I have ridden English my whole life but have borrowed a friends western saddle a few times to play around in. I guess because I'm so used to riding english, I found the western saddle pretty uncomfortable. It kind of felt like I was sitting on a hard block of wood without any padding. I thought that was very odd because I always thought western saddles were supposed to be super comfy. I probably just need to get used to the change. I was riding in an a/p wintec. What is the most comfortable western saddle you have ever ridden in?
I liked my Big Horn a lot, but I needed a different rigging option for our horse.
I am in a HighHorse Eldorado now. There is a definite 'sweet spot' that is where I need to be to be comfortable and when I am there I am in the best position I have ever been in in a Western Saddle. I think my position is so good in the Eldorado, it saved me when my horse gave me his first buck ever when under saddle (a couple of weeks ago).
I, too was used to an english saddle. I tried a bunch of western saddles and THIS one is the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden in, It also makes me feel VERY secure. It is an older Wade ranch saddle
I have a couple of Simcos and a Western Rawhide - they are all quite comfortable (and all are over 20 years old). They do have quilted/padded seats so I don't know if that makes much of a difference or not. I've been on some western saddles that had plain leather seats and those were definitely uncomfortable.
I never understood the comfort that folks supposedly feel in western saddles until I was introduced to the wonder of padded seats, lol. I think it's all in what you're used to though. I inherited a couple of older English saddles (a dressage and a cc) from my boyfriend's mom and the seats were hard as rocks! Horrible creatures. That's probably because I've been primarily riding in my Wintec Isabell dressage saddle for many years now!
The first couple of times that I REALLY rode in western saddles were at the trail riding place that my friend's dad used to own. I don't remember what the seats were like, but I remember them not being particularly comfortable. Since then I had ridden in a western saddle a couple of times, and again didn't find it too nice. Then I tried out a Circle Y equitation saddle with a padded seat that was super comfy! Unfortunately, the seat was just too big for me so I sent it back to its owner. I just bought a Guffey barrel saddle with a padded seat and it's nice! A fun little saddle that rivals the comfort of the Circle Y.
If I ever see a Circle Y equitation saddle of similar style that is in decent condition and within my price range I'll have to jump on it, but the Guffey was too good of a deal to pass up.
Just like with English saddles, different styles of western saddles will fit different people. If I try to ride in my Dad's old Billy Cook roping saddle, I'm in agony in just a few minutes because the seat is very wide and flat.
I've discovered that I really hate saddles with roping style trees because they are not designed for all-day comfort.
This right here is the most comfortable and secure saddle I've ever had the pleasure of plopping my butt in. It's a ranch saddle with a modified association tree and a narrow twist (meaning that the seat is narrower than average). I can and have ridden in this saddle for 8+ hours a day, day after day after day, and never felt uncomfortable or sore.
Smrobs - you are simply going to have to stop posting pictures of your horses otherwise I shall have to make a special trip down and, under cover of darkness, abscond with them. I'll let you keep the saddle though as I'm not completely heartless
I have a Circle Y show saddle that is very comfortable. The seat seams to be a little more padded. I rode in a Circle Y Park & Trail for over 25 years, a very comfy saddle. I sold it because I had to go to a bigger seat size (ugh).
My everyday saddle is a Billy Cook roping saddle. This one has a little harder seat but it is still very comfortable for me.