I am planning on investing in a western saddle for my TWH. Lets not get wrapped up in the gaited thing, the "gaited" trees are made for a broader backed horse than mine. Saddle fit with him has been a pain in the arse. I have always ridden english and those are so much easier to fit! Right now I have an American Flex english endurance, which is very comfortable & light and good for long rides, seems to fit him well. The problem I have with it is the distance I sit & how far my leg is from the horse. He is pretty small boned & narrow. This is a horse that bareback I was mere inches from touching my toes together! Needless to say, if I am training, I either have to wear spurs or I am struggling with my leg.
Anyway, I also need to have a horned saddle to pony young horses. My aussie has a horn however if I have any problems the saddle would roll. I just need a good working/training saddle.
The one issue I have had with this horse is sometimes the hair on his back looks like someone has been giving him swirlies. Looks roughed up.
Of course the saddle will need to fit, I plan on getting whatever I buy professionally fit.
I don't really care for the "trail" type saddles out there, there is too much junk up front to help "keep" you in the saddle, as far as I am concerned, if it is that bad, I want off! LOL. So I am drawn to slick forks or wade types. I suppose weight is an issue, I mean I don't want a 50#er.
Also confounding my is the tree types, the Steele flex trees seem to be found in saddles from $800 to $3000. I mean if it is the same tree, why the price difference?
Then there are the believers in the wood/resin tree, obviously rigid and sturdy, does the tree need to flex if it fits?
I have looked at the Specialized, they are nice but do they hold up with all that foam? Seems like they wouldn't take a beating. Also, I would think I would obsessively refit the thing, if you have one, do you? There is one I really like there, but again, concerned about longevity.
The custom fit of Synergist is intriguing, anyone have experience with these? I have access to a couple I could look at but not the models I would want.
I have been looking at Continental also, I like them, they have the steele tree and the ability to use the equifit system. It would be a reiner, which seem to be closer contact & less fork, swell. Has been recommended for comfort, but as we all know, comfort is in the butt of the rider on that one!
Please help me!