Making an english saddle comfortable! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 23 Old 05-29-2014, 09:32 PM
Yearling
 
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If you want to make your saddle work, a sheepskin for your seat and comfortable stirrups might just do the trick. BTW, nothing looks awkward in endurance, everything goes in mix'n match of riding tack/styles, as long as you and your horse are happy.
I use an AP arabian saddle company saddle. I added Cashel stirrup cushions (see pictures) and use a Toklat woolback pad. My mare hates synthetic pads. I've added D-rings to the saddle and voilą!

Saddle shopping is a whole different game. You can certainly find a deal (go on FB endurance tack swap page), you'll see tons of saddles for sale. Finding the right one can be a headache. I'd say, you'd better start with what you have and look and try other saddles at rides to see what fits you and your horse best.

Some treeless are both good quality and affordable. Barefoot Cheyenne Drytex comes to mind. You need an excellent (read: expensive) pad to protect your horse's back though. Wintec can also be a good choice. Aussie are often as heavy as western.

That's my saddle, you can see the stirrup cushions.
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post #12 of 23 Old 05-30-2014, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Location: Englewood, FL
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Your saddle looks very nice! I know your saddle is an AP and not a true CC but have you found you need to lower the irons more than say doing a jaunt around the arena? If so how has it affected your balance in the seat? It's still nice to see someone does it in a "true" English saddle and is comfortable!

I know I'm just being whiney but I wish it at least had knee rolls and a deeper seat! But not much to be done there. I guess I'll just have to learn to stick real well or bite the dust lol! I agree, saddle shopping is such an ordeal. I actually bought this saddle before I bought the horse, out of all the other saddles I tried on him it's fit is far superior.. Lucked out! I think I will start conditioning in it and depending how that goes invest in the comfort factor. At least for now, perhaps people will be kind enough at rides to let me trial different saddles!

Pssh... Who knows? I might even... Like it.
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post #13 of 23 Old 05-31-2014, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicodyssey View Post
I know it's a pretty broad question but are there any quality, inexpensive saddles that offer both comfort and support? By inexpensive I mean around $500. I wouldn't be opposed to a dressage, Aussie, cross over, western or treeless. Really anything other than what I have. Id also prefer synthetic as it tends to be cheaper and lightweight, also I live in Florida and it storms every day in the summer time.
Have you looked into Wintec saddles? There are several styles - dressage, AP, endurance... I have a Wintec Isabell dressage, which I prefer due to the extra narrow twist. I found it used on ebay for $250 shipped! I did have to look for a long time to find that good of a deal though. However, the other wintec models tend to be less expensive than the Isabell...
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post #14 of 23 Old 05-31-2014, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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I've looked into Wintecs, Tekna, and Thorowgood. However have not had any opportunity to try any of them out yet. I like the fact that all of them feature changeable gullets, a nice feature with a horse changing shape!

My mom is a professional marine upholsterer, but she can sew anything. She is going to make the sheepskin covers for my seat and leathers!
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post #15 of 23 Old 05-31-2014, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicodyssey View Post
have you found you need to lower the irons more than say doing a jaunt around the arena? If so how has it affected your balance in the seat? It's still nice to see someone does it in a "true" English saddle and is comfortable!

I ride in what would be considered a dressage-length stirrup. That length makes a huge difference for me in terms of being comfortable. Here you can see the stirrup length vs my leg just hanging:




If I find myself riding in "normal" length stirrups now (which happens occasionally if i visit a friend who is an eventer and ride one of her horses), I feel like I am back on the racetrack with my knees near my nose! Doesn't take too long to find your new balance point with the longer leg.. no diff than eventers going from dressage to jumping.


I just realized I don't have any good pictures of the boys' real english saddles to show you.. they are so english, they were actually made in england! And those saddles have lots of miles on them.

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post #16 of 23 Old 06-01-2014, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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That's all good to know! One more question do you think the cushions add more "grip"? My horse can be a little feisty and spook on some silly things (he will crash through creeks but all puddles deserve a wary look and an indignant snort!) but I'm sure you deal with the same situation! I just moved him to a new barn with an arena, he needs flat work anyway so I think I will try it out very soon.
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post #17 of 23 Old 06-02-2014, 12:10 AM
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For pads, I have a Wintec aussie (similar to english) I use standard dressage pads. I do have a Skito pad that I do use on occassion but find the standard dressage pads to work fine with my mare. I also use the Wintec webbers instead of standard leathers. I have EZ ride stirrups on my wintec westerns that I love, and work great with my knee issues. but on my aussie I have the Herm Sprenger Bow balance, all though extremely expensive they are worth their weight in gold since I broke my ankle.

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post #18 of 23 Old 06-02-2014, 08:27 AM
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I can tell you my EZ rides do a very good job of keeping your foot in place, even when my feet are wet or muddy. The big pad across the bottom of the stirrup is somewhat tacky and has a tread pattern, so does a good job holding even my almost-treadless cheap sneakers.


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post #19 of 23 Old 06-02-2014, 03:55 PM
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Have you looked into any of the "endurance" saddles? I have ridden in a couple of tuckers, and a christy, and they are not bad. Another option you may consider is a trooper type saddle. they are essentially a suspended seat and are an interesting compromise between an english and a western saddle. I would say that my Tarpin hill, weighs in at 20lbs+- and my old canadian weighs in at about 15-20lbs.

I know alot of gaited horse people ride in trooper type saddles, but we ride a little bit of everything in ours and for a long day of riding I find them more comfortable than a western, and I have never been super comfortable in a english saddle.

If you decide to look at troopers some have a deeper seat than others, and in my experience a good used on that has had alot of miles is the best buy.

Like anything else there is alot of junk out there.

Jim
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post #20 of 23 Old 06-02-2014, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for all the insight. Honestly I've looked into about every kind of saddle there is, I'm just reluctant to buy find out it doesn't fit and then have to sell on repeat! For now I'm going to try my little CC and see if people at rides would be gracious enough to let me test their saddles out. My horse has proved not an easy fit with prominent withers, a medium/narrow build and fairly straight back. I'm just hoping it'll at least be comfortable enough that I won't totally dread mounting up for the second loop!!

But seriously... Has there ever been anyone to do a ride bareback? It might sound crazy but I am happier on my ultra cushy pad than the English saddle LOL
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