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Circle Y/Tucker/Reinsman/High Horse

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  • Circle Y/Tucker/Reinsman/High Horse

    Hi everyone! This is the official account for Circle Y Saddles, Inc. We make Circle Y, Tucker Trail Saddles, Reinsman, and High Horse.

    We've noticed that there are a lot of great questions on saddles, saddle fit, pads, tack, accessories, bits, and so on, so we decided to address this by coming here and making ourselves accessible to help.

    Circle Y has been in the saddle industry for almost 60 years now. All saddles for our four brands are made by our master craftsman in Yoakum, TX. There we also have the Reinsman master bit makers. There is a lot of knowledge to be found within our company, and we want to share, so please feel free to DM us or tag us in your posts.

    As a question for you guys, who knows what chicken feet are on a saddle?

  • #2
    What are the main differences (besides price) between your Hi Horse barrel saddles and the regular Circle Y barrel saddles?
    Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse!
    Anonymous Bedouin legend


    • Original Poster

      That's a really good question! Both Circle Y and High Horse are made in Yoakum, by the same experts. The main difference is going to be the trees and the costs. All High Horse saddles currently have injection molded Ralide trees. We use Ralide trees because they are lightweight, durable, reliable, comfortable, consistent, and low cost. You can find more information on Ralide here: Circle Y saddles, on the other hand, have a variety of trees for different disciplines, the most famous probably being the trail saddle's Flex2 tree. Both Circle Y and High Horse saddles carry a 10-year tree warranty (when purchased new, and XP Circle Y Saddles have a lifetime tree warranty).

      The other main difference is exactly what you mentioned, cost. We strive to keep costs on High Horse saddles down so that high-quality saddles are available to everyone. To achieve this we typically will use simpler tooling patterns and they generally come with slightly fewer options (seat size, seat color, saddle color, tree sizes, etc). The High Horse saddles also have Cordura available, which is an ultra-lightweight alternative to leather that can be used for the skirt and fenders.

      Currently, High Horse saddles are made for barrels (these are very popular, the Proven series is a well known High Horse barrel line), trail, and show (the only current show saddle we make is for High Horse). Circle Y has more variety here, with saddles spanning most Western disciplines.

      These kinds of choices make it possible to sell a saddle at the cost of our High Horse line, while still giving them the same quality and warranty that you should expect from Circle Y Saddles.


      • #4
        Thanks - looking at the ralide website, I notice that the ralide tree comes in a flex model as well. Does the regular tree have any give to it?
        Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse!
        Anonymous Bedouin legend


        • #5
          I've been a Circle Y fan for years. Currently riding in the Julie Goodnight Monarch saddle and love it. I recently purchased a quarter horse that is very stocky. I tried the Monarch in a wide but it wasn't wide enough for his shoulders. I ended up going with a different brand that fits him, but I miss riding in the Monarch. I was surprised to learn how different saddle makers are known for fitting specific breed types. Is there a Circle Y pleasure saddle that is made for the stocky, foundation type quarter horses?


          • #6
            I've got the same problem as Trailrider60. I have a CircleY Pioneer in extra wide that I really like. It's fine on my not-really-that-wide QH but is too narrow for my wide-shouldered mule.
            "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
            that's even remotely true."

            Homer Simpson


            • Original Poster

              sorrelfilly721: At this time the only saddle that we make with a Ralide flex tree is a custom make that we do for Horse Saddle Shop. The rest of the High Horse saddles have standard Ralide trees in them. The only flex trees we have are the ones we started, and we've spent over 20 years working on the Flex2 (the FlexLite came out in 1998, Flex2 in 2008).

              Trailrider60 and NoSuchPerson: Saddle fitting can be really hard, and I think there's room for a whole post just on fitting if there is interest in that here. We have fairly regular events where our team will go out and educate on saddle fitting, like a clinic we just did in Bozeman, MT.

              Trailrider60, it sounds to me like your horse might need an extra wide tree, or a slightly different shape.

              NoSuchPerson, it is possible that your mule has a different angle to his back than your horse or the saddle. Mules can have wider shoulders and flatter backs than most horses, which is why we have saddles like the Kentucky (Circle Y Trail Gaiter) and the Pine Ridge Mule (Tucker). It's also important to remember that when saddle fitting we are primarily looking at only the area where the bars of the saddle will go, which is about 8 inches down from the spine on either side. This is how a horse that doesn't look very wide can end up in an extra wide, or a rounder horse with a defined wither can end up in a regular.

              It's not possible to do a truly quality saddle fitting from pictures or descriptions, so to anyone that is having saddle fit difficulties, my first recommendation would always be to look for a dealer near you who offers saddle fittings, or an event that we're doing for saddle fitting. If that isn't going to work, we have a place on our website with instructions on sending tracings in - it's completely free and we can recommend from any of our four brands, or we can let you know if we don't think that we have a good fit (extremely rare, but nothing is impossible). You can find more information on how to take and send the tracings here:


              • #8
                I think what I'm really asking is how does Ralide compare to a regular tree? What benefits does it offer besides being one molded piece?
                Last edited by sorrelfilly721; Oct. 4, 2018, 03:43 PM. Reason: Clarity
                Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse!
                Anonymous Bedouin legend


                • Original Poster

                  Our Circle Y trees have 60 years of saddle making going into making sure that the trees provide the best fit for the most horses possible. We get to use all kinds of great, innovative technology to continually improve our trees. We've been able to make them stronger, more consistent, and significantly more comfortable over the years. Here is a video on our trees:

                  Ralide trees are great because they are injection molded as one piece, making them very strong and durable - it is very difficult for a Ralide tree to break. They are also very, very consistent because of the injection molding. There is little to no chance for error, and they help keep High Horse saddles more budget friendly.


                  • #10
                    I currently ride in Martin Ranch Cutter saddles. I have looked at Circle Y trail saddles, due to the fact I am a trail rider, and in as much as I love my Martins, they are heavy.

                    What saddle would you recommend for a rider that HATES a chair seat and HATES a deep pocket? I want my legs underneath me and to feel like I can move around in the saddle without being stuck in a pocket. MY Ranch Cutters have very flat seats. Oh, and something that weighs less than 30 lbs. Cost is not a problem.

                    Timely thread as I was just looking at Circle Y's website yesterday.
                    Last edited by cutter99; Oct. 5, 2018, 03:58 PM.
                    "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


                    • Original Poster

                      Cutter69: We would recommend a Julie Goodnight saddle. Her saddles are very well known for helping riders keep a correct, balanced seat, she focuses on it in her riding and emphasized that with her saddles. All of the weights for her saddles and more information on them can be found here:

                      That said, any of our trail saddles will allow you to sit in a correct seat that is comfortable to you, I would just recommend that you look not look at the Alpine or Blackfoot, those have a higher 5" cantle than most of the others which I do not think is something that you would enjoy.
                      Last edited by CircleY-Tucker-Reinsman-HighHorse; Oct. 8, 2018, 09:27 AM.


                      • #12
                        I own both a Circle Y and Tucker saddles. Both are trail models. I love the Tucker and tolerate the Circle Y. The Tucker was manufactured prior to Circle Y obtaining the brand. I would like to purchase another Tucker but I am reluctant to do so because I am afraid they may now be different from what they were before. Has the Tucker saddles changed ( other than outside style) from what it used to be?

                        the things I love on the on the tucker:
                        the seat- cushy for long trail rides, but not restrictive
                        the leather- buttery soft and easy to maintain that way
                        the fenders are soft, does not rub hard on leg and stirrups are not rigid or need to be turned
                        and I love the felt flocking underneath.
                        brass trim ( easy to polish)


                        • Original Poster

                          That's great to hear! We're sorry you're not liking the Circle Y as much though!

                          The person who owned Tucker is now over all of our brands in Yoakum. While we've worked to keep the same or higher quality in our saddles, in doing so we have made improvements to all of the brands and we continually work on making our saddles the best they can be.

                          Because you are still loving your Tucker saddle, we would have to recommend looking for a Tucker dealer near you so you can see our new saddles in person. That way you can see in person the changes and improvements that have been made. Tuckers were the original trail saddles, a huge focus for us is functionality, and comfort on the trail, and improvements that actually matter to our riders.

                          To address the main concerns: We still have the Gel-Cush padding in all of our seats, and use top quality leather (the Horizon series even has English Bridle leather). All of our fenders on all of our saddles are now preturned, which helps keep your ankles more comfortable during long trail rides, especially with the EBS cones that keep your foot level. The felt is still there, the Horizon series even has added padding along the bars, under the felt, for extra comfort. Tucker still offer choice for hardware, including brass on most saddles.

                          We also have people consistently testing our saddles. Gillian Larson was able to ride from Mexico to Canada recently with one of our saddles. If you haven't had a chance to see her journey we would definitely recommend checking it out! You can learn about Gillian here:


                          • #14
                            Here's a question. Why did Circle Y change from an "all-leather" stirrup leather to a "half leather - half nylon" sewn together?

                            I have an older Circle Y that I bought in 2003. Since then, I've bought a Lisa Lockhart Flex2 wide in 2014 and just recently bought a Badlands Flex2 regular a few months ago.

                            The leather quality on my 2003 Circle Y is well above the new saddles. And I only paid around $700 for that one. Both of my newer ones, I paid much more than $2000 for lesser quality leather, and some of the leather being replaced with nylon. (I had also purchased a Circle Y Silesia XP last fall, which turned out to not fit my horse, although the leather is outstanding on that.)

                            I understand things change over time, and even though I absolutely love the fit for both the horse and myself on the Flex2 barrel saddles, I am very disappointed with the stirrup leathers. After less than 2 months use on 2 horses, there is already a tear developing in the nylon of one of the stirrup leathesr (where is passes over and hangs from the tree). Of course, the leather is fine, but it does bother me about the nylon.

                            I had the same problem with my 2014 saddle. I applied some "No Fray" to it to stop it from tearing which has seemed to keep it in check, and I have done the same with my new saddle .... but I shouldn't have to do that.

                            Okay, my question turned into a complaint and I apologize for that. But I wish they would stay with an all-leather stirrup leather.
                            It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


                            • #15
                              I recently bought a High Horse saddle on the recommendation of a friend who owns a tack store. I seldom ride anymore, had sold my tack, but decided I wanted to ride a little. Have to say I am pleased with the saddle so far. The seat felt broken in immediately. Still working on turning the stirrups, but that's a given with any saddle.


                              • Original Poster

                                beau159: Good question! We definitely don't want you to have a bad experience with the stirrup leathers, if anything like that happens you can contact our customer service team (800-531-3600) and we would be more than happy to take a look at your stirrup leathers to see what we can do - they can be replaced under warranty in some circumstances or by purchase through our dealers. In special circumstances, we can work with you on a custom design to address any problem you may be having.

                                As far as why the stirrup leathers aren't fully leather on the Flex2, there are several reasons. First, fit and comfort. Your stirrup leathers wrap around the bars of the saddle, which have a groove on a wood tree so they can lay flat to avoid causing problems for you and your horse. On the Flex2 tree this is not an option, the leather would cause a noticeable bump for you and your horse - the stirrup leathers have to be thin and flexible to lay flat. Second, weight. Our Flex2 saddles are built to be lightweight for long trails and your comfort, and the Flex2 stirrup leathers are lighter as a hybrid. Third, flexibility for you. The Flex2 stirrup leathers are much more flexible than leather, making it easier on the joints and more comfortable for long trail rides. This also allows for more swing, which a lot of barrel racers like, and it's great for trails with varied terrain, like steep ascents and descents.

                                We have rigorously tested this design, so if you are experiencing excessive wear we definitely want to hear about it so we can work with you to find a solution for your saddle.

                                Sorry that you aren't liking the new saddles as much as the older ones! Has the leather on the new saddles broken in at all since you got them? A lot of times when compared to older saddles that can cause a difference, because the new saddles haven't had time to break down and settle (we do offer Softee leather on some saddles to help with this). We strive to use top quality leathers that will last for a very long time, and because of this our saddles can take a few rides to break in, much like the older ones would have needed.

                                donkaloosa: That is great to hear! You can also join I Ride Circle Y with that saddle here: Any Circle Y or High Horse saddle of any age qualifies you to join I Ride Circle Y! We love to see posts in our I Ride Facebook group, we've got a great group of people in there and would love to have you join!


                                • #17
                                  I'm 100% English. Eventing and Dressage.
                                  But I saw the title and wanted to drop in to say that the only western saddle I have ever been cozy in, is the Circle Y Equitation saddle.
                                  It's AH-Mazing.
                                  Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thanks purplnurpl! We really appreciate that!


                                    • #19
                                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                                      • #20
                                        "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White