English tack so I don't break my back! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 12-10-2010, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
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English tack so I don't break my back!

Hi everyone!

I'm new in this neck of the woods and have some questions about English tack.

So my dilemma is that I ride western and store my big ol' saddle in the house to counteract the mold/mildew of my tackroom (not as insulated as it should be and don't want to deal with the possibility of ruining my saddle). I don't want to haul it back and forth during the winter because it is heavy and too slippery outside, just not a good time!

I could get a synthetic Western saddle, but I like the idea of English riding and the different position, etc. I ride in a 15in, I'm 5'4" & 125lbs. Looking to do mostly casual, minor trails, and road riding.

Is this a decent saddle? If it is, what size would I be looking at, 16.5?: Next Gen Wintec 250 All Purpose Package - Statelinetack.com

I like the 5 Star saddle pads for Western, do I need that on the English side of things or would something else be good?: English All Purpose Style Pad - Mile High Ranch Saddle Outfitters

Any response would be appreciated :)
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post #2 of 31 Old 12-10-2010, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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Welcome to the forum! I was riding Western too and then switched completely to English (last year).

The pad is almost as expensive as the saddle! Personally I'd go with something cheaper (like Dover Saddlery | Rider’s International Quilted Cotton Saddle Pad.). I use similar to this one on my english A/P saddle: Dover Saddlery | Equine Couture Regatta Saddle Pad . (it's more fancy! ). Plus Thinline on top to absorb the shock (but you don't really need Thinline one for trail riding IMHO).

As for Wintec opinions are very different. Many people really like it, I tried and didn't mostly because it didn't fit my horse and my own bum.

The biggest problem you have to get a saddle, which will fit your horse!
kitten_Val is offline  
post #3 of 31 Old 12-10-2010, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Thanks for getting back to me!

Sadly, my area is very non-english, so my saddle searching experience is going to be a hit or miss online ordering experience, and I'm hoping it's a hit right off the bat! Scary to think about...

Anyway, I'm liking the prices on those pads a whole lot more that's for sure. But do they really offer enough protection? To me they seem so skinny, but that is because I know nothing of English!

How has the Western/English switch been for you? An enjoyable experience?
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post #4 of 31 Old 12-10-2010, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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OK, I gonna post what I just posted in a different thread... You can always ask the experts! When I was looking for my dressage saddle I contacted Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop - The Saddle Specialists. They have Saddle Fitting | Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop "Saddle Fitting" section where they give very good explanations on what to look for. They also have number of saddles for sale (including used ones). So I basically took withers measurements (as they advised) and sent them to the store. And they gave recommendations based on my measurements.

I don't think I gonna come back to Western. Lol! Moving that saddle was killing me (as I have issues with wrists unfortunately). My english saddle is SO much lighter and softer(!). I got A/P 2 years back (mostly for trail riding), and then started little bit of jumping last winter, and this Fall started dressage with both my horses (even though I'm a beginner (as well as my mares) ). I don't know, frankly I didn't have problems with transitioning at all (the only issue is I have to use the step to get on now while I never did when I was using Western).
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post #5 of 31 Old 12-10-2010, 07:47 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NC
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If you want something that will be easy maintenance, a Wintec would be a good choice. I prefer leather, but in the same price range as the Wintec you posted, the leather saddles you would find would not be a good quality. IF it fits you and your horse, a Wintec will suit fine for a trail riding and general hacking saddle.

As far as pads, I found a couple. You don't need as much thickness with an English saddle, and those that kitten Val posted will work just fine. But if you want something a bit thicker, maybe have a look at these. The first one, I'm planning to get after Christmas. And the other one might be a good choice for a trail rider. It's also a bit more padded.

Roma Ecole Pad

English Fleece Trail Pad

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"

Last edited by apachiedragon; 12-10-2010 at 07:49 PM.
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post #6 of 31 Old 12-10-2010, 07:53 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alabama,USA
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Wintecs are great for first time English-ers. They are cheap(so you aren't in a huge hole if you don't like the style), but still great quality and put you in the correct position. I recommend them.

As someone else stated, you don't need as thick of a pad for English. I have a $15 one that I love. I actually think it's the one Kitten posted.

Welcome to the English world!
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post #7 of 31 Old 12-10-2010, 09:36 PM
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Check out some of the Kincade saddles, they are a lot cheaper, and I have had mine for years without problems, they are in the $200 range rather than the $400+ range. I ride in mine daily, when he is not having abscess issues (agh) and it is a fine general purpose cheap saddle.
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post #8 of 31 Old 12-11-2010, 12:18 AM
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Nobody else explained (and if they did- sorry!) why you don't need a thick pad for english. The flocking (or CAIR) on the underside of the english saddle provides the padding, so the pad just keeps dirt/sweat/grime off the saddle.
In western saddles, there's nothing but a thin layer of fleece to protect the horse's back from the saddle tree, so you use a thicker pad.

...you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
–Mark Twain
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post #9 of 31 Old 12-11-2010, 08:53 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
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You'll more likely need a 17" saddle. A 16.5" would be for a very petite rider (tiny bum!). Only my smallest girls ride in anything below a 17".

Wintecs are good saddles and the material has some "grip" to it. A 500 AP or the 2000 AP would be good choices.

Adam's Horse Supply has free shipping and a free fittings package with low prices on Wintecs. I just bought one from there for one of my students. They have great customer service and will make subsitutions in the fittings package for you. Everyone rides in safety stirrups here, so I had them replace the fillis irons with peacock irons. You don't want your foot to get hung up in case of a fall!
Welcome To AdamsHorseSupplies
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post #10 of 31 Old 12-11-2010, 03:13 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NC
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I ride in a 15" Western, and a 17.5" English. I agree that a 16.5 might be too small for you. I'm thinking (not entirely positive) that the rule of thumb is 2" larger for English.

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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