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Saddle opinions

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  • Saddle opinions

    I know, yet another saddle thread. I cannot ride Western, my knees will not take it, and I'm thinking I like a narrower twist than they provide. And while I was leary of going English bc of my less-than-steady gelding, that's no longer an issue. I was flung out of a Western TWICE the other day by hubby's mare. Once into a creek, rather funny. So much for security.

    I like my cheapo Aussie that fits my mare. I recently bought a used Collegiate dressage saddle. Seems to be comfy except I either need to wear breeches instead of jeans, or maybe get a seat saver, or maybe need a larger seat size bc there was some discomfort "up front". Not terrible, but I noticed it. Could become terrible on a long ride. It's a 17", I am 5'4" and 125#. I also am not thrilled with the lump from the leathers. And I really want dee rings, I have a cantle bag that has to come with.

    SO, these are some ideas, and if anyone has opinions/experience/etc, that would be great. I know lots of people don't like Aussies bc of the seat they put you in, but I haven't had that issue. I like the one below, but not sure I want to spend that much right now, and yes I know that isn't a lot for a saddle.
    http://www.downunderweb.com/store/MI_SAD340.html

    http://www.downunderweb.com/store/MI_SAD340.html
    Here's the same thing but cheaper leather, I assume. Kind of makes me nervous.

    http://www.downunderweb.com/store/MI_SAD180.html
    And this one, but it had a reviewer who complained about the hard knee rolls.

    I have also considered a BMSS but not sure if it would have enough of a twist for me. There are many possibilities out there, but I could go broke trying them out.

  • #2
    I have the best of both worlds between English and Western. I have a Sensation Hybrid Treeless saddle. It is hands down THE most secure saddle I've ever ridden in. I used to ride in a Barrel saddle thinking I needed the extra security of the deep seat and the horn. One good spook and I was off and over the horn with much pain in the following days (BIG black swollen bruise on the inside of my upper thigh where the horn gave me a good jab).
    My new saddle gives me a very close contact feel, it is stable on my horse (I can mount from the ground if necessary) It is very, very comfortable. I have bad hips and a descent twist is a must for me this saddle provides and good enough twist so I don't have any hip pain even after several hours in the saddle. (The BMSS are not known to provide a good twist) There are no lumps, bumps or hard spots. The stirrup "leathers" are thin enough that you don't even notice them. Although I CAN wear jeans while riding and be perfectly comfy I prefer to wear breeches and 1/2 chaps.
    As each saddle is individually made by hand when you order it your saddle can be as unique as you are. You get to choose the leather colors and textures that suit you. You choose one leather for the pommel and flaps and another for the seat and knee rolls. you can choose contrasting colors or matching. That was just extra fun for me. You can choose between brass or stainless steel dee rings, you can lengthen or shorten flaps, move billets, Lengthen the seat and any number of other things you could do to customize your saddle. They offer FREE demos too. I demoed and purchased mine from Melissa at www.freedomtreeless.com. Here is my saddle: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?...&id=1685723434
    http://www.facebook.com/?sk=media#!/...&id=1685723434
    "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."

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      PRS, I considered those based on the fact that there's a twist to the seat. But my horse has some withers, definitely not shark fins though. I heard Sensations weren't ideal for a horse with much for withers. They do look nice and there was one on endurance.net for sale, but I'd def. have to demo one. And there isn't anyone around here to help me check the fit.

      He also is Mr. Sensitive and last year after some rides he would get swelling in the cinch area. A mohair helped that, but he tends to get puffy anywhere there is extra pressure, like where the cinch buckles are, or where the saddle pad edge lies. So I need something that doesn't have to be overly tightened to stay put, and something that distributes weight decently.

      Comment


      • #4
        You Demo for free....you just pay for shipping if there isn't a dealer nearby. My horses have withers too. On my facebook photo album you'll see a picture of my nekkid mare. You are correct that the Sensations don't work for very prominent withers. My horses have what I would call "normal" withers, not over prominent but there nonetheless. I'm a bit heavier than you and use a Skito with 1" foam in the densest foam they can get and I have never had any issues with slippage, or soreness. My mare tends to be more sensitive than my gelding but I've always used the soft neoprene girths (can't use the ones with the waffle pattern on them though) and they seem to work for them.
        "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."

        Comment


        • #5
          I've ridden a Stubben Scout for the past five years. It's Stubben's police and military saddle. Very similar to the Siegfried. Has 10 D-rings. But only comes in 18 & 19 inch seats.

          My wife rides a Siegfried VSD-DL. We sent hers back to Stubben N.A. and they added D-rings in the same pattern as the Scout; cost just over $100, IIRC. Adds a lot of utility to the saddle.

          You can find used VSDs from about $500 and up. I could not find any used Scouts on the Web; new they run $2500 and up.

          Both are general purpose saddles and have a deep, comfortable seat. We fox hunt, trail ride, mounted shoot, and military competitions in them.

          G.
          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            The problem with buying a used treed saddle is that unless I can find one around here to try, I have no idea if it will fit and then I am stuck with reselling it. If I demo something I'm just out the shipping fee, but I can't demo too many or I will go broke.

            PRS, hmm, my horse might not have more wither than yours. Hate spending so much, but dang it, the reviews are good, it sounds like a good saddle for the money, and when fatty loses weight it will stand a better chance of still fitting. Really, it's only a little more than the Aussie I had a link for. I might have to demo this. I really need to find something and know it works before our trip to SD the end of July.

            Comment


            • #7
              My mare is 27 years old and her back has dropped a little bit but the saddle still fits her. I usually ride her offspring...my 8 year old gelding. He is taller and more slab sided but his topline is similar to hers (without the age issues) and he does just fine in it too. I've ridden in some pretty hilly terrain and have been very secure in this saddle. Love it, love it, love it. You do have to make sure you have a good pad under the saddle though to give spinal clearance and distribute the weight.
              "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."

              Comment


              • #8
                I've ridden in the cheaper version by the same company, http://www.downunderweb.com/store/MI_SAD240.html It was very comfortable, I rode for two hours and loved it. I assume the more expensive saddle would also be good. I've only heard good things about Down Under's customer service.

                My aussie has done very well for me, I've ridden for up to four hours and no problems (but I did replace the fenders with english leathers). I haven't had any problems with the seat my puts me in, it doesn't feel like the chair seat that a western does.

                Erin


                Originally posted by cloudy18 View Post

                I like my cheapo Aussie that fits my mare. I recently bought a used Collegiate dressage saddle. Seems to be comfy except I either need to wear breeches instead of jeans, or maybe get a seat saver, or maybe need a larger seat size bc there was some discomfort "up front". Not terrible, but I noticed it. Could become terrible on a long ride. It's a 17", I am 5'4" and 125#. I also am not thrilled with the lump from the leathers. And I really want dee rings, I have a cantle bag that has to come with.

                SO, these are some ideas, and if anyone has opinions/experience/etc, that would be great. I know lots of people don't like Aussies bc of the seat they put you in, but I haven't had that issue. I like the one below, but not sure I want to spend that much right now, and yes I know that isn't a lot for a saddle.
                http://www.downunderweb.com/store/MI_SAD340.html

                http://www.downunderweb.com/store/MI_SAD340.html
                Here's the same thing but cheaper leather, I assume. Kind of makes me nervous.

                http://www.downunderweb.com/store/MI_SAD180.html
                And this one, but it had a reviewer who complained about the hard knee rolls.

                I have also considered a BMSS but not sure if it would have enough of a twist for me. There are many possibilities out there, but I could go broke trying them out.
                In memory of Apache, who loved to play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjZAqeg7HyE

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Malda, your link was supposed to be the 2nd one I posted. I messed up and posted the same link twice. The pricier one has decent reviews on horsetackreview, as does the Sensation. Ugh, decisions, decisions. I have a cheapo Aussie and it's comfy, I have done up to 7 hours in it and feel good. My knees act up in a Western after an hour.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    lol It never stops. I'm seriously considering getting getting a Lite Rider or a Longreach Endurance (only 13 lbs!) once my horse is out of training. Although my current saddle fits him well, he seemed to do a bit better in the Lite Rider and I liked the lighter weight (my saddle is 21 lbs). If I had money to burn I'd have a garage full of tack. That stuff is too much fun to buy!

                    Malda

                    Originally posted by cloudy18 View Post
                    Malda, your link was supposed to be the 2nd one I posted. I messed up and posted the same link twice. The pricier one has decent reviews on horsetackreview, as does the Sensation. Ugh, decisions, decisions. I have a cheapo Aussie and it's comfy, I have done up to 7 hours in it and feel good. My knees act up in a Western after an hour.
                    In memory of Apache, who loved to play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjZAqeg7HyE

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, I have a Sensation English trail, and two horses that are medium wide to wide, with only average withers. Although I love the saddle it's got not real structure in the pommel and it is sooooo wide that I've gotten dry spots just either side of the side at the withers, I began to check and i realized that too much pressure is too close to the spine at the pommel. I custom shaped the foam inserts of a Skito pad to try to shape the front of the inserts so they would get the pommel area of the saddle to spread theriders weight out better in that area. No luck. I'm very dissapointed, I've been trying different things fopr two years trying to get a good weight distribution with this saddle. For the casual pleasure rider this brand of saddle may work well. I haven't tried the Hybrid modle either. But I do endurance riding and long hard trainig rides. Sorry, white hairs on the horse tells me to sell the saddle.

                      You might want to look into a used Bob Marshall trail saddle that is covered insuede and has the stirrups hung a little further forward than the endurance model. These "treeless' saddles have pretty darn good weight distribution, good wither clearance and good stability.

                      Another saddle that comes to my mind is an Abetta saddle with the suede like synthetic surface. Most folks will let you trial a used saddle as long as it doesn't cost them shipping.

                      Bonnie

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Bonnie, thanks. I borrowed a BMSS trail from a friend today and I loved this saddle. I could feel everything, it was very stable for me thru trotting and loping and mounting. Didn't care for the horn, but I would get an endurance model with the stirrups placed like they are on the trail saddle, bc I believe they are further forward in the trail. These seemed to be a good placement for me.

                        It didn't have the twist and I wondered if that would bother me. I noticed it but I felt no hip discomfort, then or now. My knees felt great for longer than they do in a Western, but I am not sure if they were as pain free for as long as they are in an Aussie. If it weren't for that I would order one tonight, but it is still an option. I have to ride my Aussie and take note of when I feel the knee start up. Could the knee acting up be caused by the lack of twist? Or is it just the stupid knee, bc I know the fenders on the BMSS are not torqueing it like those of a Western do.

                        I really loved the feel of this saddle, or rather the feel of the horse thru the saddle. I didn't have a proper treeless pad to use with it, but I figured one ride wouldn't hurt, had to be better than bareback.

                        Tomorrow I am trying a Freeform from same friend. I think I will send pics to a Sensation dealer (or two) and see if they think the saddle would be appropriate for my horse before I try to demo one.

                        Hope this works, I finally had time to upload some pics. Gus, the one I really need a saddle for, is the chestnut. It would be nice to have something comfy for me when I ride the second horse, the dark brown one, but we do have saddles that fit the other two and I can deal with as often as I ride them. So would a Sensation possibly be ok for his withers, AND, if I got a BMSS would I need the peaked pommel or not?

                        Also, I read that the BMSS endurance models have wider pommels. Does this really make a big difference on an ave size horse? Bc I do not want a horn, so would need the end. model.

                        http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...6&l=757994b8ee

                        Hope the link works.
                        Last edited by cloudy18; May. 30, 2010, 11:00 PM. Reason: adding info

                        Comment

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