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What types of saddles do you prefer? English and western

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  • What types of saddles do you prefer? English and western

    What types do you prefer and why? Like what makes them comfortable for you and stuff.
    Also what sizes are your saddles??
    I ride in a close contact English saddle and I love it because its really padded and its so comfortable to sit in. I feel close to the horse too and it's great to jump in. It's a 17in saddle.

    I want to get a western saddle too but I'm trying to decide what type I would want and what size.

  • #2
    Albion all the way. Dutchess Bridle and Saddle in New York is their warranty shop here in the states and they are very capable of adjusting and/or reflocking the saddles to fit your horse. I own three that they have custom fitted for me. The Albions have trees that can be adjusted to fit, but I recommend this shop because if there are any parts on recall from the manufacturer she will know about it.

    I don't like western saddles so can't help you there.
    America dialed 911. Donald Trump answered the phone.

    Stop pumping money into colleges and start getting ready to earn money in the projected tradesman shortage of 2024. Make Trades Great Again!


    • #3
      English: Still prefer my vintage Crosby Prix des Nations (ultra close contact zero rolls/padding, narrow twist) but it doesn't fit current stock. However, I recently bought a Smith-Worthington that is about as close as I can get to the old Crosby and I've been enjoying it a lot. Also have a Wychanger-Barton (English) that's now over 10 years old, has padding but a good foxhunting saddle. I understand the company has changed saddlemakers and may not be as good these days, though. Western- very much like the High Quality saddle I have (young man in Utah). I've also sat in a Crates reiner and liked it a lot but it didn't fit the horse. If I could find a vintage Ryon I'd snap it up.


      • #4
        English... was a die hard Stalker fan until I left jumping behind. Now, it's Saddle Nirvana with my new County Perfection dressage saddle. The bull leather is soft as a baby's butt, perfectly balanced & super comfy.

        I've only sat in one western saddle in my life that didn't put me in a chair seat and that was comfortable.
        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


        • #5
          English: I have my classic old Stubben that fits most horses and is as sturdy as a saddle can be. Hard seat, but very reliable. I have a Pessoa that I bought for work over fences. It's super soft, very comfortable, but after only a couple of years, it's obvious it won't hold up as well as the Stubben. And I recently got a Smith Worthington that I love that is beautifully made and comfortable for both me and the pony. My saddles are 17 or 17.5
          I do have an older Western saddle that I picked up from eBay, but I rarely use it. I'm just more comfortable in an English saddle.


          • #6
            English...my most used was a good Argentine copy of the Stubben Tristran.
            Have a County Despri with the adjustable flap position, also a Gold Metal
            all purpose. DH has a Cordura western saddle...had an all leather one but it
            didn't fit his horse that well. It's been collecting dust for quite some time.

            Sat in a Bob Avila reining saddle one and it was awesome, but am much more comfortable in an English saddle.


            • #7
              Western I like less padded eq saddles. Circle Ys are the ones I've been in most, but I wouldn't rule out other brands. They allow a correctly balanced seat with leg under you, though some hold you in place more than I like.

              Jumping I always looooooved my Collegiate close contact "postage stamp" saddle. Almost nothing there, and when I first got it I would post and slide my butt back off the seat because it was so flat and slick. Once I got used to it, it was great - more balanced than bareback, but almost as if you were right on the horse.

              I have a new custom Dresch dressage saddle with pretty tall thigh blocks wihch I absolutely love. The blocks mostly come into use during bucking fits, and don't keep me from riding how I want. Theoretically I would love a close contact dressage saddle, but this saddle fits so well I feel everything my horse does well and the blocks which are only there in case of emergency are pretty great, too.
              If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


              • #8

                Albion Original Comfort Buffalo leather custom. MW 17.5 (removed custom blocks). Fabulous saddle..second skin.

                Passier GG Extra 18 M...amazing saddle...Like butter


                McLellands 1978 show saddle bought 20 years ago for $100. Hand-made. 15", very comfy..not even broken-in...beautiful saddle. I've been dragging it around for 20 years..LOL Now, I'm gonna use it.

                Circle Y barrel 14"..new. Snug and secure for me..great for youngsters. Awesome saddle. I've had two other Circle Y saddles, and they were great saddles.


                • #9
                  I have a Stubben Rex 16" that fits any and all horses it ever was used on and a Passier VS 17" that fits like the most comfy bucket for me, but is for horses with more of a withers, not the mutton ones.
                  Since my horses are older now, it fits fine.

                  I too prefer my English saddle any day, but have western saddles that I also use, a ranch/roping saddle or two and a reining saddle.

                  What western saddle do you need?
                  That will depend on what you want to do.
                  As for size, once you decide which kind, then try several to see what size you prefer.
                  Not all in the same size ride the same, like most English saddles do.


                  • #10
                    Size is interesting with the Western saddles...I always rode in a 16", and then I recently was at D&D in Seguin and just sitting in saddles for fun. I asked for a 16" to try out and she brought a barrel saddle..it was way to wide for me in the twist. She said, "Well I'd put you in a 14", and I said, "What? Are you nuts? LOL", so she brought one to sit in, and it was incredibly perfect. I was shocked, so I bought one. Learn something about yourself every day..it makes me feel like centaur..lol


                    • #11
                      I loved my old Stubben Siegried, wish I'd never sold it.

                      I have a Blue Ribbon western show saddle, a Dale Chavez show saddle, and a Blue Ribbon work saddle. I trail ride in a Circle Y Flex saddle because it's so light and has all the d-rings and ties I need.


                      • #12
                        jumping: I love my prestige. I have had it for 11 years now, and can't recall the model, but it is the one with the funny leather. I don't jump very much anymore, but I can't part with it.

                        Dressage: I really like my Frank Baines, and will likely buy another if I ever need a new one.

                        Western. For ponying I have an ancient, locally made "Clover Bar saddler" western saddle. It puts me in a bit of a chair seat, but fits my pony horse well, and I don't care if it gets knocked about.

                        My "equitation" saddle when riding for fun is an "Alamo". Low end, but looks pretty and it allows me to keep my legs under me close to my dressage saddle. Not sure I would trust it on a long trail ride, but I have shown in it.

                        A client just bought an "original" Billy Cook, which I also like the looks of, but have yet to ride in.

                        Another client has a Martha Jose barrel saddle which is pretty awesome too.
                        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                        • #13
                          I love my cheapie no-name aussie saddle that I bought used for $100. I also really like my Hun Bareback Pad (the version with stirrups) that I bought online from the Aussie Stock Saddle Company.

                          Trying to find the perfect saddle is like trying to find the perfect bra.
                          PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

                          Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by californianinkansas View Post
                            I love my cheapie no-name aussie saddle that I bought used for $100. I also really like my Hun Bareback Pad (the version with stirrups) that I bought online from the Aussie Stock Saddle Company.

                            Trying to find the perfect saddle is like trying to find the perfect bra.
                            That bolded phrase is right.

                            It ought to be someone's signature.


                            • #15
                              Right now I have:

                              17in no name AP that was a gift. I like it better than the Lancer I used to have, deeper seat.

                              17in off brand Aussie, also a gift, only got to sit in it once just to see how it fit Miss Diva with me on it, which is like a glove. Super comfy from at least that experience, and sits like a dressage saddle, so excited to get to use that on her more when I'm able to return to riding.

                              and a 13in abetta youth saddle. It's my childrens' but I use it now and then. Not the ideal fit for me at even with my tiny tushy. Seat surprisingly cushy though.

                              Loved my Crosby spring tree dressage saddle I sold.

                              Browsing around for a 15in western. Barrel or trail. I like the more secure feeling I get in the barrel saddles, especially since for the next year most of my riding is going to be on my green bean. But some of the newer trail saddles really appeal to my built in cushion lacking self. Have yet to have an unpleasant experience in a Circle Y (comfort wise), and my family has one we bought used 13 years ago that is still going strong.
                              Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
                              RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
                              RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
                              RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5


                              • #16
                                Would you consider Australian? We own two of the Down Under Longreach endurance saddles and love them. They are the best of both worlds to me, light weight, more close contact than other aussie saddles and good quality. Highly recommend
                                To ride a horse is to borrow freedom.


                                • #17
                                  I feel most comfortable in my english cutback saddle. I learned to ride in a cutback, so anything else just feels really odd to me. My second most comfortable would be western, but still prefer a cutback over that.
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                                  Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
                                  Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding


                                  • #18
                                    English: I will never endure another dressage saddle of ANY make.
                                    25-year old and older Stubbens fit almost anybody. Cheap, too.
                                    Don't ever buy anything with those air-filled panels. Ack! Thppt!
                                    If it doesn't fit, 637 pads won't make it fit any better.

                                    Western: I love a Barrel Racing saddle because it puts you body-over-stirrups.
                                    Lots are "close-contact" as western goes and are GREAT for flatwork;
                                    Chair-seat is a No. Can't sit the canter in that position to save my life!

                                    Other: Plantation saddles are the best of both worlds.


                                    • #19
                                      Gonna go with my Aussie saddle and I was ever so pleased to find it fit my Morgan perfectly.

                                      I do enjoy english over western (This from a girl who grew up riding QH's and showing Western for half her life) English always made me SO much more secure.

                                      I love my aussie, makes me feel like I am riding on a cloud and sitting on a pillow.
                                      Chambermaid to....


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                        That bolded phrase is right.

                                        It ought to be someone's signature.
                                        Thank you for your kind words. I wasn't sure if my comment was a bit racy for this forum.

                                        Honestly, I'm not sure which ends up being more expensive: trying to find the perfect bra or trying to find a saddle which fits both you and your horse.
                                        PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

                                        Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique