What do you ride in?
Im just curious to see what saddle everyone else is riding in. What do you love about it? What do you hate about it? Why did you chose it?
I have a Martin Ironhorse. I love it. I barrel race and needed something that sits me down and also comfortable for trail rides. It also has drop rigging and a 8" gullet and fits all my horses awesome. Can't say there is anything I hate about it :-)
Just saw this is for endurance riding, so I apologize since this isn't the type of saddle you were thinking about!!
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Its not problem, I used to barrel race too. Every barrel saddle that I used, my feet always got behind me, and I never did find one that worked well for me.
I ride both my mares in a specialized eurolight. I LOVE it because it feels like an English saddle, but it is also comfortable for distance. I think it's "pretty": simple little black saddle. No tooling or fenders or anything excessive. On the upside, with some work and screwing around, it can fit anything.
The downside is that it takes work and screwing around to adjust the fit, and riding two horses in one specialized = difficult!
I just bought a hand-me-down Billy Cook saddle from my BO, and I love it! Big, beautiful and soooo western looking! It even has a fancy knife pocket.
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I ride in a Bob Marshall Sport Saddle. I LOVE it, it has COUNTLESS miles on it. I bought it used about 15 years ago, and it was very used then!
I have ridden every kind of horse with it, and the only fit issue is it has kind of low wither clearance. You can get them "peaked" for higher withers, but mine is not.
I use either a Skito pad, or an Equipedic. I prefer the Skito, and HATE the Equipedic.
The only other thing I don't like is that I cannot remount on the trail from the ground. Truth is, I cannot remount from the ground with a treed saddle either,(anymore....), but that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!!
I just recently had the stirrup leathers replaced, as I had the old Sportack (see, they have been out of business HOW long??) biothane ones with the cam locks, and they had gotten worn, and were not gripping. Had my Mennonite guy make me some out of leather with nylon backing and regular buckles. Boy do they feel secure!!
I am NOT a lightweight rider, and never had any back problems on horses. I finished a 75 with it, but never did a 100.
Greentree, I've considered getting a treeless saddle as a backup for my Arabian. I've ridden in a Bob Marshall briefly (and quite liked it!), but I was told by a friend that I was "too light" to ride treeless. :shock: In endurance terms, I'm a "featherweight," I suppose. 130 pounds. My friend said the saddle wouldn't "stay put correctly."
PS: Just bought a Skito pad. I love that thing.
I have only heard negatives against heavier riders and treeless, not lightweights!!
I have never weighed 130, so I have no paradigm, LOL!!! I wear a size 2 when I weigh 145!! That is NOT now, however....
Like all things, it depends on your horse and you.
I rode the last 18 miles of the Vermont 100 without a girth or breastcollar on my treeless saddle (a Torsion with a skito pad) and "stayed put" just fine. [I am a featherweight if riding in the treeless.] It also stays put just fine when I use all the normal equipment, and that includes mounting from the ground if necessary.
DH (who is a lightweight) used a treeless (a Bob Marshall) on Sultan and George for several years. George did fine with it, but Sultan developed back issues, which led to girthiness and lameness regardless of pads, etc. Now Sultan is going in a treed Rubicon (from the Arabian Saddle company) and doing great - he moves out much better and we haven't had any more issues.
Dream goes in a Free'N'Easy. It weighs a ton, but it fits her perfectly so I have no desire to look for something else (and I only say really bad things about it at the last hold of a 100, when its time to retack :wink:).
George has recently acquired a Rubicon of his own, as Dean really likes the one Sultan has. Gamer is going in the Torsion, as I expect her back to change as she comes into work (and she is currently shaped like an oil drum, needing an extra-extra-wide tree.. so I hope that changes in time!).
I ride in a Jill Thomas Thorowgood Endurance. Unsure of the model... Why I chose the saddle? I liked that it was synthetic for care reasons, that it was english and super light. Gel panels so reflocking isn't a worry (so nice!) Memory foam for the riders seat. Changeable gullet system. "fish" inserts to adjust fit as the horses condition changes. Extra tie rings, gullet straps.
I have many miles in it and am glad I chose it. Couple of downfalls- it does slip, you need a grip pad. And I don't like that memory foam seat. It's too grippy I have to use a seat cover when I use it. After some years now it's starting to look really worn. All in all easy concessions for me to make.
During the pre-check of the first Competitive trail ride in the saddle the vet told me my horse had quite a sore back that day. He maybe did something in the trailer? I have no idea. I decided to continue and pull out if I needed to, tacked up and set out slow. Over the next few checks and the final vetting the vet was very surprised- saying wow his back had improved immensely and the soreness had left. He seamed surprised lol. Sold me on that saddle right there!
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