The right kind of saddle - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-06-2013, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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The right kind of saddle

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!
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-06-2013, 06:47 PM
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An Australian stock saddle will fit most of those requirements. I tried one on my hard-to-fit Arab cross gelding and it fit beautifully. Only saddle I tried in six months (so figure over a dozen saddles) that fit him.

My friend also has an English style endurance saddle that is awesome. Looks kinda like a dressage saddle, but with a padded seat and rings for saddlebags and such.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-06-2013, 06:57 PM
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This really depends on what your price range is. Then again, with the economy the way it is, you can find some real gems online or at consignment shops.

I just bought a $1200 specialized endurance saddle for a little over $200 with tax. It certainly doesn't fit "all" horses, but it does fit a lot more/better than your standard saddle.

If you have the money, a specialized saddle may be the way to go. Your guy is likely to change a lot in shape as he grows and his fitness increases due to riding (or decreases due to winter laziness. LOL).

My Arab gelding is coming four this year and the only reason I bought this saddle with confidence is the fact that it is so customizable.

Proud owner of ~Mana: 6yo Arabian gelding~Pearl 13yo Arabian~Danzer 14yo Arabian mare~ Tiny mini filly
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-06-2013, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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I just saw something about parelli saddles, any thoughts on that?

I should also add that buying two saddles is a possibility. So far, I am thinking dressage saddle and aussie saddle, but I would like to know more about these. What are the pros and cons of the aussie saddle and how is it different from a western saddle? How does it distribute the weight? Also, would I be able to jump in a dressage saddle, and what are the pros and cons of the dressage saddle? Basically anything you know about any saddle is welcome here xD

Last edited by TheBayArab; 02-06-2013 at 07:58 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-06-2013, 08:08 PM
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I love my aussie saddle. It's comfortable, lightweight, comfortable...lol. It's more secure than a western saddle, IMO, and distributes the weight just as well. It forces you to sit in a position closer to a dressage saddle, but once you get used to it, it's remarkably comfortable. An aussie saddle also gives you closer contact than a western, which is nice.

As far as jumping in a dressage saddle, you can do it, but from what I've heard, it isn't comfortable. You're in completely the wrong position to jump when sitting a dressage saddle, so it's harder on you and the horse.
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Last edited by DraftyAiresMum; 02-06-2013 at 08:13 PM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-06-2013, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum View Post
I love my aussie saddle. It's comfortable, lightweight, comfortable...lol. It's more secure than a western saddle, IMO, and distributes the weight just as well. It forces you to sit in a position closer to a dressage saddle, but once you get used to it, it's remarkably comfortable. An aussie saddle also gives you closer contact than a western, which is nice.

As far as jumping in a dressage saddle, you can do it, but from what I've heard, it isn't comfortable. You're in completely the wrong position to jump when sitting a dressage saddle, so it's harder on you and the horse.
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I see :) you have been very helpful. I am looking at the downunder saddles right now. I can't buy anything super expensive, though. Do you have any thoughts on this website? Do you know anything of their saddles? A lot of the saddles I see are around $3,000, and I really probably cannot afford that. They have a line which is much cheaper and looks fine, but I am researching and I am hearing a lot of "you get what you pay for". Do you recommend any saddles in particular for a short backed horse?
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