Lightweight Western Saddle?

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Lightweight Western Saddle?

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    06-22-2013, 07:02 PM
Lightweight Western Saddle?

I learned to ride in an English saddle. I most definitely ride with an English seat (thus far). I love my close contact saddle because I am able to feel the horse underneath me very well. To be honest, I prefer no saddle at all, because I like the closeness and contact I get with the horse with nothing in between.

However, the ranch I am moving to and will be working horses at is a western facility. I will be helping with the breaking and training process, so I would like to have my own western saddle eventually. Not to mention I have always wanted to learn western anyways.

I really don't know much of anything about Western saddles. I won't need it for roping or cow work, but more for light arena work and more heavy duty trail riding I believe. I do not intend on showing.

I don't like tall saddle horns, they make me nervous, as I am not used to having something there while riding. I like the horns on roping saddles a lot, as an example, because they are shorter.

The majority of western saddles I have ridden in were really bulky and heavy to the point I really couldn't feel the horse under me at all, and I hated that. It made me really nervous and I was always worried the saddle was going to slip because of how bulky and awkward it felt. No thanks. I want to concentrate on the horse, not worry about that stuff.

There was one western saddle I rode in years ago that I really liked. It was synthetic and super lightweight; lighter actually than a lot of the jumping saddles they had. I could feel the horse perfectly and the saddle hugged my seat and kept me in a fantastic position. I'm not sure if it was a wintec (does wintec make western?) or something else.

So that is my predicament. You guys are my go-to people for things like this, so fire away! If you need any additional information, I would be more than happy to answer questions. Thank you so much :)
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    06-22-2013, 07:14 PM
I suggest that you wait until you get out there. Much more chance of finding a decent breaking saddle than where you are.

Personally, I like used. Also, you will be able to the see the type of horses you will be riding and be better able to find an all around saddle that will suit more of them.
    06-22-2013, 07:25 PM
Oh yes I definitely am going to be getting a used saddle and waiting until I am there. :) I'm just wanting a bit of advice on types of saddles I might benefit from checking out, I guess.
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    06-22-2013, 08:11 PM

If you are looking for a Lightweight Western Saddle under 20lbs., the only Brands I would consider are: Abetta, Fabtron or BigHorn. I would avoid Wintec Western..........

But if you are not roping, there are many Good brands of all leather Western Trail Saddles that are in the 28 to 32 lb range. The taller Horns are generally on Barrel Racing Saddles, so stay away from them since you dislike the taller Horns.

There are also several makers who offer Western Style Endurance Saddles, basically a Trail Saddle with no Horn and different stirrups.

    06-23-2013, 03:19 AM
I agree on the Big Horn's. Lightweight, now come with flex tree and fit a wide variety of horses. Even their leather saddles are not awfully heavy. And they have rather flat, deep seats, which puts you in a rather dressage -y position.
And then there are treeless western saddles. Bob Marshall makes a pretty nice one. Pricey, and hard to find used( and still pricey lol).
    06-23-2013, 10:59 AM
For my starting saddles, ones I will be putting on and off many horses, I go with minimal skirts, smallish horn, and a 14 1/2 to 15" seat. I still like a rawhide covered wood tree. I'd really like to get one with a LaPorte tree, then I'd have both lightweight for colts and sturdy enough for roping. But I blew that fund on a trip to Ireland!

You'll be able to feel the horse(s) move beneath you. I can tell exactly which foot is being lifted and where it is being placed in even my roping saddle, which is larger and heavier.

To compare, I also ride polo horses. Polo saddles have even less bulk to them than a hunt seat saddle (which I also have and ride).
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    06-24-2013, 06:39 PM
I have a synthetic trail saddle from Abetta and personally I love it. I'm not sure exactly how much it weighs, but it's a LOT less than any other Western saddle I've used. I bought mine new and it had the option of with or without a horn, so I opted for without. I've spent quite a few trail miles in it and so far a good hosing off has made it look good as new. Sorry to sound like an advertisement here, lol - I promise Abetta isn't paying me or anything - just for what I was looking for, it's exactly what I wanted.
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    07-10-2013, 05:21 PM
Ooh, I do like the look of that Abetta. They have old saddles here that I am allowed to use for training, so now I'm looking for something to fit the gelding that I will be working to pay for
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    07-25-2013, 12:21 AM
Evening, let me jump in here if anyone is still looking. Ok, Fabtron, Abetta, & BigHorn, but......I need more than just light weight please! I have a small, short back Arab gelding & I'm short & in need of comfort for the seat bones on trails . Looking to by my last/best saddle for him & me. What about Arab saddle co, or synergist saddles, or desoto? Help please! Tks!
    07-25-2013, 02:18 AM
Originally Posted by kbuelow69    
Evening, let me jump in here if anyone is still looking. Ok, Fabtron, Abetta, & BigHorn, but......I need more than just light weight please! I have a small, short back Arab gelding & I'm short & in need of comfort for the seat bones on trails . Looking to by my last/best saddle for him & me. What about Arab saddle co, or synergist saddles, or desoto? Help please! Tks!
I'm sorry, I don't have any experience with any of those other companies you mentioned... and I know my earlier post makes it sound like I work for Abetta doing advertising or something but I just thought I'd let you know that one of the reasons I went with Abetta for myself is because I also have a short backed arab. (Well, arab x, but she's built like an arab.) My FQHB Western was CLEARLY wrong on her. When I saw that you could buy an Abetta with an arabian tree, that's what clinched the deal for me. So far it seems to fit her very well, and I've gone on quite a few trail rides.

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