Most comfortable all purpose saddle? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-13-2011, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: utah
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Question Most comfortable all purpose saddle?

I'm not going to be doing any barrel racing or roping. Not much dressage or anything fancy.

I just want a very comfortable saddle for riding trails and general all purpose riding.

I see several used saddles for sale and wonder which will be my best bet for being the most comfortable.

Is a barrel racing saddle by circle y comfy?
jefra is offline  
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-13-2011, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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It really depends on your horse build, your own build, and the budget.
Also I have to decide if you want english or western (since you are mentioning dressage as well as roping ).

I used my Alamo pleasure saddle (western) for trails, team penning, sorting, judged rides, etc. Very comfortable. Now as I switched to English I use my Collegiate A/P for the trails and little jumping. However I probably would NOT team pen in it.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-13-2011, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pennington, NJ
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If I were in the market for a general AP saddle (english), I'd be looking for a Crosby SoftRide AP. I've trail ridden in them several times. Super comfy.

I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-13-2011, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: utah
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Here's a profile pic of my horse (large pony) -- what do you think?


gosh I feel like my head is spinning about this whole thing.

ps - would you say he has high withers? how would I describe his back (don't have much to compare him too...)

Last edited by jefra; 01-13-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-13-2011, 03:59 PM
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He's very cute.

Yes, I'd say he has high withers and curved back (both my mares do too). Which may be a challenge to fit an english saddle (although I'm not in any way a fitting expert).
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-13-2011, 09:21 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
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OP, are you looking for an English saddle or a Western saddle?

If an English saddle, I'd go for a wide or medium-wide Stubben. They tend to better for "dippy" backed horses. You can find used Stubbens at a good price. I'm sure there are other brands out there, Stubbens are just the brand that I have the most experience with that would likely work for you.

For a western saddle, you want a short, round skirt saddle with lots of clearance under the pommel. A barrel saddle might be a good choice as they tend to be shorter in length and have good clearance under the front. You won't know if it fits until you try it though.

It would be best to work with a local tack shop that can give you saddles to try out. If you don't have one locally, then you should find an online tack shop that can help you do wither tracings and measuremtns, and look at photos to narrow down your saddle choices to saddles that will likely fit.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-14-2011, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: utah
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Thank you so much guys!

It's funny, I grew up in the east riding English, but then we moved and I've not been around horses for over 15 - 20 years. Now we have this guy (one of the reasons we got him was because our daughter who is 5, is a vaulter and we plan on using him as a vaulting pony) and we live in Utah so I find myself in the west. I don't know much about western anything but I'm here so I might as well learn (especially since it's soooo hard to find english tack out here but you can find western everywhere)

So i'm going with the flow.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-14-2011, 11:15 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montana
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My two cents for what it is worth. I have a barrel saddle because that is what was handed down to me. It sits you in a slightly different equitation position than a regular trail saddle. My trainer said when I tried my husband's new Courts saddle that my posture improved instantly. The Court's saddle was reasonably priced, very well made, comfortable for horse and rider and I felt as secure in it as I do in the barrel saddle. I need to get a new saddle for myself here soon. I am hoping to try a Clinton Anderson saddle because they have the nice smaller skirts and if that is not a good choice then I am going with the Court's. I just hate buying the CA saddle, paying shipping and then if it does not work, got to pay shipping and a restock fee to send it back.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-14-2011, 12:05 PM
Green Broke
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CA doesn't have any "trial" saddles? You might email them and ask. At least that way you're only out shipping.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-14-2011, 02:28 PM
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Barrel racing saddles tend to be shaped like a check mark - a sharply sloping front going directly to the cantle. As a guy, that is NOT what I want. For a woman, I still think it would push most folks against the cantle and put the weight on the rear.

It is tough to find a western saddle for a short backed horse that still has a flat 'sweet spot' for the rider to sit in. You might try looking at used saddles - and some on line stores have used saddles for sale. Older saddles seem shaped better, to me.

English/Australian saddles tend to be shorter, and you can find them with some curve instead of the flatter bars used in the trees of most western saddles. You give up some security on the trail with an English saddle, but a lot depends on where you ride.

From what I remember of Utah (I went to school in Logan 30 years ago), I'd probably go with an english saddle. In southern Arizona, with rock and cactus everywhere, I don't ride off property in an english saddle. I'm not good enough to feel secure, and I'm too old to fall on rocks and cholla cactus!
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