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H/J Rider Needs Help With Western Saddles!

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  • H/J Rider Needs Help With Western Saddles!

    So I'm looking to buy a cheap-ish used western saddle to trail ride in now that I'm living in the rockies! I don't really feel comfortable riding in my Antares out there

    I've found out that I need a 15" with semi QH bars to fit a 16.2 WB with high withers (wears a medium wide tree in english). What I don't know are what brands to look for and what to avoid. I would prefer leather to synthetic if possible. I've trail ridden in Abetta and Wintecs and I HATE them.

    Can anyone offer help? And point me in the right direction as far as where to looks???

    TIA!
    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate
    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

  • #2
    I'd look for a used Circle Y (older), Billy Cook (Sulfur, OK stamp only), or Crates. All have good options in SQH trees (may not actually need it depending on tree shape), will last for a long time, and can usually be found used for $500-$800.

    Comment


    • #3
      Try http://www.tacktrader.com and check out their ranch or all around type saddles. I bought a LOVELY used Tex Tan Hereford saddle on there last winter for $375.00 that was in excellent condition.

      You definitely have to know what tree width you need and the size seat. It helps if you can get to a tack shop and sit in a few different brands before you go used saddle shopping.
      Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a Western Rawhide saddle. Made in Manitoba. Western saddles come with different "rigging", which is where the girth is attached to the tree. Many western saddles are "front rigged". This leaves the back part of the saddle kind of flapping, and sets the saddle back some. Front rigged saddles require a back cinch. If you mostly ride english, the western saddle that will set you in a similar spot as the english one does is "3/4 rigged", and does not need a back cinch to hold the back part down. If you are roping, you need the two cinches, front and back. If you are trail riding, a 3/4 rigged saddle is better suited. For one thing, the lack of a back cinch is safer, less to get branches etc tangled in.

        Western Rawhide saddles tend to be light, much easier to handle to get onto a big horse than some 50 pounder massive saddle. They tend to fit non QHs with higher withers. They are cheap to buy, because they are not fancy show saddles.
        www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Like you, I also need a trail saddle now so I'll be looking into another Aussie saddle soon, me thinks. I had one I loved (personally, I find them more comfortable than a western saddle) but it just didn't fit my mare.

          This was us at Bobcat Ridge over Easter. At least I got a nifty pocket pad that allowed me to bring along a camera and water. No d-rings on the jumping saddle, alas.
          Dreaming in Color

          Comment


          • #6
            I prefer a higher cantle on my western saddles for trail riding- it supports your lower back better. A low, forward sloping horn is nice, too.

            Crates
            Big Horn
            Rocking R (out of Ider, AL- there are a few Rocking Rs)
            older Simco
            older TexTan


            I would be that in general SQH bars will do, maybe need a shim pad to totally line it out but I'd try it.

            Brands I avoid:

            Dakota
            Americal Royal
            American

            If the new, list price on a saddle is less than 1K, you can 100% bet it's cheap junk. So keep that in mind in your search for a cheapish saddle.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks guys!!

              Drmgncolor- We need to go trail riding together! This was me up at Red Feather Lakes (NW of FOCO) last week. I borrowed my BM's barrel saddle and loved it!
              http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot...36716373_n.jpg
              Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
              My equine soulmate
              Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

              Comment


              • #8
                Yesss, we should meet up sometime. Our barn (I moved to a H/J facility in Firestone last month) was heading down to Garden of the Gods, near Colorado Springs, but that was a bust since it is so far. Bobcat Ridge is just west of Loveland.
                Dreaming in Color

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would look for a used Tucker saddle, either a western or endurance model. http://www.tuckersaddles.com/

                  The tricky thing will be finding a saddle that is wide enough but the gullet is high enough at the pommel to clear the withers. I have seen several Thoroughbreds and Appendix Quarter Horses over the years that have permanent scars on their withers from being ridden in poorly fitting saddles.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Tacktrader.com has some excellent deals and ebay if you look at used saddles. You're right to steer clear of synthetic western saddles. For what you'd pay for one, you can get a nice western used. I'd check with some local horsemen/women if you're saddle shopping. I bought my Western Rawhide for $500 as it was just sitting in a tackroom at a local trainers. Plus you can try the saddle on your horse and figure out what you need. I also like Silver Supremes, Bob Marshalls, and Reinsman brands.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Outfxed View Post
                      Try http://www.tacktrader.com and check out their ranch or all around type saddles. I bought a LOVELY used Tex Tan Hereford saddle on there last winter for $375.00 that was in excellent condition.

                      You definitely have to know what tree width you need and the size seat. It helps if you can get to a tack shop and sit in a few different brands before you go used saddle shopping.
                      I'll second the Tex Tan Hereford and agree with knowing what tree width you need when you go shopping. Measurements differ from manufacturer to manufacturer (full qh bars vs. semi, etc.)
                      http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                      "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Do I have this right - quarter horse bars are for wider horses, semi- for those not so wide?

                        And any other categories of widths?

                        I love Wintecs. I think the Wintec western is like 18 - 20 lbs. Some of those western sadddles are so darn heavy.

                        Anyone know how much a Tex Tan Hereford weighs?

                        (Apologies for jumping in.)

                        Thanks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sonomacounty View Post
                          Do I have this right - quarter horse bars are for wider horses, semi- for those not so wide?
                          Generally true - but some semis are pretty wide.
                          Originally posted by sonomacounty View Post
                          And any other categories of widths?
                          Not that I know of . . .

                          Originally posted by sonomacounty View Post
                          I love Wintecs. I think the Wintec western is like 18 - 20 lbs. Some of those western sadddles are so darn heavy.

                          Anyone know how much a Tex Tan Hereford weighs?
                          Haven't weighed mine (I really don't want to know!) But, I'd say at least 25 lbs.

                          I have bought and ridden in the synthetics - I always go back to leather . . .
                          http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                          "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Western saddles also come with Arab Trees. A QH bars saddle doesn't fit my QH, but an Arab Tree does.

                            I also love my older Circle Y, and my older crates.
                            Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
                            Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks all. So Arab trees are considered wider than QH, or not usually?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by UrbanHennery View Post
                                I'd look for a used Circle Y (older), Billy Cook (Sulfur, OK stamp only), or Crates. All have good options in SQH trees (may not actually need it depending on tree shape), will last for a long time, and can usually be found used for $500-$800.
                                Wholeheartedly argee!

                                I'd also ad that if you can't find something that is specifically "trail" (Circle Y Park and Trail models are super comfy), look for an "equitation seat" they are designed to put you in a more neutral, correct position. Barrel racing and cutting saddles are designed to put you in a very forward position, which is great for what they're made for, but makes for a sore back on longer trail rides. Roping/ranch saddles are fairly neutral, too, but are pretty usually pretty heavy to withstand the forces of roping and dragging cattle.
                                It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
                                Theodore Roosevelt

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by sonomacounty View Post
                                  Thanks all. So Arab trees are considered wider than QH, or not usually?
                                  The main feature of Arab trees are they are shorter in length so they don't sit too far back on short backed horses. There are also gaited trees designed to give more freedom in the shoulders as many gaited horses need. This is a decent explanation http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/howshoulifit.html

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Is there any way you can haul your horse to a local tack shop and try on saddles in their parking lot? I have done that several times when saddle shopping and it makes the process so much easier. You don't have to guess, but can see for yourself how different brands fit.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by drmgncolor View Post
                                      Yesss, we should meet up sometime. Our barn (I moved to a H/J facility in Firestone last month) was heading down to Garden of the Gods, near Colorado Springs, but that was a bust since it is so far. Bobcat Ridge is just west of Loveland.
                                      I will PM you my phone number. I'm always looking for new friends to go riding with! My guy is still adjusting to CO so I can't do anything too crazy yet, but he's game.
                                      Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                                      My equine soulmate
                                      Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I bought a '84 model Simco for $37 off of eBay 3 years ago. Still going strong.

                                        I suggest eBay for this type of purchase. Mine was filthy, even had paint spattered on it, but it cleaned up as I knew it would.

                                        Comment

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