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Going Western...saddle recs?

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  • Going Western...saddle recs?

    I've been toying with the idea of doing more western riding with my QH gelding. I think we could do well on the local western pleasure circuit as he naturally has a slower jog and keeps his head level with his topline. We do a lot of trail riding (english) currently, and have done some eventing and h/j type stuff in the past, but due to some soundness issues, I'd prefer to limit jumping with him for a while, until I can get his "issues" sorted out. He is sound currently, but is also in light work only.

    So I've been looking at western saddles, and I can't tell what is quality and what isn't. I'm looking for a lighter weight saddle, full QH bars, and preferably leather, although I'm completely open to synthetic options, as I realize these saddles are much lighter. I'm seriously limited as to what I can see in person, I live in an area where few tack shops carry western tack, and those that do only take western saddles on consignment, which really limits me. I don't have a price limit set yet, but I would prefer to keep it under a thousand.

    Anyone care to help?
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

  • #2
    I'm a pretty big fan of my Circle Y equitation/show saddle... I use it for everything from trail riding, to ring work to a little gymkhana stuff and even at the local open shows when I get the bug to show my TB mare western pleasure. Durable AND super comfy. I have the one with the full QH bars. As western saddles go, this version is pretty much the lightest one in the barn that isn't a synthetic.

    This is pretty much the exact saddle I have.

    The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....


    • #3
      Circle Y puts out a saddle that is leather and synthetic. It is called High Horse. It is quite pretty and I think runs around 6 or 7 hundred. Ricks Heritage (NJ store)also has a few saddles in their shop and they are good to deal with. they have a nice looking Simco for 350. I bought a used Thorowgood from the PA store and they had it down as very good condition. It looked brand new. couldn't find a mark on it Abetta makes a pretty nice all synthetic saddle also.


      • #4
        Rocking R from Ider, AL
        Continental from Ider, AL
        Circle Y

        are all good brands. Just to do local stuff where silver won't matter (for under 1K you can't get good silver anyway, no way) I cannot say enough about Rocking R. They are a small company producing a small # of saddles here in the US- all 100% US made. I own three of them and I've ridden 8 million miles in 16 million saddles


        is there any way you can go to Columbus OH during Congress? Everything under the sun under one zip code.


        • Original Poster

          I'd love to go to congress but there is no way I'd be able to get there unfortunately.

          I'll look into Circle Y and Rocking R. Thanks!
          come what may

          Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


          • #6
            Rocking R are usually at least $800. I havent seen any good used for less. They seem to be a bit heavy but are amazing.

            Be sure to test saddles first. Like english there is no standard fqhb size.

            Bucks County Saddlery (They have alot although I couldn't find what I wanted there. I was picky. They have great customer service, but most of the used saddles are not FQHB.)
            KT Saddlery- they had a rocking r roping for $875? Kim may still have it.


            • #7
              and don't forget... you aren't that far from Chick's Saddlery down in Harrington. I seem to remember them having a pretty big store...
              The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....


              • #8
                Originally posted by SonnyandLacy View Post
                Rocking R are usually at least $800. I havent seen any good used for less. They seem to be a bit heavy but are amazing.

                Be sure to test saddles first. Like english there is no standard fqhb size.

                Bucks County Saddlery (They have alot although I couldn't find what I wanted there. I was picky. They have great customer service, but most of the used saddles are not FQHB.)
                KT Saddlery- they had a rocking r roping for $875? Kim may still have it.
                I have three Rocking Rs, two custom, one off the shelf. None will ever be for sale. I toured their facility with Randall Black, son of the founder. Randall fitted my two customs for my QH and my TWH. Just a good, honest, real deal horseman. His death at a young age was a great loss.

                Chip's Lady Trail saddle. Heavy, but OMG comfy.


                • #9
                  Here's another link to horse saddle shop: http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/saddlefit.

                  There is a page that tells how to see if a saddle is quality or not. Lots of pages on saddle fit, differences of saddles, and anything else you can think of about saddles. You can email them and they will recommend a saddle for you. Lots of good info.


                  • #10
                    Hi there! I highly recommend a Hubers training saddle. I ordered one in late August, and am loving it! It required absolutely no breaking in, and is one of the most comfortable saddles I've ever sat in, I just can't say enough good things about it. Mr. Huber was great to deal with, they don't have a website but if you google Hubers Custom Tack, you should be able to find their email address and phone number. I almost forgot to mention, it was $850 brand new. Have fun saddle shopping!

                    Another thing I almost forgot to mention, is that my saddle is super, super light. Which I am very thankful for, as my gelding grew much taller than I thought he would


                    • #11
                      If you don't care about silver/bling, I've heard nothing but good things about the RS Training Saddles. Run between $750-800 new and you don't find them used very often as people don't tend to sell them.

                      It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks everyone.

                        I actually found an older, used Circle Y saddle on Craigslist. I'm hopefully going to be picking it up and trying it on my gelding this weekend!

                        I'm pretty concerned the seat may be too small for me, as it is only 14", but the price is right so I figured it was worth a shot.

                        I'll probably be posting photos on here asking how it looks on him.
                        come what may

                        Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013