Haven't read the rest of this thread, but to answer your question, no. Gaited horses can be ridden English, Western, endurance-style, etc., and don't necessarily need a gaited saddle or saddleseat saddle, but it's helpful in saddle fit because gaited horses often have shorter backs and gaited saddles take that into consideration.
Gaited horses can be ridden English, Western, endurance-style, etc., and don't necessarily need a gaited saddle or saddleseat saddle, but it's helpful in saddle fit because gaited horses often have shorter backs and gaited saddles take that into consideration.
The short back was my biggest hurdle, Jack is extremely short backed but has low withers and a table back(good for bareback, not so much for saddle fit,lol) I tried at least 11 saddles on him, thankfully a few friends of mine have multiple different kinds. Several Aussies, cutbacks, and western saddles later I was getting frustrated! I ended up taking him to an Amish saddle maker to have him fitted and had to go with a barrel saddle because everything elses skirts were too long. I show saddle seat but most often ride Western for pleasure so that's the route I took.
I have been told by multiple people that treeless saddles are wonderful for gaited horses. I've never ridden in one but a few brands have been highly recommended to me. What breed is your gaited horse? What is their build?
MysticDragon72....are you looking at a western style saddle or an english style saddle? It makes a difference. Western styles most common sizes are 15" and 16" seats. English saddles are measured differently. First you need to decide on what type of saddle you want, be sure it fits your horse properly with you in it preferably then you figure out what size you need going by your build. I am 5'9" tall, weigh 140 lbs and wear a size 12 so I am a 16" in western, a 17-1/2" in english and I also have a treeless saddle they come in size 1 and 2, I am a size 2. I hope this helps. My favourite saddle is my treeless. It fits all my horses and they love it.
Determine Your Seat SizeA Sports Saddle can be ordered in whole sizes and half sizes from a 13" clear up to a 19" or 20" seat.
In order to get sized properly, a person's height, weight and circumference of the upper thigh is taken into consideration. If you know what size western saddle seat has worked well for you then this also works into the decision. Generally, it is a good idea to have at least a fingers width between your thigh and the pommel in front of you without your pant pockets being glued to the cantle.
If you ride in an English saddle the size does not transfer into the same size measurement for a saddle with a pommel and cantle, but you can still supply that information too. Barrel racers often like a snugger seat than trail riders so the chart below may not be as applicable to them as for trail riders. Although it is still a good guide.
IF YOU HAVE NEVER TRIED A SPORT SADDLE YOU WILL WANT TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
If you have never tried a SS before try one of the demo saddles. If one is not available in a timely manner it would be in your best interest to try one of the saddles from the In Stock list. It is well worth shipping expenses to try one that is close to your size and one that most closely matches the saddle you would normally have ordered. That way if you like it and want to keep it you will have one you want. But if you want to return it you have that option too. You will get a full refund minus shipping even if you choose not to order one. CLICK HERE FOR THE IN STOCK LIST. You can get most of the in stocks within about two weeks from your order.
All of the in stock saddles have a ten day trail and a full refund minus shipping should you decide not to keep it. In contrast to the in stock saddles, standard saddles ordered, (called new builds) that take 8 to 10 weeks to build or the express orders, all have a 125.00 restocking fee. So trying one of the in stock saddles is a very good way to find out if you like the SS and if it fits you and your horse.
IF YOU ARE TRYING SOMEONE ELSE'S SPORT SADDLE PLEASE READ BELOW!
If you have a SS or are currently trying someone else's then do yourself a BIG favor and measure that saddle for its actual size. Do not go by what the owner says it is. This will be very helpful because if that saddle is a pretty good fit for you and you want to order one that is the same or similar size then you must know exaclty what size the saddle is that you are trying. Click HERE for how to measure a SS.
The following chart is a breakdown of thigh measurements and seat sizes. This is not an exact science but it will serve as a guideline. When you place an order we will discuss the details of your measurements as well as other considerations. For example, riding style and other needs related to personal style and comfort need to be considered to determine your best seat size.
13” seat -->thigh 16” to 16½”
13½” seat -->thigh 17” to 17½”
14” seat -->thigh 18” to 18½”
14½” seat -->thigh 19” to 20”
15” seat -->thigh 20½” to 21½”
15½” seat -->thigh 22” to 23½”
16” seat -->thigh 23½” to 24"
16½” seat -->thigh 24” to 24½”
17" seat -->thigh 25” to 26”
17½” seat -->thigh 26½” to 27"
18" seat -->thigh 27” to 28” Click here for a calculator.Keep in mind that a 16" Endurance seat will feel roomier than a 16" Trail Rider due to the Endurance saddle's lower pommel and cantle. Also, bear in mind that a horse with a sway in it's back will cause a Sports Saddle to feel tighter to the rider as the saddle conforms to the sway. And if your horse has steep high withers it will cause the pommel to tilt back a bit more toward the rider. You may need to allow an extra ½” or 1" more seat size in order to make up the difference.
Well there is no 16-1/2" western saddle, they come 15, 16 and sometimes 17 so I would go with a 16". That will work well for you. Make sure it fits your horse and have many happy trail rides.
Keep me posted. It's quite a task finding a good saddle for both horse and rider. I actually just sold a gorgeous Reinsman saddle to a trail rider in Thunder Bay. It was an endurance saddle and it was a great fit to all my horses, the only reason I sold it is because I prefer treeless saddles now. I am glad the article was of some help. Happy Trails.
Well I'm still waiting on some PMs about the saddles people said they had for sale....
There's photos of my mare on my "barn" page... both sides and a rear shot to give you an idea of her build. The lady who owns her now rides in a "Plantation" saddle... I priced a few out and they're WAAAAAAAAAAAAAYY outta our price range!! We're hoping to get a saddle for around 3-400 bucks... plus we gotta buy a bridle/bit as well as all the other "stuff" that's needed for horses LOL..