Trails in an English saddle
I love going on trail rides, but I HATE western saddles in general, so I go in my close contact saddles. Anyone else?
I've always ridden in English saddles, so never saw any reason to change over to a Western saddle for trail riding.
Nothing wrong with the saddle for trail riding. If I'm going on a really long ride I prefer a saddle that I can tie things to, and English saddles have the same capacity to tie to as a mountain bike!
Have you ever looked at Steele saddles? They are heavier and have a raised pommel, but some models do not have a horn. They have many rings to tie to and are ideal for trail riding.
Nope. I go Australian-style...but if my horse was calmer, or if I was a better rider, or if I was in my 20s instead of 50s and had bones that bounced, I'd trail ride in an English saddle. :wink:
I think it depends on what you're used to, more than anything else. If you're used to riding in an English saddle, and new to trails, then keeping the same saddle means just one less new thing to deal with. But my much-more-experienced riding buddy will switch between English & endurance-style saddles.
I didn't want a real western saddle, as they seemed (to a novice, anyway) to all be too heavy and have decorations & stuff, plus I couldn't see the point of a horn if I'm not going to be roping calves. Got one of the Abetta Endurance models instead - fairly light (17 lbs), and no decoration. But I only do trail riding - so far, anyway!
I am waiting for my new Wintec 2000 AP to be delivered tomorrow! It looks like I will get to experience the trails in my new saddle this weekend.
I am changing over from Western to a Wintec for the adjustable gullet. I couldn't find a western saddle that I could lift with a wide enough gullet for my horse. And, I prefer the closeness of bareback over my western saddle, so I am expecting to love the English saddle for its closeness and the fact that it has a little more formality to keep me on the horse.
As to the issue with tie-ons; our trail rides are pretty demanding with the steep hills and loose footing. After 3 hours, the horses and the riders are pretty pooped. I don't tend to carry anything attached to my saddle other than a GPS.
I've been looking at trail saddle pads. They have pockets on the lower rear half of the pad. I may purchase one of these to use for those trail trips when I do want to carry light items, like a snack. Otherwise, I am going with a standard pad for every day / trail use.
There is another thread posted in HF; I think in trail riding that discusses ways to carry items on trails using an English saddle. One poster has a thin pad that goes betwen the saddle and the riding pad and has d-rings. The d-rings stick out from underneath the saddle.
Most English saddles have D-rings on one side and on the front anyway, so it's not like there isn't any place to tie things.
I do all my riding in an english-type saddle. I have saddle bags attached to the front of my saddle, to carry water bottles and other assorted necessities.
rode trails for 10 years with my Boo primarily in an english saddle. loved every minute of it.
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