which western saddle, reining vs barrel vx equitation

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which western saddle, reining vs barrel vx equitation

This is a discussion on which western saddle, reining vs barrel vx equitation within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Western saddle equitation seat
  • Reigning saddle vs pleasure

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    09-23-2009, 01:35 PM
which western saddle, reining vs barrel vx equitation

I have decided to buy a new saddle. I have a western Wintec and everyone seems to agree that it is more slippery than a leather saddle and has a shallow cantle. I have been riding in a Marlene McCrae barrel saddle recently and feel very comfortable in it. But it is borrowed so I need my own. I have gotten so many opinions from our trainers on what kind to get my head is swimming. I have been told that the barrel saddle will be more likely to help me stay in the saddle on a trail ride if the horse spooks and spins but does not lend itself as well to a good seat as it puts the legs too far forward. The person giving me lessons says I look fine seat wise in the M.McCrae saddle so I guess I could stick with a barrel saddle if it is safer but I feel like I have to concentrate a lot on sitting up straight and keeping my legs under me. I tried out some equitation saddles at the used store and felt like they sat me more upright and that felt kind of comfortable as well but the person there did say I might be more likely to fall forward in that kind of saddle if a problem arose (which is something I have a tendency to do). Another person is telling me to get a reining saddle for safety and posture. Sorry for the long post but if any one can clear it up for me it is the people on Horse Forum!
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    09-23-2009, 01:48 PM
Super Moderator
These specs are most, but not all.

Barrel Saddles have a 5" Tall Cantle
Reining Saddles have 3.5" Tall Cantles and Close Contact Skirts
Equitation Saddles are 3" to 3.5" Cantles
Trail Saddles have 4" Tall Cantles

That being said, some Trails Saddles have Close Contact Skirts and 5" Cantles, they are just a little harder to find

Many people use Barrel Saddles to Trails Ride, the ones with the very small and rounded skirts can give the close contact feel with your Horse too.

    09-23-2009, 03:51 PM
That looks like good saddle website. So how much of a difference would a 5" tall cantle make versus a 3" or 4". Maybe a trail saddle is the way to go. Also, the saddle I am borrowing has a flex tree. Sure sounds good for the horse. But I don't know if it is just a gimmick or if it actually makes a difference for the horse. No one has discussed close contact versus not with me yet. Oh no! One more ingredient in the mix. My horse if not very long backed so I should probably stick with a rounded skirt, right?
    09-24-2009, 12:25 AM
I ride in a Tex Tan reining saddle. The seat is pitched differently than a pleasure saddle or equitation saddle. The horn is much lower as well. I like it though, but I guess I'm just used to it cause it's the only one I ride in!
    09-24-2009, 02:54 AM
I ride in a barrel saddle and love it, I find them more secure than other saddles. But I also run barrels and poles on Junior so I bought a barrel saddle for that purpose.
    09-24-2009, 10:39 AM
What a hard decision. I do play at the Oh-Mok-See games when my daughter goes. But I am in the "senior" division so although we lope it is not at any speed. For that the barrel saddle might be the wise choice. Trail riding is the majority of my riding.
The horn is much lower as well.
I think I like the lower horn idea. I will never rope and from a safety standpoint less likely to get caught on it.
The seat is pitched differently
7 Ponies, how exactly does it pitch you differently. Are your legs a little more forward? I guess that might not look quite as pretty for equitation lovers but might be a more solid seat? Is that right? But NordicJuniper I guess I really can't go wrong if I just get another barrel saddle because everyone seems to agree they give you the most secure seat.
    09-24-2009, 10:42 AM
Another point though. It seems like for trail riding your back might get more sore in a barrel saddle because it does not sit you as upright. When I tried the equitation type saddle my back felt more relaxed.
    09-24-2009, 07:48 PM
Yes, my legs do tend to ride more forward in it. The seat itself is very padded in the front, so it makes you sit back toward the cantle much more than in a normal saddle.

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