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Junior Designer Sidekicks for over the saddle

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  • Junior Designer Sidekicks for over the saddle

    So my kiddo outgrew his buddy stirrups and is still too small to fit my saddle (legs too short and the seat is too big). We've looked around at smaller youth saddles, but many seem to be for ponies and not horses -- gullets are too small. I did run across a 13" Billy Cook saddle with a 7" gullet, but the price was far more than I wanted to pay for a used saddle that he'd out grow in a few years.

    I was wondering if anyone has used/ know of someone that has used the Junior Designer Sidekicks on their saddle for their kiddo. (see link below). We don't plan to use it for anything other than then occasional trail ride (at a walk) or arena lessons.


  • #2
    Get him a saddle that fits him. Those add on things are not very safe. Reading the reviews, metion of parts breaking caught my eye from a couple people.

    Yes kid may use saddle a short time, need another size. But it fits him NOW, to give him secure seat and good riding position, confidence while riding. You don't buy his clothes, shoes, way too big for fit, so he grows into them, you might be surprised how long a slim boy will fit well in that small seat size. My son rode his 12" seat from age 4 to almost 11yrs old. Daughter was a larger child, used it until age 9yrs. They both did a lot of miles in that saddle, we're good riders, no sloping around in too-big equipment.

    And I had people fighting over the small seat saddle when we resold it at a tack sale. Got more than we paid for it! Excellent condition, lower cost name, Silver Royal, fit the western horse well. Not a pony saddle. Not so easy to find nice, small seat western kid saddles.

    As a rider, YOU would not put up with tack that did not fit you. Kids should not have to either. Especially if we expect them to continue riding as they get older. A person needs a saddle that makes riding easy and fun. You might ask about small saddles at some shows, a 4-H leader, a trainer, tack stores, for help finding a proper sized saddle for your boy. We have lots of tack sales where you can locate saddles to buy. Do get him a saddle with a level seat, not built up in front. He will be more comfortable using a flat, fron-to-back, seat saddle. Boys are not built like girls, so keep that in mind while saddle hunting.

    I am hiding a 12" seat, western saddle in my tack room right now, waiting for the grand kids to gain some age. I have known the saddle since I was a kid, watching other folks use it. My friend had it last, loaned it out often to other kids, between her kids and grand kids using it. With our kids of similar ages, I never borrowed it fo my kids. I finally got my hands on it, with the promise to sell it back to her if I ever get rid of it! Her surprise grandchild may be needing it in a few years!! This is a custom saddle but no name on it. Built on a QH bar tree, fits a horse well, putting child in a perfect natural equitation seat. Saddle has won tons of ribbons over the years and made lots of smiling kids look great while showing. Kids do better with tack that fits their small bodies. Spend the money for a saddle in his size, you will get it back in resale to buy his next size-up saddle!


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kickin' It View Post
      So my kiddo outgrew his buddy stirrups and is still too small to fit my saddle (legs too short and the seat is too big). We've looked around at smaller youth saddles, but many seem to be for ponies and not horses -- gullets are too small. I did run across a 13" Billy Cook saddle with a 7" gullet, but the price was far more than I wanted to pay for a used saddle that he'd out grow in a few years.
      Well if you want a HORSE-sized saddle with a YOUTH-sized seat, be prepared to pay a "normal saddle" price for it --- not a pony saddle price.

      I too do not recommend using buddy stirrups for a child. Because ultimately, the seat size is all wrong for the child, even if the stirrups now go short enough.

      I would talk to other parents in your area if you can; ones that have children older than yours. Because they may very well be looking to sell saddles their children have outgrown! And you can do the same with the saddle when he outgrows it.
      It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


      • #4
        I too agree that the Sidekicks does not seem safe. I know you want a safe and secure ride for your youngin. But I also understand that coming across $400 or so bucks is not always so simple for a saddle. I just bought a "new" saddle for $30... I just happened to find the bargain. As a kid I rode in a too big for me saddle and I know too many kids that did too. I am just fine and so are they.

        But in all seriousness synthetic saddles are way cheaper than leather and they last a few years. My first saddle was synthetic and I used it until it just fell apart. super comfy too so no complaints about a booty hurting.

        Take a look at this one. Affordable and small.

        https://www.statelinetack.com/item/king-series-synthetic-trail-saddle/WKT21%20BRBRN%2011/?srccode=GPSLT&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIn5Gsg_Gw3QIVg7jAC h3LRgd_EAQYAiABEgJKxPD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid^160636394091-device^c-plaid^342193110851-sku^150591-adType^PLA