• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Western saddle suggestions/where to start?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Western saddle suggestions/where to start?

    I'm interested in purchasing a western saddle for general riding at home. I'm an eventer and have never ridden in a western saddle in my life, so I have no clue where to start! I'm not looking to do any type of specific event like reining or barrel racing, but may be interesting in learning in the future.

    Any advice on what type of saddle might be best? Or any sites with good information to learn about the different types of western saddles, fit, etc? I do have a bit of a hindrance as I would like a saddle to also fit my petite TB pony with a very short back. A friend of mine who dabbles in some western sports suggested a barrel saddle since they are generally smaller and lighter.

    Thanks in advance!!
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

  • #2
    Here is a great site with many brands (including some certified used saddles) for sale: http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/

    They also have some useful information about western saddles on their site.

    Personally, I do NOT like synthetic saddles; I don't think they are comfortable, and they seem not to hold structure well and cause pressure points especially in the front.

    For leather saddles, if you want bang for your buck, get a brand name quality saddle (I dont' mean spend thousands, but don't get some western saddle that you can't verify somewhere on the saddle what brand it is, that's usually how the cheap ones are...no name anywhere).

    For a thinner TB, you're probably looking at Semi-QH bars (comparable to probably a narrow/medium tree on an english saddle). And yes, barrel saddles are shorter typically, and would fit a shorter backed horse better. You can get them in round or square skirts, and usually even the square skirts are much shorter than say an equitation saddle.

    Saddles are like women's pants...no two fit the same, even though both may be "semi-QH bars" and 15 inch seat. They all fit differently. I have tried umpteen saddles on my QH gelding, and only one fits...my Dakota show saddle! I hate it, its not comfortable, the leather is like plastic (even though it was a $1200 saddle years ago), and i feel rediculous trail riding with so much bling, but it fits, so we use it! My Dakota barrel saddle is the same bar size (both are Full QH bars) but it doesn't fit him

    If possible, try the saddle on with someone who can help with proper fit.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

    Comment


    • #3
      I second the recommendation for horsesaddleshop's site. I also went from HJ to Western and have a mare with a short back (I am also petite and finding the right seat size was a challenge in addition to fitting the mare!). The information and help at that site was reallllly great...ended up purchasing a saddle from them and could not be happier.

      Definitely take your time in the fitting...it pays off!

      Comment


      • #4
        If you can find an older Circle Y, those things are worth their weight in gold

        I actually prefer a roping saddle even for everyday/trail riding. I find the flatter seat way more comfortable and the nice sturdy horn is great if you need to carry bags, etc.
        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."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
          Here is a great site with many brands (including some certified used saddles) for sale: http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/

          Saddles are like women's pants...no two fit the same, even though both may be "semi-QH bars" and 15 inch seat. They all fit differently. I have tried umpteen saddles on my QH gelding, and only one fits...my Dakota show saddle! I hate it, its not comfortable, the leather is like plastic (even though it was a $1200 saddle years ago), and i feel rediculous trail riding with so much bling, but it fits, so we use it! My Dakota barrel saddle is the same bar size (both are Full QH bars) but it doesn't fit him

          If possible, try the saddle on with someone who can help with proper fit.
          ^ This, totally. Agree about the website, very helpful. For really learning about a western saddle, I would also recommend this site: http://www.western-saddle-guide.com/ It covers parts of the saddle that you will find helpful-the style of swell you prefer, the rigging arrangements so when you do shop you really know what you are looking at. I would go to a tackshop or find a friend with a few saddles and try several to see if you have a preference!

          Could not agree more about no two saddles being alike, and the only way to really tell is to get it on the horse, and eventually sit in it. I have never bought a new western saddle, and this being Montana, I have had very good luck at......yard sales!! At the yard sales (gotten a Circle Y, and a Crates) they let me pay for the saddle, then take it home and try it, then bring it back or keep it. One way or the other, just can't know until it sits on them. I bought my barrel saddle from a woman who had a horse I looked at. Passed on the horse but told her if she couldn't get rid of the tack....

          Totally and completely agree that having someone with you who knows about western saddle fit is so helpful!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RxCate View Post
            If you can find an older Circle Y, .
            YES!! My most favorite saddle!!! Old, used, WONDERFUL!!

            Comment


            • #7
              I found the saddle I bought for my short-backed Morgan "pony" (14.1 3/4) mare on that site someone posted. It's very comfortable and fits her well (she is not your typical "robust" Morgan either) in the withers and back length. I 'm very happy with it and use it at home and will show in some local open shows with it as well.

              http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/reins...l-saddle1.html

              Comment


              • #8
                I prefer Wade type saddles. They tend to put your legs under you and not in front of you. They've traditionally been used by real working cowboys/cowgirls, but have gained huge popularity recently due to the Buck Brannaman film BUCK. A good one will set you back several thousand dollars, but you can find them used for slightly less. The better brands tend to hold their value well and resale is relatively easy. Brands I like; Frecker's, McCalls and my newest fascination Double H. Double H makes a "strip down" saddle that is basically just the tree and stirrups. You can get it customized any way you like with leather and tooling and fancy Monels. The fenders have a lot more freedom of movement and the saddle is in the neighborhood of 12 - 15 lbs. Kind of like a cowboy dressage saddle. You can even rope from them. They are highly regarded by the working cowboys I know and they are priced slightly less than some of the other big name saddles.

                Things to look for; pre-turned stirrup leathers (extremely important and all the good saddle makers do this), weight (most western saddles weigh in the range of 23 - 40 lbs(!), fit (you can get a wither tracing kit and send it to most saddle makers for an idea of what will fit your horse - just bear in mind that Western saddle fitting is quite a bit more general than English saddle fitting), rider fit (every saddle is different depending on type and manufacturer).

                If you opt for a Wade saddle, just know that they do not have "swells" around the horn. Some people like the swell fork saddles because they can be handy if things get a little "western". On a Wade saddle you can add bucking rolls which simulates a swell in front - although I doubt you'll want them coming from an eventing background. I'm a dressage rider and find the swells in front get in the way. All the leather on a western saddle is overwhelming to start with, so less is more for me. Some things I do like to have when I'm starting colts or riding rough horses are a Cheyenne roll of at least 1/2" (leather "roll" on cantle of the saddle) and a night latch (chicken handle).

                Hope this helps!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thank you all so much! This is all great info. I sent me specs to horsesaddleshop through their "Recommend A Saddle" link and they suggested that a size 15" with full QH bars would work best for me and my pony. The 15" seat size makes sense to me (I'm a slim 5'4" and take a 16.5" in close contact saddles and 17" in dressage), but the wide tree/full QH bars is a surprise! My pony is a true medium tree in all my english saddles, so I thought they would suggest semi-QH bars. Is it common for horses to differ in the tree size like that?

                  I have to admit, I've already fallen in love with Circle Y saddles through my browsing online. I guess my taste for quality tack transcends my english disciplines! Unfortunately, I'm having difficulty finding used saddles online that allow test rides. Are there other good quality brands I should add to my list to consider? I'd like to stay under $650 and go for a better quality used saddle. Billy Cook saddles look nice from my searches.
                  "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a wide backed QH and the full QH bars are a little too wide for him in the front/shoulder area (but if I get a narrow bar, they are too narrow further back...). I would be VERY surprised if your TB went with a Full QH Bar saddle. Possibly just QH bar?

                    Even by describing your horse to the company, they cannot tell you the saddle will fit. I mean it when I say I have tried at least 15 saddles on my gelding, all Full QH bars, some QH bars, and none of them have fit, in one area or all areas. Some you could tell didn't fit as soon as it landed on his back!

                    The best advice I can give is this...find someone who is knowledgeable in western saddle fit, and have them help you find one that fits. The best way to know is to try it on the horse.
                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Be careful with the quality of the Billy Cook...the old ones are nice quality, the new ones vary in quailty quite a bit.

                      Circle Y saddles, new and old, are good quality, but if you can find a good older saddle, the quality will probably be better.
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X