Best saddle options for a Tennessee Walker - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-20-2011, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Maryland
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Question Best saddle options for a Tennessee Walker

Greetings gaited horse fans. What saddles are people using on their Tennessee Walkers? I do both trail riding and gait training in the ring. For trail riding I currently use an older synthetic Ortho-flex patriot endurance saddle. For the ring I use an Ortho-flex dressage saddle - but it is really not secure enough for rough trails. I like the comfort of the treeless saddles but I worry about putting too much pressure on my horse's back. I'd like to keep the saddle weight to 24 pounds or less if possible. (too old to lug around a 35 pound saddle any more)
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post #2 of 26 Old 02-20-2011, 06:42 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: East Tenn
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i did everything with my walker from pole bending to show jumping. my western saddle was a older handmade bulldogging saddle. i used it to show in and ride the trails. i also had a all purpose english saddle that used for lessons and the trails. ive also rode walkers in an Australian saddle. they are comfortable but i probably wouldnt own one.

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post #3 of 26 Old 02-20-2011, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Missouri
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I use a Fabtron synthetic gaited (Western) saddle with Equifit tree, love it except it has a horn which always gets in my way. Now I'm using American Saddlery endurance saddle with flex tree (no horn) and she does really well with that, too. The people I bought her from used Steele saddles with Equifit tree, more of a plantation style saddle.
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post #4 of 26 Old 02-20-2011, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Well I don't have a walker, but my best friend had a saddlebred she used a circle Y flex tree saddle on him until it was stolen. She said it was the only saddle she owned that he gaited well in. After it was stolen, she ended up riding him bareback with a pad because she couldn't find another saddle that fit him well before he passed away.
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post #5 of 26 Old 02-20-2011, 09:01 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
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I have a spotted saddle, but she gaits like a walker, so...

I use a Wintec AP, the older model that lean more towards dressage than jumping. My horse doesn't seem to mind it and I've had no issues so far.
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post #6 of 26 Old 02-20-2011, 10:37 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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I ride in a dressage or saddleseat saddle. I like the look of those Tennesseean saddles, though. But they make the leather look so~soft in the pics!
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post #7 of 26 Old 02-21-2011, 09:36 AM
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What do you want to do with the horse? The discipline/job you select will set the base design(s) of saddles and other tack.

I've ridden Walkers in Western, Aussie, miltary, English, English endurance, and dressage saddles. Each worked for a purpose, but not necessarily the purpose I had in mind at the time. For example I went on a four hour trail ride with PWHAT in Middle TN once in a Stubben Tristan dressage saddle. NEVER AGAIN!!!!! It was one of the most unpleaseant experiences I've ever had!!!

Personally, I don't like Aussie, McClellan, or English Endurance staddles. They just don't work for me. Western worked OK but I've moved away from that discipline. I ride a Stubben Scout almost exclusively as it fits in all the things I'm doing (trail riding, equitation, CMSA, military competition, etc.).

Pick your discipline then pick a saddle that fits you, the horse, and your use.

Good luck in your search.

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post #8 of 26 Old 02-21-2011, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Georgia
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Tucker endurance trail saddle. All I do is trail ride so I don't know about ring work.
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post #9 of 26 Old 02-21-2011, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Maryland
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Thanks for all the feedback. I should probably stick with an endurance saddle. I had a wild trail ride today on the Ortho-flex "Patriot." Lots of hills and turns and deep woods with brush hanging down. We mostly stuck to his lovely flat and running walks - but also a few exhilarating episodes of cantering. I am not sure that I would have been able to stay on a dressage saddle :)
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post #10 of 26 Old 02-23-2011, 11:13 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Central Wisconsin
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I say... If you ride a gaited horse, use a gaited saddle. Just like if you ride a western horse, use a western saddle, ride an english horse, english saddle, Arab horse, Saddle with arab bars.....
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endurance , ortho-flex , saddle , tennessee walking horses

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