What make a saddle be a gaited saddle? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 03-28-2012, 12:31 AM
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I wanted to suggest you find a saddle to borrow that has the stirrups set where you're thinking you want them and go out for a 3 hour ride and make *sure* they're comfortable for you. My mom bought a bob marshall treeless endurance saddle, with the stirrups set farther back than the usual sport saddle. I usually ride english, but happened by her campsite and took her horse out with that saddle. I had to ride with no stirrups because the position of the stirrups hurt my knees so badly. Turns out they hurt hers too, she sold it (at a loss) after less than a dozen rides in it. I'd never get one with stirrups positioned like that again, but there's got to be a happy medium out there somewhere!
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post #12 of 20 Old 03-28-2012, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Alisa View Post
I've also been looking at a Fabtron which is made in Maryville, TN. It's leather seat and synthetic skirting. Is anyone familiar with this brand.
Fabtron makes a nice Saddle, I have known them for years, good people too.


May all your Trails be happy and safe ones

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post #13 of 20 Old 03-28-2012, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Now I have to do some real soul searching. When I first bought my gelding, I rode him ever weekend and 1 or 2 times during the week. Then the falls started happening. At first not his fault and then the spooks which were often him trying to dislodge me. The first falls were things like me letting him follow the leader over some fallen branches on the trail when he had never jumped before. He slammed up to them and then lurched over. There were 3 in a row and I came off at the 3rd. Then getting into yellow jackets. Also before the yellow jackets there were a few other spooks that while I didn't come off, I was almost off. He would spook at stupid stuff. This was all in an english saddle. My confidence is shaken, so I either need to quit horses or suck it up. This mare is lovely and the owner is bringing her out to our place on Sunday afternoon for a trail ride. Saddle? what I want is a Freckler's. There are 3 where I board that I could ride in anytime. My 2 issues are that they are so heavy that I don't know if I can swing them up and that they are so expensive.
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post #14 of 20 Old 03-28-2012, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Didn't finish. Falls started happening and I got afraid to trail ride him. Then health issued started happening and I didn't feel like riding him. I am still having some problems, but many are just due to my inactivity. I go out in the morning, feed him muck his stall/paddock, turn him out, and set up feed for the evening. Then, usually, my son comes by on the way home from work and brings him in. This mare deserves someone who will religiously rider her 2-3 times a week. Am I that person? Thus the soul searching.
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post #15 of 20 Old 03-28-2012, 02:29 PM
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Hi, I thought I'd throw my $0.02 in. It sounds like to you have a special set of circumstances (QH Arab X, some fear issues, moving from dressage to western saddle, unfamiliarity with western saddles, etc.) that would best be addressed by trying out some saddles on your new horse to get a sense of what does and doesn't work for you and your horse. Try out everyone's saddle you can get a hold of. This will really help you zero in on what works best for you and your horse.

I would recommend against going with a gaited saddled unless you truly have a gaited horse. A gaited saddle is NOT designed for the rider, but rather for the horse. So, if your horse isn't gaited, it makes no sense to get a gaited saddle.

I happen to be a huge fan of Wade tree saddles for just the reason you mention - they set you deep in the seat with your legs directly below you in a balanced position. But not all folks feel the same and you really should ride one before buying one. I think they are the most comfortable saddles in the world and keep me in great touch with my horse. But others struggle with them. They do tend to be heavier saddle as they're more often designed as working saddles. The best non-custom Wade saddle we've found is the McCall.. and for women... the Lady McCall. You can sometimes find used ones for sale on ebay.

If you're going to ride western, you need to accept that the saddle will be heavier than dressage or other English-style saddles. There are now decent synthetic and lighter weight western saddles, but if your main criteria is weight, you'll end up choosing a saddle that will be a poor choice for you and your horse.

Hope this helps.
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post #16 of 20 Old 03-29-2012, 08:43 AM
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You will not regain your confidence overnight, regardless of the saddle you ride. That being said, I ride a Wade saddle made by AMTS that was custom made for my funky-to-fit-mare for about $1100. It is super comfortable to trail ride and weighs about 27 lbs. Heavy by your standards, but alot lighter than the 45 lb saddle I was riding before.
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post #17 of 20 Old 04-19-2012, 01:34 PM
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I bought a Fabtron lady trail saddle with flex tree over Christmas and love it! It's light weight, very well made and fits my horses perfect! I've, had many compliments from fellow trail riders and trainers alike. It has a deep seat, smaller twist and my stirrups are set just right. Not all synthetic saddles are poorly made and with a bad back picking up my 20 pound synthetic and putting it on my 16 hand gelding makes a huge difference.
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post #18 of 20 Old 04-19-2012, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Alisa View Post
I've also been looking at a Fabtron which is made in Maryville, TN. It's leather seat and synthetic skirting. Is anyone familiar with this brand. I went and looked at this mare today and she has a flat and I mean flat back. full quarter horse bars is a definitly. Even if she lost 100 lbs, I think she would still be a wide wide back.
IF you can get a fitter to work with you, buy the saddle! I love these and they are made in the town half my family lives in. Unless manufacturing has changed in the last 2 years they are made really well. Some folks say they are made more for the hard to fit horse, but my Aunt rides them on everything from her Quarab to her TWH's.

I miss you Rascal. Every day, all day.
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post #19 of 20 Old 04-19-2012, 03:29 PM
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I'll chime in as a vote for Wintec or Fabtron synthetic western saddles. I have a Wintec which is probably 20 years old - looks a little ratty now from where the fenders got sweaty and the logo fell off, but still rides great. If I would clean it, it would look fine.

Hubby and I have 2 Fabtron gaited saddles for our MFT and TWH, respectively. Love them. Light enough to handle but heavy enough to be safe and great for the horses. We bought through Horsesaddleshop.com and they were GREAT for the customer service - I asked a million questions about trees, wither measurements, and so forth and they were great.

These 3 saddles have roughout seats - this will be the #1 recommendation that I have for you, so that you have something that 'grabs' a little to help you ride through a spook.

Also, as far as what makes gaited saddles different - the flare to the bars at the front of the saddle allow shoulder movement, which is a big deal for the gaited horse but it's fine for a non-gaited as well. They also have a different 'rock' to the tree, front to back, because gaited horses have a tendency to have a flatter back from front to back than non-gaited. However, I ride the Fabtron gaited saddle with my QH gelding, too, and I swear he does better in it than in the Wintec or other western and Aussie saddles that I have. Go figure.

I think the advice to try out a saddle is great - are you close to KC?
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post #20 of 20 Old 04-19-2012, 06:52 PM
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look at the Kimberly Australian saddles. Either the Trail master for medium to low withered or the Superior for medium to high or gaited horses. Love my to,. Lighter than western. Very secure. General Beauregard was very spooky still is a little. While much better now he occasionally likes to go from a canter to a screeching halt because of a funny looking leaf. Those Aussi poles look funny but they have saved me quite alot. The saddle will ride and feel like a dressage saddle but more comfortable and secure.
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