Saddle advice please! - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 04-03-2012, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 286
• Horses: 4
Saddle advice please!

OK, I'm just going to put this out there and see what comes in. Boyfriend and I are planning a ride through South America, starting in Chile and ending up in Venezuela. Two horses under saddle, two packing; camping; off-road trails; mostly if not exclusively at the walk while travelling; regular periods dismounted; estimate 10-15kms per day at the beginning and working up to an average of 25kms per day after that; regular off-days and off-weeks.

I am looking for saddle advice, bearing in mind that these saddles are for all-day every-day riding. Our saddle horses are the ones pictured below: the bay has highish withers and a normal-but-on-the-long-side back, will have a 200lb rider plus saddle weight but no extra items; the smoky brownskin (thanks, horse colours and genetics forum for telling me what that colour actually is!) has flatter withers and back, will have a 140lb rider plus saddle weight and light saddlebags. Both horses will drop weight and muscle up as we travel but the basic morphology will stay the same. Sorry about the not-that-useful photos but you can at least get an idea of their toplines and general shape from them.

We have been using classic Chilean saddles up till now. Problems are that the saddle pad is directly on the spine and the saddles themselves are v high and put the rider in a chair position. OK for the cow-work they're meant for but not for long-distance riding. You can see a photo here: On Horseback in Chile - Chilean Saddle and Tack as used on our Trailrides in the Andes, Patagonia, Chile - look at the last one on the page.

I won't put in our thoughts so far because I want to hear your ideas - all of them! - and the reasoning: but I will say that the idea of a suspended seat is interesting. Ditto a saddle which could conceivably be used for both the bay and another horse, but for the same rider. Budget is up to around $1000 per saddle, not including blankets etc.

If you've got other questions, comments, then fire away, but am really looking forward to getting ideas from your collective experience!


PS - Oh yes. Key point. The bay won't be pregnant any more...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Quillay shoes 2.jpg (82.3 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg Quillay corral.jpg (98.8 KB, 144 views)
File Type: jpg Luna 6.jpg (82.4 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg Luna 5.jpg (74.1 KB, 144 views)
AnnaHalford is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 Old 04-03-2012, 05:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 1,136
• Horses: 0
I've little experience of long distance saddles so don't feel qualified to comment. However, I have an acquaintance who may be able to help - CuChulain O'Reilly of the Long Riders Guild. Their website is

The Long Riders' Guild

Best of luck!

The battle that never ends is the battle of belief against unbelief - Thomas Carlyle

Last edited by unclearthur; 04-03-2012 at 06:03 AM.
unclearthur is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 04-03-2012, 06:57 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mountains of NH
Posts: 2,914
• Horses: 3
Sounds like a wonderful trip! I'm jealous!

What about an Australian stock saddle? You see a lot of the endurance riders use them. I have one and I find it very comfortable and it fits a range of horses well.
SueNH is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 04-03-2012, 07:44 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Surry, Va
Posts: 4,712
• Horses: 0
lots of choices. A decent Aussi stock saddle, either a kimberly trail master or kimberly superior, depending on fit should serve you well. Another good choice would be the leather/ cordura hybrids High horse or Bighorn brand.
I think you are being pretty conservative on your riding. 10-15 k ? Thats nothing barely a 2 hour ride. I understand alot of terrain but even with steep terrain. A horse in decent shape can cover alot more ground than that. Figure 5km per hour at a nice easy slow walk.
Joe4d is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 04-03-2012, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 286
• Horses: 4
Thanks for the replies so far. unclearthur, I know the site and I know of the person - I think I have every page of that site bookmarked separately! I've also been on to your blog to see if there was anything helpful on there re. cavalry saddle models etc...

Joe, yup, we're being very conservative just for planning purposes. Although it's clear at the very beginning our route is all uphill and so we probably won't be doing mega miles. The 25km/d average is what we reckon for the whole of the trip, including days off and days spent cursing at borders...

Specific model recommendations would be great for the saddles. Off to check out the Kimberlys now...
AnnaHalford is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 04-05-2012, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 286
• Horses: 4
I'm bumping this because I'm sure there's other people with good ideas - I've been on the 'I'm a trail rider' thread and there's several users on there whose advice I'd appreciate...
AnnaHalford is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 04-06-2012, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 979
• Horses: 1
The "Long Riders' Guild" has a whole bunch of really good info on tack on their website from people with experience riding very long distances
Posted via Mobile Device
Regula is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
saddle advice ? RadHenry09 Horse Tack and Equipment 3 09-24-2010 06:45 PM
Saddle advice for my TWH snoggle Horse Tack and Equipment 12 03-18-2010 01:31 PM
Advice on a jumping saddle? + Saddle fit jmagdavidson Horse Tack and Equipment 3 08-05-2009 06:05 AM
Saddle Advice? aneternalflame Horse Tack and Equipment 2 05-26-2009 09:14 AM
In need of a saddle (advice?) Jubilee Rose Horse Tack and Equipment 8 07-19-2008 12:37 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome