Saddle Decision for TWH - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 04-01-2014, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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Saddle Decision for TWH

Altho I do have a saddle seat saddle, I'm wanting something better for general riding that will also encourage the gaits. I'm wondering about a dressage saddle. I'd like input from others regarding my choice. There isn't a western saddle that will fit him so I'll be riding English on the trails.
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post #2 of 36 Old 04-01-2014, 07:10 PM
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A dressage saddle would be fine. And I think that English or Dressage saddle trees are a bit more forgiving about fit than western saddles. The western saddle I had was an Abetta and it fit all but one horse.
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post #3 of 36 Old 04-01-2014, 07:43 PM
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Dressage saddles can be problematical for general purpose riding. I've owned a Stubben Tristan and it was not all that comfortable for longer riding times. I've tried a Stubben Maestro. It puts you into a very specific position so that you can do Prix St. George type stuff. Sadly, if you tried that on a trail for any length of time you'd be a cripple!!!

Stubben makes a couple of good, all purpose saddles. My wife has a Siegfried VSD-DL and loves it. It's OK for me. I have a Stubben Scout (their police and military saddle). It's excellent for ring work and very comfortable on the trail. It was designed for male riders, however, and does not come in a size below 18".

As would avoid dressage saddles I'd also avoid any other type that highly tuned to a specific discipline or activity.

I'm a Stubben fan (you've probably guessed that by now ) but there are lots of other good quality, all-purpose English saddles out there.

Go to the biggest tack shop there is near you and sit in a few. You'll find a make and model that will do what you want but it will take some persistence.

Good luck in your search.

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post #4 of 36 Old 04-01-2014, 07:52 PM
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It is sad that many long-time riders have either forgotten about, or never known about Plantation Saddles as regards Tennessee Walkers.

That means the newer and younger riders are not having an opportunity to know about them.

The original saddle for a Tennessee Walker was a known as a Plantation Saddle. More specifically a Buena Vista Plantation Saddle.

It was and is, a modification of an English pleasure saddle.

I had an old Eli Miller Buena Vista that had an 8-1/2" gullet and fit my broad shouldered TWH nicely. I sold it to a lady with a TWH of similar build when I retired my horse.

Hillcrest still makes the old timey style Buena Vistas. They might be something to consider, at some point in time

Custom Made Plantation Saddles by Hillcrest Saddlery
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post #5 of 36 Old 04-01-2014, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Alabama
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I have an equitation seat Gen II Tucker saddle. Since it has stirrup leathers, leg torque is not a problem. The seat is very comfortable. This is a saddle you can ride on for hours. The saddle has a gel cushion between the horses back and the tree. Very comfortable for the horse. That's why I got the Gen II. You can get different types of rigging too. I love mine. Tucker has several styles that might appeal to you more. Check em all out!
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post #6 of 36 Old 04-01-2014, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Ontario
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Walk, I am familiar with the Plantation saddle but I'd be surprised if there was even one in Canada. The dressage I had in mind was an Amerigo. When riding western I have to use a long stirrup because of a car accident when 17. I can ride an AP maybe 20 min then have to pull my feet out of the stirrups because of the pain in both knees. This is why a dressage saddle came to mind. This horse is wide and short backed. He's of the Midnight line.
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post #7 of 36 Old 04-01-2014, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Southern California
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I just went through six months of saddle testing and ended up with an AP from the Arabian Saddle company, for my Icelandic.

Arabian All Purpose Saddles

If the saddle fits, it fits. They also make very popular endurance saddles, so my saddle is designed for the trail. My advice is decide what style you want (western, dressage, a/p, etc.) then just start trying them. See if you have any friends who have saddle you can try. I don't know what your walker's build is like, but Duett also makes good saddles, I had a Duett Companion Trail saddle that fit my last horse and was a good trail saddle (didn't fit my Icelandic).

My most comfortable saddle has been a Muster Master.

Aussie Leather Saddles

The company is only thirty minutes from me and many people in the area use his saddles. Very, very well built; will last forever. I don't normally like Australian saddles but I've done five hours in it and gotten off the horse fresh as a daisy. Again, it doesn't fit my Icelandic but worked well for my SSH.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 36 Old 04-02-2014, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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This horse has huge scapule which sets the saddle back a little farther. Add to that his short round back and I can't help but think harness instead of saddle. Draft saddles have a longer tree than a 15/16" western so that's out. Also the smallest seat size is 17" - room for me and a small child. The higher end English saddles fit the big wide warmbloods, altho this boy is 15.1hh. He is a small version of the Percheron.
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post #9 of 36 Old 04-02-2014, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: USA
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Have you looked at a Haggis Saddle?

Not sure where you live in Canada in relation to where they are made

Haggis Trooper Saddles

I have heard good reviews on them....


May all your Trails be happy and safe ones

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post #10 of 36 Old 04-02-2014, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central Missouri
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What makes you think a western saddle will not fit. A well made one will fit. Never saw a horse they would not fit. Hillview farms makes a western saddle that is well made and can be made to fit just about any back.


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