Help with western saddle hunt - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 19 Old 10-01-2012, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Question Help with western saddle hunt

So I have finally come to the conclusion that I am selling my newly accquired aussie saddle and will be breaking down and getting a western saddle. I am an english rider, that will never change but I need a trail saddle. So now I need recommendations please, I will list specs and requirements below.

Arab, 14.1hh taped at 821 lbs. I am 5'8" and 135lbs, so not a super heavy saddle. I'm also a wuss and my 20 some pound aussie kills me, but I can work on that lol.

At least 7in gullet, my 17in dressage saddle is plenty long, can't go longer.

She has a very high wither, I haven't found a western saddle in my barn that clears her withers.

Looking for something that is all around, needs to have d-rings or ties for saddle bags.

Prefer to not have a horn that sticks up to my chin, lower the better.

Comfy for long, long rides, for both of us.

And the hardest of all, my price range.... I would like to not go over $300. I need to sell my Aussie first plus some other stuff that would hopefully get me to 300 or a little more. I realize this is very low but I'm looking for used. It could even look beat up I don't care what it looks like as long as it is functional.

So please help with recommendations or advice? What type of bars would I be looking for? I will probably need a built up western pad I'm sure as I highly doubt I can find a saddle to clear her withers with enough clearance I would like.
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-01-2012, 11:02 AM
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poppy, why don't you just use your dressage saddle to trail ride? That's what I do all the time.

I doubt you'll find anything lighter than around 20 lbs for western saddle though. I'd look into Abetta, Fabtron and Big Horn (synthetic).

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-01-2012, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Haha because I'm pretty sure tying my saddle bags to the billets probably isn't the best idea. And I would like to wear jeans sometimes lol. I absolutely cannot ride in an english saddle without tall boots.

It doesn't have to be light, I haul around a western saddle that I use, it's heavy, older I can't remember the brand though.... Aussies are just awkward to hold and carry. I love my 7lb saddle but I suppose I may need to get used to something heavier.

I don't like abetta. I used to game in one of those and I couldn't stay in it to save my life. Unless maybe it was just too big for me, it was a leased horse so not my tack.

How do I measure for what type of bars I need? I know how to measure and fit an english saddle but western is way over my head.
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-01-2012, 11:19 AM
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Abetta is not on my list (didn't fit my legs and butt), but I prefer it over some other cheaper brands. I really liked both - Fabtron and Big Horn - though when I tried them. I myself had Alamo pleasure saddle for while (leather, but rather light-weight and very comfortable), then sold it because I can ride in both - dressage and CC on trails (and I don't care for tall boots).

Don't know about gullet though - I'll let someone experienced to give advices (I did tracings myself and then compared them against different western saddles when I was hunting for one).

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

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post #5 of 19 Old 10-01-2012, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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I would rather have a nice old leather saddle that I know can hold up the miles it will go. I just don't want something more than 30 lbs as that is adding alot to the total weight when you put in saddle bags as well. But for that reason I'm thinking I might need synthetic. I really have no idea what I want right now lol. Just something I can use for trails and maybe (big maybe here) do some gaming in.

I get bruises in minutes without tall boots, even in my aussie saddle, just can't do it.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-01-2012, 12:07 PM
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I had a Big Horn Cordura, round skirt, for a high withered TB, a couple of larger ponies and my Arab. It also fit perfectly on several other horses. The only horse it didn't fit was a Haflinger mix who had no withers at all and was very wide.
Definitely enough clearance on the withers, they come without horn too and have a nice straight dressage type seat.
I noe upgraded to a Big Horn leather saddle, flex tree, not overly heavy. The tree size and shape is the same as in the cordura version.
I found that to be the ideal saddle for switching from English/dressage to western.
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-01-2012, 12:08 PM
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Quality wise I'd prefer the Big Horn anytime over all the other brands
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-01-2012, 12:18 PM
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I have a big horn as well, synthetic and very very light. Super easy to haul around, and super comfortable. I've put lots and lots of miles on it on the trail.


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post #9 of 19 Old 10-01-2012, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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So with the big horn what bars am I looking for? Or is it one choice only?
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-01-2012, 01:40 PM
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I got mine second hand, you'll have to find out what fits your horse. Probably half-qh bars. If you can find a tack store that'll let you try one out to see if it fits, then you can give it back and look for a nice used one to cut cost down
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