Saddle help for gaited horse....
Need some help with some saddle info- I currently ride with a don west saddle and love to pieces.....but think I need to switch to something different as it is not fitting my Rocky mare like it fit my Peruvian mare. I am really interested in the Barefoot (treeless) saddles. Any one have experience with these or any other ideas to look at.
What kind of pad are you using? Does the saddle fit big or small? What is the size-shape of your horse? My wife and I have three Don West saddles and love them. We also have four Rocky Mountain Mares Love them too:lol:.. My wife has been having some problems with her Don West saddle fitting one mare. Her mare is the smallest of the mares and the saddle fits just a little big. The mare loves the saddle and has no sore spots, but there is one dry area, no white hairs. My wife uses a skito pad and ordered some extra pading from skito that has been helping. I use a Classic Equine wool top contour pad, but my mare is bigger and has a bit more wither. You might try a different pad befor the expence of a new saddle. I'll have my wife read the post too. Have her give her two cents.
Its Barbarosa's wife :lol:
Is your horse sore, getting white spots, dry spots or something like that?
My horse (Vida) and I both love our Don West. I would have to be getting bucked off or something dangerous for me to give it up.
Vida is just getting some small dry spots behind the withers but from palpitations and testing she isn't sore. She never acts like the saddle bothers her, its more me than her, I want my baby comfy :wink:
I haven't decided which way to go yet, I contacted Skito (the pad I use now) sent them some photos and they sent me some shims that I have been using. The weather has been so cold that its difficult to get her to break a sweat even on a 2-3 hour ride. I'll keep up the experiment and try to catch a warm day to really try it out.
I have also been looking into Clinton Anderson's PRS pad. It looks really interesting but the price tag and the shape (it looks way to big and square) have been putting me off. I have an email in to them to see if it comes in other shapes. Maybe if I save my penny's plus my Christmas and birthday money I can try one.
I'll keep you informed of what comes of all of this.
I don't recommend any treeless saddle that looks like a cusion - with or without special pads. They don't really evens out the preassure, even if you might not get dry spots they still get the preassure on a relatively small area. And as far ads my experience goes, they're not safe.. they can feel ok and then slide around and hang under the horses belly without much warning, even if you strapped the girth 3 times. >_>
Ok, I admit I might be a bit over-concerned after shattering my wrist, spending two weeks on the hospital for surgery and a year later still not being able to move it right. But it's just not worth the risk.
However, treeless sadels that looks like real saddles, are more firm and has panels, I have much beter experience from them; comfy, evens out the preassure much better and is safer.
I have a star trekk espaniola myself.. but I think Star Trekk refuses to sell over sea.. but try to find a treeless saddle with real panels under it, that doesn't require a special pad. And don't fall for the ''fits all horses'' thingy..
I had a Bob Marshall Treeless and LOVED it! No slipping, just an easy ride. When I got my TWH mare, I noticed limping on her left side. After vet bills and x-rays, we attributed it to the saddle. It was interferring with her shoulder movement, making her sore. This is a very common thing in gaited horses. I ordered a Dixieland Gaited Saddle. They will send you forms and measurement instructions so that it really fits your horse. I LOVE it! I ordered the endurance saddle because it's much shorter in the back. No more limping and her pacing has gone away too. (Probably not the saddle but worth noting!)
I also have a friend who owns a Tennessean Saddle and loves it too. It's the same concept...freeing the shoulder
Thank you all for the responses!
I guess I am not in too big of a hurry since it is winter and not really getting much riding in at this point- stupid wisconsin winters!:-x
My Rocky mare is tall, thin and narrow and doesn't seem to have much thickness around her shoulders- So my don west just seems a bit wide for her. I also noticed when I ride my mare that she isn't moving as free...not sure if it is me or the saddle which kind of is what made me question things. Also the barn owner where I am boarding (During the weaning process) has a rocky- more of a shorter and stout build like my Dad's mare. She uses a barefoot saddle (treeless) and asked me to try it on my mare and see what she did. She seemed to move better that day in the arena so I am not sure if it is the saddle or what.....She is young 5 years old and I have had her for about a year and due to the colt...didn't get much riding in on her- so I am not sure if it is all due to being out of shape, unhappy with the fit of the saddle or what?!?!? So I guess that is why I was questioning what you all use for saddles. Right now I am currently using a thick pad-
I will try and take some pictures that show her back line, ect.
I have used Aussie's on my gaited Bashkir Curly mare and she loves it. It is also really comfy for me too. We just get to used it for our serious trail riding (we cant show in it...it is considered a "hybrid" saddle) but it is really good for narrow horses. She is a Arab/Curly cross, so she has a really deep heartgirth with a narrow shoulder.
I have already used the aussie saddles and just never really cared for them. I really am interested in the barefoot saddles and trying to get more info. I have decided that I am not going to sell my Don West saddle as I just love it too much and maybe bite the bullet and buy a used barefoot......
Two ladies on my local horse forum use treeless saddles on their Tennessee Walkers.
One uses a Bob Marshall and says there's nothing better.
The other uses a Hillason (sp?) and says there's nothing better:lol:
It seems, overall, that more folks are happy with the Bob Marshall than the Hillason.
I have Tennessee Walkers but I still ride bareback all the time, so I am of no help.
If any of my long-time riding friends do come down and ride, I have a custom-made, partly synthetic Crestridge that I bought used (Crestridge saddles are specifically for gaited horses), and I have an off-brand 11 pound endurance saddle that I use on the other Walker.
Neither saddle is a perfect fit for either horse, but they both work well for my very experienced friends to ride 3-4 hours of hard trails.
Neither horse ever came back galded or sore.
Even when I used to slide horses on their butts down the hill side, I never used a saddle. If I were still riding that hard and did need a saddle, I would probably order a custom-made Crestridge of the lightest weight, which would include being synthetic.
There is also a gaited saddle maker called "Allegheny Saddles" or "Saddlery". I can't remember. You should be able to Google either one of these saddle companies.
The Crestridge and the Allegheny saddles are NOT treeless.
I would be happy to find the links, but I am running a little behind and need to get to the barn, then take our generator to the repair shop thanks to the chipmunks or mice:-(
Hope this helps you a little bit:-)
I have a Hilason and im happy with it :P Overall it just depends on the rider. I recommend Hilason because they are comfy and the durable and the prices arent sky rocketing :D
I do have a couple of girlies of mine that use hilason and barefoot as well. They like both of them. i prefer hilason though ;)
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