A used trail model Stubben will be a little hard to come by, sure, but a used all purpose Stubben in your price range is a very common thing!
              http://www.heritagesaddlery.com/prod...sp?prod=B71079
              http://www.heritagesaddlery.com/prod...sp?prod=B75210
              http://www.heritagesaddlery.com/proddetail.asp?prod=AP2
              And LOADS of them on eBay!

              But another style saddle that may interest you that is commonly used on gaited horses is a Trooper Saddle. The Tucker Trooper saddles ae the top of the line with those and if you can find a used one in your price range I owuld grab it, but there are some quality less expensive trooper saddles out there.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm thinking you might not do too badly in an aussie saddle, basically an oversized dressage saddle. Or check out some of the saddles at crestridge. I ditto the trooper and other Tuckers suggestion, but they are pricey and can be hard to find used, people love them so much. Also check out the gaited horse saddles at National Bridle Shop.

                One small caveat, although gaited horses can be less jarring to ride than trotting horses many of them do trot, and sometimes offer gaits that are weird combinations of trot/canter, as well as pacing, which can shake you side to side like nobody's business. As the late lamented Ms Ziegler pointed out, you cant just be on autopilot and expect them to stay in gait, and in order to preserve their soundness you should spend time working them in gaits other than the identified "easy" gait. They can be just as much if not more hard work to ride as any horse. You are likely to still have discomfort and days when even riding your easy horse is hard. Fibromyalgia is a booger that way.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Renae View Post
                  I don't think a dressage saddle would be the best choice. If you want to trail ride a gaited horse english I would look for a used Stubben trail saddle, here are a few of the models http://www.nationalbridle.com/Catego...SubCategory=14
                  The Stübbens on that page were all originally developed for the gaited market. The "sweet spot" is further back than other Stübbens, and will put you in a slight but distinct chair seat. The "Comfort" and "All Around" models were developed by a trainer in Iceland, and personally, I find them ungodly restrictive.

                  I've long been a Stübben devotee in my ungaited life, and ride my Icelandic in a Stübben Scout (which is a fairly new model so hard to find used, but basically a VSD--all purpose tending toward dressage) with some extra cush and rings for the trail, and panels that distribute rider weigh over a larger surface. The pony and I *love* it. I should think you might want to check out used VSDs, maybe in a larger seat size than you might normally, so you have a little more wiggle room for comfort and for gait foozling, and then maybe put a sheepskin seatcover on it for you.

                  You might also find a Thinline pad will help smooth out the ride for you. (Thinline + sheepskin = lovely).

                  In any case, "gaited" saddles are more marketing than anything. If you find a dressage saddle (I'd go for one without the goofy gigantic kneeblocks and super deep seat that are so in fashion right now) that works for you and the horse, go for it. I have a Stübben Tristan that's like riding bareback (no knee rolls, plenty of seat room).

                  Good luck.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    This is all such good advice. I have been a Stubben fan for many years as well, having ridden in them daily while doing mounted patrol as a law enforcement ranger.

                    I am finding some used Stubben Tristans at fairly affordable prices, so I might consider that as well. I too, like that they are not too deeply seated and over padded. One of my reasons for choosing a dressage type saddle, is that I didn't want to lose the feel of the horse.

                    It might be a moot point for now, as I have a gut feeling the lady is flaking out on our deal.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Need to vent

                      The lady was a flake!! And I believe rather dishonest. I am not getting this fella, now. She gave me some weird story of her truck breaking and her needing more money. I hadn't even seen him yet!! Grrrrr. So I did the wise thing and just backed away from the whole thing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would disagree on the Aussie for gaited horses- I don't like the pocket they force you into, too deep for me...I prefer the freedom to wiggle, LOL!

                        Stubben's making some designed for gaited horses- the Scout and the Gaited Pleasure, I think are the names.

                        Nat'l Bridle Shop's Lite Rider is cool, reasonable, and designed for gaited horses. The steep cantle means add an inch to your normal western seat size...

                        Hope the deal doesn't fall through, waa!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Orn1218 View Post
                          This is all such good advice. I have been a Stubben fan for many years as well, having ridden in them daily while doing mounted patrol as a law enforcement ranger.

                          I am finding some used Stubben Tristans at fairly affordable prices, so I might consider that as well. I too, like that they are not too deeply seated and over padded. One of my reasons for choosing a dressage type saddle, is that I didn't want to lose the feel of the horse.

                          It might be a moot point for now, as I have a gut feeling the lady is flaking out on our deal.
                          That bites about the horse, I hope you come across another that suits you. Stubben tristans are one of the few dressage saddles that would be comfortable for trail riding as they do have a flatter seat and judt a pencil knee roll, and because the older models are almost always brown they can be found used for a good price just because the DQs snub their noses at brown saddles
                          Last edited by Renae; Jun. 28, 2007, 06:40 AM.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            It really does bite, as I have been trying to be so careful in finding just the right one. Well, obviously it wasn't meant to be. So on with the search I go! Grrrr....I just hate disappointment!

                            Melissa

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Try www.crestridgesaddlery.com Debra is great to work with, knows her stuff, and often has "scratch and dents" for a very reasonable price.
                              Horse'in around in Upstate NY

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We have dressage, western and Australian saddles for our gaited horses. The main thing is that 1. The saddle fits the horse properly and is comfortable and 2. It fits you properly and is comfortable. Using the Aussie saddles from Down Under Saddlery the most now. They were spot on in recommending the right model and tree for each horse from wither tracings and photos we emailed them. Very good customer service.

                                Had adjustable Wintec saddles also before their backs grew too wide for them. So see what fits you and your future horse.

                                Good luck in your search!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                  I would disagree on the Aussie for gaited horses- I don't like the pocket they force you into, too deep for me...I prefer the freedom to wiggle, LOL!
                                  Gotta get the right size or you will feel cramped A 17in Aussie is a 16in english.
                                  ~ Shannon Hayden ~

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have two gaited horses and ride them with Australian Stock saddles- one Aust. Stock Saddle Co. Jackaroo and one Toowoomba Snowy River Poley.

                                    I paid $300 w/fittings/girth/breast collar for the Jackaroo used locally 9 years ago and it's still going strong. Bought the Snowey River off eBay for under $400 w/fittings/girth/breast collar/saddle bag/shipping. Been very happy with both after switching from an english seat
                                    ~ Shannon Hayden ~

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      No, I just don't like Aussie saddles or any saddle with a pocket you "have" to sit in. Steele Saddle Co has some gaited saddles that look like you are sitting down in a hole, ick.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Trooper saddles are nice and comfy in the seat. The one I used had a rather thick flap - that combined with a rather roly poly Rocky Mtn mare gave me calf bruises. I'd be looking for the Tristan based on the comments above, or a Wintec. I'm so sorry the lady flaked on you, but there will be another one out there, I'm sure. Good Luck!
                                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                        Incredible Invisible

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