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Recommendations for Western Trail Saddle for 14.2 Short Backed QH - New ? - Can I Cut Off the Back Skirt?

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  • Recommendations for Western Trail Saddle for 14.2 Short Backed QH - New ? - Can I Cut Off the Back Skirt?

    My QH is technically a pony and is extremely short coupled. Do I have to go to a treeless western saddle or are there any good pony saddles for adults? Thanks!
    Last edited by ytr45; Nov. 6, 2019, 09:26 AM.

  • #2
    That is not a pony, but standard quarter horse size for old type quarter horses and for many of today's performance types like cutters, etc.

    A western pony saddle is generally one for small kids and so have small seat sizes.
    What are you doing with your horse, what kind of riding is that for?

    Many working type saddles have cut back, rounded squirts that will fit short backed horses better than larger ones.

    As always, you really are better off with an older good quality saddle than one of the newer, cheaper not that good ones you can find in so many places.

    Used saddles can be found in feed stores that carry some tack, in tack stores, on the internet and in horse sales.
    Or a good saddler can make one for you that will fit your horse and it's rider.

    Don't know where you are, so hard to say where you can go find one locally.


    • #3
      If you are a smaller person, a youth saddle could be a good choice. Seat in the 14 to 14 1/2 inch seat size. There are quite a few around used. With a short coupled horse skirt length can be critical, so no corners dig into him on turns. Rounded skirts like Arabian saddles and Barrel Racers use are an option to look at.

      I would go to a tack store, try on some saddles, measure square skirts (front corner to rear corner) to know how short the length needs to be. Might help you learn what gullet width he takes as well. All square skirts are not the same measurement. I have passed up some nice saddle that had skirts too long , poked the horse in the side in a tight turn. You also need to sit comfortably on that saddle, so both of you are happy.

      I have big, short-coupled horses, so I know how fitting a saddle well makes a difference! Took me a while but we located a couple the horses and I both like. Don't settle for almost right, keep looking to find "just right!"


      • #4
        Originally posted by ytr45 View Post
        My QH is technically a pony and is extremely short coupled. Do I have to go to a treeless western saddle or are there any good pony saddles for adults? Thanks!
        There are plenty of small reiners and cutters out there, around 14 hands, that are ridden in normal reining and cutting saddles. Yes, if he has a short back you'll need to take that into consideration but I am sure a true "pony" tree would not fit a full-sized quarter horse. Besides, you aren't going to find a pony saddle with an adult seat size.

        You might want to look at saddles that have a rounded skirt on the saddle, which typically helps for short-backed horses. Barrel racing saddles have this, as well as some trail saddles. So depends what kind of riding you plan to do with this horse.
        It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


        • #5
          The size seat you're looking for will matter a bit too. Obviously, a 17" seat saddle will be longer than a 15" saddle. The cantle has to be placed a certain distance ahead of the end of the bars to distribute the weight or it will dig into the horse's back. Although I figure you must be a small person if you're thinking you can ride a pony saddle?

          You can buy an Arabian style saddle in a QH fit, with the round skirts and a tree that's as short as is feasible. You can also look at barrel saddles, like someone else said. My most heavily used saddle is a moderately higher end barrel saddle, it fits me well and is comfortable for several hours of riding.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bluey View Post
            That is not a pony, but standard quarter horse size for old type quarter horses and for many of today's performance types like cutters, etc.

            agree as we have old style Morgans who most people assume are descendants of King Ranch Quarter horses (but that is the other way around as the King Ranch once had one of the largest herds of Morgans in the country ...back before the QH registry was started in 1941) , these horses are smaller stocky horses (really easy to get on/off and powerful)

            OP needs to look at saddles for Arabian or Morgans..but expect they would not find any saddles marketed toward the Morgans, ...

            Or a good saddler can make one for you that will fit your horse and it's rider.
            which is what we had to do for one horse as she was a hard fit


            • #7
              I have a 14'1 fjord (not too short coupled for a fjord, but because "fjord", short enough) and I use the Circle Y Sheridan trail saddle, it has a small profile rounded skirt and is also very comfortable.

              Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


              • #8
                I looked at the circle y saddle recommended by DMK:
                Can I just get a saddle-repairer to cut off the skirt of my wintec synthetic western saddle? If the skirt is removed, it would look just like the circle Y, correct?