Don West Saddle for my Peruvian???? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-17-2009, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Don West Saddle for my Peruvian????

Hi everyone, my first time here. I have been saddle shopping for 6 months now and going crazy. I can't afford to make a mistake. I was just about to go for an Aussie saddle or a Crate western that seemed to fit when I saw a used Don West for sale. I won't be able to try it before buying it. When I called Don West, he was pretty sure it would fit. Anyone have any experience with these? It is the Signature Series Peruvian pleasure trail saddle.
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-18-2009, 09:40 AM
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We have 3 Don West saddles. They are extremely comfortable for long days in the saddle. I've never had a sore horse or any complaints from our girls. I did have a tiny problem with a small dry patch at the withers of my low withered Vida. I've since got a different pad and solved the problem. It was more an aesthetic thing with me, she was never sore.
So far they are fitting all 4 of our Rocky Mountain horses, which have a slight build like the Paso's. I do prefer a saddle without a horn so think hard about how much bending under branches you do before you get one. We have 2 with a horn and one without, we fight over who gets the hornless
All of ours are older models before he started making a production saddle. I can't comment on the newer ones as far as quality goes. I know they have gone to a synthetic fleece instead of real sheep's wool like the old ones. Besides that I don't know what other changes they have made as far as leather or construction quality. Don is a great guy to talk to so I'm sure if you had any problems he would make it right.


ETA: Check to see if whoever you buy it from has a trial period. Many manufacturers have a 2 week or so try before you buy guarantee. I've done tons of research on gaited horse saddles and to me, for the price, the Don wests are the one of the best. The only thing I wish his had was a Texas or 3/4 rigging options.
Don bred Peruvian's and built this saddle specifically for then so I'm sure the fit will be great.


"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France

Last edited by Vidaloco; 05-18-2009 at 11:35 AM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-19-2009, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidaloco View Post
We have 3 Don West saddles. They are extremely comfortable for long days in the saddle. I've never had a sore horse or any complaints from our girls. I did have a tiny problem with a small dry patch at the withers of my low withered Vida. I've since got a different pad and solved the problem. It was more an aesthetic thing with me, she was never sore.
So far they are fitting all 4 of our Rocky Mountain horses, which have a slight build like the Paso's. I do prefer a saddle without a horn so think hard about how much bending under branches you do before you get one. We have 2 with a horn and one without, we fight over who gets the hornless
All of ours are older models before he started making a production saddle. I can't comment on the newer ones as far as quality goes. I know they have gone to a synthetic fleece instead of real sheep's wool like the old ones. Besides that I don't know what other changes they have made as far as leather or construction quality. Don is a great guy to talk to so I'm sure if you had any problems he would make it right.


ETA: Check to see if whoever you buy it from has a trial period. Many manufacturers have a 2 week or so try before you buy guarantee. I've done tons of research on gaited horse saddles and to me, for the price, the Don wests are the one of the best. The only thing I wish his had was a Texas or 3/4 rigging options.
Don bred Peruvian's and built this saddle specifically for then so I'm sure the fit will be great.
Thank you so much for your reply. I am agonizing over this choice. This is an older model - real fleece but comes from a private person for a great price but no trial period. Your comments have eased a lot of anxiety.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-19-2009, 07:43 AM
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If its the older original Don West, I don't think you have anything to worry about. They are very well made saddles and as I said before designed for the Paso horse. I believe he is retired now and I assume that is the reason he sold out his line to a production company. The tree is the same in the new ones and thats what counts. I just can't address the quality.


"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-19-2009, 07:50 AM
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I'll give you a heads up in case you get the saddle. When you're tacking up the girth latigos will be at an angle from saddle to girth area. The placement of the saddle is the same as any other saddle with the tree behind the shoulder blade. I watched a video years ago of Don tacking up with his saddle and he said why its that way but I don't remember now
I know most western saddles the latigo hangs straight from the saddle to the girth area. It seemed weird to me at the time but I'm used to it now. To a new person it will make you have a tendency to place your saddle to far forward (I still do it sometimes).


"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-20-2009, 04:33 PM
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My Dad and I each have a Don West saddle- the same one that you are talking. We have had ours for about 8 years. We love them to pieces. Quality is fantastic and people always comment on wow, look at that saddle!
I did breed demos on Peruvian Pasos with mine and really haven't found a horse that it didn't fit. I did have some concerns with it fitting my very narrow RMH, but changed the pad that I was using and got even sweat marks with it now. I love the security of the seat, comfort and quality, and being hornless. We bought mine used (it had only been on a horse a handful of times and the lady had it made for her and bought it from Don West when he was here in Madison, Wi) it has a gel seat....love it!

We would buy another in a heart beat if we needed another saddle, but honestly they wear so fantastic that as long as I don't grow (heehee) I should have it for a looonnngg time.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-28-2009, 11:10 AM
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GalaGirl....
Just wondering if you did get the Don west saddle?

This past weekend I went camping with my mare and did quite a bit of riding. I made sure to take a picture of her with my Don West saddle on...Is this like the one you were looking at?
I rode in mine all weekend and just love it!
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-29-2009, 09:48 AM
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My husband has that exact same saddle and loves it.


"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-29-2009, 01:20 PM
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This past weekend I had a couple people try out my saddle and they all really liked it....one person didn't like the tapadero stirrups...but that was the only complaint and something that could easily be changed.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-29-2009, 06:23 PM
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I wasn't hot on the tapaderos either. Then I got a large limb from a tree caught in a stirrup on a narrow trail. About dislocated my knee/hip. I'm for sure a tapper person now


"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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