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Thinking about getting a western saddle but... Pics added post 29

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  • Thinking about getting a western saddle but... Pics added post 29

    For the past 5 years Ive been riding English, watched videos etc to work on English riding, books, posted video, and started lessons in dressage. I sold 2 of my saddles when I had the room mate drama to make up for a small amount of money they put us in the hole in. I decided to sell those because of that mainly and because I didn't like the Wintec and the Kieffer no longer fit my ponies. When I got some of that fat off Spring the saddle just didn't fit any more. Actually it was bearing down on his withers. Ive got Poco down to a better weight too with the same fitting result.

    So that put me down to 2 saddles. One is my other Kieffer which actually does well with all of my ponies and an endurance style Abetta saddle which is ok on Poco and Spring but not Red. I am planning on selling Red but I would still like a better quality saddle than that Abetta. But I don't know anything about western saddles any more. I started riding western at first but that was years ago before I even started on horse boards and I didn't know anything about bars, panels, or seat size, it was a throw the saddle on and go type dealio. And when I did start my horsey education it was started in English. So needless to say I dont know much at all about western saddles and whats quality.

    I know the English brands to look for (Kieffer, Courbette, Colligiate, Crosby, Stubben, etc) But Western? Color me blind! I want a western saddle to ride in if I chose to or to have people who arent used to English to ride in if they come over. I did get a bit tired of family coming over seeing my Kieffer and going "How do you expect me stay on that?!"

    I'm looking into getting a "new to me" saddle in the near future, and if possible can you guys help me pick out a good old used one? *cough*edumacate me*cough*
    Last edited by Kitari; Dec. 15, 2011, 06:18 PM.
    Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
    I am pro-Slaughter

  • #2
    Western saddles come in different types of trees, so you need to check what your horse's back need in term of the fork, gullet and panels.

    Western saddles aren't measure the same ways as english saddles. I have a 17''5 dressage saddle, a 17'' jumping saddle and I ride better in a 14''5 -15'' western saddle (depending on the model)

    Western saddles come in different types for different disciplines/needs.
    Barrel racing, cutting, reining, pleasure, roping.... The height and angle of the horn, cantle, pommel will differ. The shape of the skirt can also be different and you could have or not a flank strap.

    When looking at used saddles, make sure the panels and the leather are in good shape and that the horn is covered and not dangerous.

    And make sure to get your horse used to it! It does make a difference in weight and with the big fenders/stirrups!

    ETA : Billy Cook and Circle Y are good brands.
    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

    Originally posted by LauraKY
    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
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    • Original Poster

      #3
      I believe the abetta is a 15 Its a titch small for me (actually I got fat so it is small, so I'm thinking I need a 16-16.5 I currently use a 18" in my Kieffer dressage saddle.

      It will be used for trail riding mainly, so I dont need a show saddle. But at the same time I dont know the different styles either.

      As far as the horses being used to it. Poco has worn a western before for sure (backyard barrel raced and trained) Red and Spring have both had at least my abetta on BUT its synthetic (I dont want to buy another synthetic one) so its much lighter in weight etc.
      Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
      I am pro-Slaughter

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      • #4
        Billy Cook and Circle Y are great. For trail riding, many people enjoy Tuckers, but they are on the expensive side. I have a Corriente Association saddle that I love, but it weighs approx 40 lbs, so you should definitely calculate weight into the equation when you are looking at saddles.

        For trail riding, I would recommend a roping, reining, ranch, or otherwise "working" saddle, as well as a trail saddle of course. They are usually the most comfortable for long rides.
        Southern Cross Guest Ranch
        An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Whats the difference between quarter bars, half bars, and full bars? I'm used to narrow, medium, medium wide, etc and I need a medium, so how does that translate to the bars for western. I'm wanting about 5-5.5" gullet but i dont know how that translates either. English rear panel wise I like the flatter panels for my ponies but then again how does that translate?

          Haha, I sound so frigging ignorant.
          Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
          I am pro-Slaughter

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          • #6
            I have a Circle Y trail saddle that I really like. (I refuse to take my Albion out on the trail.) It has the flex tree and soft leather which doesn't need breaking in. It weighs around 23 pounds so it's easy to get on and off. A nice saddle that is very comfortable.

            Comment


            • #7
              IIRC, semi-quarter bars are 6", full quarter are 7". Lucky (a TB, who isn't a shark-fin wither but who does take a M/Narrow tree in a PDN) needs some padding to be fitted by semi-quarter bars. It can be VERY hard to find a brand-new Western saddle that fits a thinner-backed horse.
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              • #8
                I bought an older leather Big Horn off CL and took a wire form with me that we'd bent to fit the pony's withers. The seller was clueless regarding bars too.
                I'd had a very old Mexican saddle, that would by now really be better off on the wall in Cracker Barrel, that was actually too narrow for him and needed something that came close to fitting. I learned the same way OP did, throw it on and go, and use a thick saddle pad, but that doesn't work so great for the comfort and cooperation of the horse. Much better to try to get something that fits.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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                • #9
                  I think you are confusing quarter bars and full bars. It is really "full quarter horse bars." If you have a typical horse built like a quarter horse, full will probably be best. If you have a gaited breed or more narrow horse, semi would probably be better.
                  Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                  An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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                  • #10
                    I'd also strongly recommend only buying where you can take the saddle on trial. Even if you can sit in it sans horse and it doesn't put you in a chair seat (many lower-end saddles are poorly balanced), it may sit differently on your horse. And, of course, you'll want to ensure the saddle + appropriate pad will be comfortable for the horse. It's not uncommon for a western saddle to shift or 'settle' a bit as you ride in it, so a saddle that looked okay at first glance might not work out for you.


                    Also, in addition to others' advice, check the leather around the stirrup holes for wear or cracking, check the tightness and condition of the girth rings and rigging, and make sure the tree is solid and in good shape. Dry rot isn't uncommon in older, less-expensive Western saddles.
                    ---------------------------

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                    • #11
                      In the world of western saddles, Billy Cook and Circle Y are on the lower end. I own a Piland and wouldn't sell it for anything. I also like Pards, Bobs, Dale Martin, Harris, Blue Ribbon, and Coates saddles. A barrel saddle will sit you WAY differently than a reining saddle, which is still different from a cutting saddle. You really need to be able to sit in several different saddles to see what works best for you and the type of riding you will be doing.
                      Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

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                      • #12
                        I ride primarily English but I like to trail/pleasure ride in a western saddle. I've been through a lot of saddles trying to figure out what I like. My favorite western saddles to ride in are the wade trees. They don't give me 'chair seat' like most western saddles. I love the McCall Lady Wade. I don't have one, but I love them. I love the hard seat in a wade saddle. The padded seats in a lot of western trail saddles are uncomfortable after a couple of hours. I like the close contact of the roping saddles but I hate how restricted the leg movement is. It's great for roping, not so great for other things. The best thing you can do is ride in as many different saddles you can before you buy. I went through lots of used saddles (and lost money with the constant buying/selling) trying to find what I wanted and what fit my horse well. My horse is very hard to fit in a western saddle because of his huge shoulders and flat back. I ended up with a circle y, simply because it fits him well. I don't particularly love it, but it's comfortable enough. I just have to watch myself for chair seat!

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                        • #13
                          Also, wanted to add that I absolutely love the older Tex Tan hereford saddles. If you can find one of those, give it a try!

                          And for comfort, I love a Reinsman.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post
                            In the world of western saddles, Billy Cook and Circle Y are on the lower end. I own a Piland and wouldn't sell it for anything. I also like Pards, Bobs, Dale Martin, Harris, Blue Ribbon, and Coates saddles.
                            Billy Cook and Circle Y might be at the lower end but, considering the english brands stated in the OP, I think they are more in the same categorie than those you stated.

                            Unless she can find a used Harris saddle for her trail riding and to be a 'familly/friend' saddle for less than 2k, she'd be lucky!!!
                            ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                            Originally posted by LauraKY
                            I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                            HORSING mobile training app

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                            • #15
                              I have my mom's 40yr old Circle Y and it is the most comfortable, best fitting (people and horses) saddle that I have ever sat in, english or western.

                              From what I hear the new Circle Y's just aren't made like they used to be (foam flocking instead of fleece, etc), but not much is anymore unless you go custom. A good friend of mine is a leatherworker & has made some western saddles and he agrees that Circle Y's just aren't that great anymore.

                              I'm not sure what other brands are good in western saddles, b/c I've just always used Mom's, but the other western saddle I used the most was a good friend's roping saddle. If I buy my own western saddle, it'll be a roping saddle. I like the flatter seat and bigger horn, it's also pretty light but that could just be that particular saddle.

                              You really need to go by what everyone else has said and sit in as many as you can because they all will put you in a different position. If you just want it for trail, I would go with a pleasure, or roping saddle.
                              Friend of bar.ka!
                              Originally posted by MHM
                              GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
                              "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."

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                              • #16
                                You may not like a horn. You may not like the way it sits with your seat. You may not like the way it fits your horse. You may not like the way you can't feel your horse. Depends on the saddle of course. You may not like how heavy it is to lift. You may not like the girthing (cinching) options.

                                And I have done western. But have ridden english for a really long long time.

                                I hate horns, also the pommel of a western OR endurance.

                                Yes, test trial. Do a white towel test too.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post
                                  In the world of western saddles, Billy Cook and Circle Y are on the lower end. I own a Piland and wouldn't sell it for anything. I also like Pards, Bobs, Dale Martin, Harris, Blue Ribbon, and Coates saddles. A barrel saddle will sit you WAY differently than a reining saddle, which is still different from a cutting saddle. You really need to be able to sit in several different saddles to see what works best for you and the type of riding you will be doing.
                                  Ditto..
                                  if you can find an OLDER Circle Y or Billy Cook..you'll be great..but the newer ones are not well made...IMO

                                  as Bugsy said..the different saddles will put you in different positions...I like reining and ranch cutters for comfortable-ness..personally.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Here's a link that I love. They have new and used western saddles. There is even an area to help you with saddle fit and how to measure the saddle to fit you and the horse. I love my Park and Trail saddle by Circle Y. They are by no means on the low end of spectrum. But they are also not the top. You get what you pay for. Stay away from King Series, Abetta, Royal King, they are on the cheaper side and not my favorite.


                                    http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/weste...dle-guide.html
                                    R.I.P Vanny 26 yr QH Stallion 4/11/82 - 5/8/08, Scout 28 yr Paint Cross Gelding, Glistening 11 yr Arab/Saddlebred Mare

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by spinandslide View Post
                                      I like reining and ranch cutters for comfortable-ness..personally.
                                      Me too. And my sister's late 60s 'Cutter Bill' cutting saddle.

                                      I do have a 1965 vintage Tex Tan Hereford Brand- $150 price tag new and never pretended to be a de luxe saddle by any means, but still, pretty comfy, a light saddle, and it hasn't fallen apart yet! Sadly does not fit either of the current beasts and actually I just got it back last week after loaning to a friend for his wife for a few months. I have over the years used it mainly to start young horses.

                                      My current western saddles are a McCall and a custom saddle made here in Utah (the latter, customized and all, being very, very nice and comfortable and $1200 less than the McCall 'off the shelf' cost).

                                      As for seat size/fit on a western seat: It is the 'right size' for you if you can comfortably lay a couple of fingers between your thigh and the swell.

                                      If you happen to come across an old Ryon saddle, buy it. If it doesn't suit, I'll take it off your hands.

                                      I'm not a fan of the Tucker saddles myself, and don't think the quality matches the price tag. I do like the Courts and Crates saddles I have sat in at the store.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Yea I'm not looking to spend $$$$$ on this saddle. I really just want an older much loved saddle. The two Kieffers I had gotten for instance, neither are made any more. The one I sold was a Kieffer Rhein AT FS, and I forgot the make of my other one, but it is that Kieffer dressage saddle that has the short billets. Lesson lady said that the saddle itself does not help me with my position, not that it hinders me just that it will not make my position for me. I don't know if that helps identify it at all but yea.

                                        I definitely do not need a top of the line saddle for my needs. I definitely do not want a low end saddle either. I am perfectly willing to wait weeks stalking Ebay or the consignment place looking for the type I like in the price range I'm happy with. I know the saddles I listed in my OP arent high end or anything, (but to me they kind of are) they are really just nice midline saddles.

                                        I don't care about the horn. I know there are different types and just like with the different English saddles they sit differently. I did lie in my op, I do have this cheap ass "Euro" ap saddle tossed in the back of the "barn" something about that saddle causes me pain in the neither regions and its just horrible.

                                        I do have family I'm going to visit for Christmas (The one I got Red from) I will take pictures of the saddles she has so you can see the type I'm used to riding in.
                                        Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
                                        I am pro-Slaughter

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