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Question-the best endurance saddle?

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  • Question-the best endurance saddle?

    In your experience, what is the best endurance saddle to consider purchasing? For a half arab mare that for the moment is a tad roly poly! ;-) I am not an endurance rider, my client is. Alas, we suffer from a severe lack of knowledge within this discipline! ;-)
    Bethe Mounce
    Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
    Brentwood CA

  • #2
    The best saddle for endurance is light weight yet well fitted to the horse and rider. That said....lots of endurance riders are going treeless. I recognize that treeless isn't for everyone and not all treeless saddles will fit all horses but any given treeless saddle will fit a larger group of horses than any given treed saddle. I, personally, love my Sensation Hybrid treeless saddle. http://www.freedomtreeless.com/saddles.htm It is as beautiful as it is comfortable for me and my horses. It is lightweight and with the support of the custom Skito pad underneath supports my weight beautifully. It has enough structure to be stable enough for me to mount from the ground when necessary. It has enough of a twist so I don't feel as if my hips are coming out of sockets. There isn't anything I don't like about this saddle. There are tons of treeless options these days though. I strongly suggest that anyone interested in exploring treeless options join the treeless saddles group in Yahoo! Groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/treelesssaddles/
    Endurance and related sports are the only equine sports I know of where the horses condition is vet checked along the way. Several friends who ride in treeless saddles regularly get high marks for condition of their horses' backs along the way.
    "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
      Arabian Saddle Company Solstice

      My arab and rocky BOTH are wide widths.


      • #4
        There are tons of different saddles out there being used. It really just comes down to what fits you and your horse. Fit is extremely important over 50 miles.

        I am not real crazy about treeless saddles in general. I do have a Barefoot Cheyenne which I like but is not the most comfortable for endurance.

        My favorite is the DeSoto. It kind of looks more Western styled and is fairly heavy, which I dont like, but puts you in more of a dressage position. They are custom made and fairly expensive- I think I paid about $1300 about 6 years ago, but so worth it. Very comfortable for me and my horse's back is never ever sore or tender at all. I went thru a number of saddles before I found this one. I highly recommend them!


        • #5
          Love my Bob Marshall! I use it on two Arabs, one of whom is wide backed with almost no withers.

          Here's my Arab in his - http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1422642990

          Link to Bob Marshall - http://www.sportssaddle.com/b_endurance.php

          Good luck!


          • #6
            Black Country Equinox.
            Try Trumbull Mtn (east coast) or Happy Horse Tack (Colorado).
            Light weight but sturdy, very comfortable, serge panels which is great for the horses back and the saddle pad does not slip. Can ride dressage/flat work, or even smaller size jumps.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks guys. Of course, the horses' back is the highest priority! I still cannot imagine being in the saddle for as long as you guys are! I applaud that in spades! I will keep all of these suggestions and pass them along to my client. I didn't realize the horses' back was checked at vet checks either. Delighted to hear that. I am thinking that should be a requirement within every discipline.
              Bethe Mounce
              Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
              Brentwood CA


              • #8
                Izzy, just FYI, you can find the Equinox used at other shops, but Trumbull Mtn. is the only place that carries them new - it's a signature line saddle.
                Kitt Hazelton
                Saddle Fitter


                • #9
                  Another Bob Marshall convert here. Would never go back to a treed saddle again. My horses are SO comfortable and happy in the BM and in my opinion there is really no such thing as a treed saddle that "fits" a horse's back. The horse's back can literally change from day to day. There isn't a treed saddle on the market that is able to change and conform to a horse's back as needed. In the winter they have more hair, might be fatter from lack of work and standing around the round bale. In the summer they might be thinner but more topline muscle from working 5 days a week. Treeless conforms to whatever the back is doing on that day. But you HAVE to use a good, expensive pressure dispersing pad (Equipedic, Skito, Woolback with inserts, Grandeur, etc.) that is customized for the type of saddle you have.

                  But that's just one opinion of course


                  • #10
                    I am sooo happy with my Specialized Saddle. Tried lots, l loved my wintec endurance, (my second favorite saddle) sadly my horse didn't, and even after having it refitted and flocked to her, still left white marks. Hence I got a Specialized after much research and demos. I LOVE it and have not looked back. You are going to get a hundred different opinions because of all the great saddles out there, most companies will let you try a demo. Take advantage of that.......


                    • #11
                      I ride in a Boz saddle and love it. It's custom and pricey but I sold all my other tack and saved my pennies to order one. It took 6 months to make which was frustrating but it's a great saddle. I've used it on everything from a large pony to a 15.2 hand TWH horse. You can see it on Annie, my Paso mare:


                      • #12
                        Another vote for Bob Marshall saddles!

                        I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Bob Marshall saddle & so do all the horses we use them on. My only regret is not switching over to one of these saddle sooner! My mare who could be a bit hot has completely changed, her headset is now relaxed and she's way more laid back on the trail. I love the security of this saddle too, for I'm riding my young gelding & he can be a handful sometimes. I'd try one & see if you like them, I bet your horse will! Good luck saddle shopping!

                        P.S. Thank you Bonnie for being my BMSS mentor!!!


                        • #13
                          Loaded question! Ask ten endurance riders and you'll most likely get eleven answers...

                          While a lot of Bob Marshall fans chimed in here, my training partner absolutely hates hers and can't wait to sell it and get something completely different (she's done with treeless...) She's demoing saddles right now and looking at the International or Eurolite from Specialized (I find neither of those comfortable or easy to work with -- you need to know a lot about fitting to make it work for your horse) but she also liked a couple of Duett styles.

                          Personally I ride in a Frank Baines Enduro and I absolutely love it. It was professionally fitted and the flocking is frequently checked so I've had no issues whatsoever. It is very comfortable for me and it wasn't too big of a chance crossing over from dressage. I also very much like the Solstice from Arabian Saddle Company for the same reasons.

                          So it all depends on your client's background and ambitions as well as her horse. But the most important piece of advice is to work with a professional saddlefitter because it will save her lots of time and money in the long run!