I have a four year old arab that is being trained under saddle. So far, we have been using my trainer's western saddle that is made for quarter horses, since he is just starting out, but it is about time he gets his own saddle. I don't plan on doing a single specific discipline on him, and I probably won't show him more than once per year. I just want something that will make the ride comfortable for the both of us and give maximum contact, and will fit his distinct arab frame. Any suggestions? I was thinking a western saddle for starters, since he is being trained and those are easy to stay on plus it distributes the weight well. The problem with that is I DO want to jump him at some point, but I could just go bareback whenever I decide to jump him. I have been looking at endurance saddles which seem good since they have the attachments for water bottles, etc plus they are made for maximum comfort, and have the rise in the front. I would not want the endurance saddle that looks like a normal english saddle. I probably will not want an english saddle, at least for starts.
Basically, what I am looking for is this:
- Special made for arabians (they have very short backs and not much wither)
- Covers a wide range of disciplines (I will probably work with aspects of english AND western styles of riding)
- Has attachments for water, or pockets, etc.
- Lightweight and made for the comfort of the horse and rider
- Gives good contact
- Preferably has some kind of rise in the front, but not so much that I cannot jump
I know it is near impossible to find a saddle that fits ALL of these, but do you know any saddle that comes close to that? I am willing to sacrifice a good amount of it. I will probably be riding him bareback a lot, anyways. I don't really like english saddles, I find them uncomfortable. He is a very small horse and I am a bit of a freak for keeping him comfortable, it annoys my trainer sometimes. I probably baby him too much. Any other suggestions would be great too, just anything you know on the subject!