English Trail Saddle Bags
Does anyone use saddle bags on their english saddle when trail riding? I am considering buying some since I am planning on doing some longer trail rides this year, and would love some opinions on what styles/brands people prefer. I am just looking for something that can fit a water bottle, a camera, possibly a snack, nothing too large.
The english bags seem to come in either a pommel attaching or cantle attaching style. I have used both with my western saddle with no issues but am concerned about how they work with an english saddle. I worry that the pommel bags may get in the way (and bounce a lot) especially if we are jumping over logs and such. The cantle bags all appear to slide over the top of the cantle. I worry that this could be uncomfortable while riding. I also worry about how stable both styles of bag will be. Western saddles have so many more places to attach things!
Any personal experiences and opinions will be very appreciated!
I have a very small saddle bag for my english saddle, I can carry a sandwich and maybe a snack in it, along with my phone if I don't have a pocket. It attaches to the dee rings on the side of the seat of the saddle, just behind my leg. I also use a nylon water bottle holder, which I clip to the dee where you'd attach the breastplate, and then tie the bottom ties to the billets. It sits directly in front of my saddle that way, and doesn't get in the way at all....
I bought a special cantle bag for an english or Aussie saddle that attaches to the d-rings on the back but haven't used it yet. However, I can tell you it will easily fit what you listed as well as a light jacket or first aid supplies without being too bulky.
Because I'm not a fan of stuff on the pommel area I looked at the saddle pads with the pouches on the side. From what reviews I found people really like them.
All Purpose Trail Endurance Pad - Statelinetack.com
My bags were on clearance so I bought those instead, but do plan to buy or make a pad with pouches for when I want to use that instead.
I have a trail saddle pad with pockets on the sides for my english saddle like the one above. I picked it up at a local tack shop.
I think it's this pad.
Both sides have the same pockets. A large pocket and two smaller ones sewn on top of it that you can fit water bottles into. So in total, pockets for 4 water bottles plus the 2 bigger pockets. I usually just throw my drinks in the main bigger pockets though to be able to grab them easier. I love this pad, and it doesn't get my way at all.
I use quite large saddle bags on my horse - we spend a lot of time taking beginner rides out hacking in the summer, so I like big saddle bags that can fit an extra jumper, a waterproof, a packed lunch, several water bottles and a fold up bucket so I can water the horses, and ofc hoof pick, spare lead rope etc. They slide under the cantle, and tie to the d-rings on the back of the saddle and also to the top of my girth. They are really solid, don't flap, and are easy to get in and out of whilst riding too. I'd defo recommend them!
This is them attached, if it helps. Not particularly professional looking, but they don't flap nearly as much as my friends do who doesn't attach hers to the girth (admitted, I should use a leather loop to make it prettier than bailer twine...)
I have a few different bags from Stowaway (Wind Rider Tack - Endurance and Trail Tack Supply) and really like them. They fit snug to the saddle and there are pockets pockets pockets galore.
A friend of mine trail rides in an English saddle and, at least for a while, she had one of those saddle blankets/pads with a sewn-in pocket.
Some of the endurance supply companies would also be a good option for finding saddle bags that fit well onto an English saddle.
Another option would be one of those fanny-packs made for backpacking/hiking. Rather than attach it to your saddle, you just wear it around your waist. I've never really used one for riding because I ride in a western saddle and I'm accident prone and kind of a klutz - so I'd probably end up getting the strap of the pack stuck on the horn while we were climbing a hill.:lol: They do look nice - they're sold at Walmart so you could probably get an inexpensive one, and they'd be a good way of keeping things like your cell phone and keys with you in case you and your horse ever "part company" on a trail ride.:wink:
I have one that attaches to the Drings on the back of the saddle, it bounces a bit, but not too bad. I have shoestrings on my Drings that I tie around the other end of the saddle bag to keep it from bouncing too much. Also, when I don't have my saddle bag attached, the shoelaces on the Drings are used as a way to tie up a coat/sweater when I get too warm.
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