Multiple Horses...One Saddle?
I actively ride fairly often at on barn horses others ride as well. My parents and I have been talking about getting a saddle and pads for my 16th birthday this year as I've finally realized that riding is really the only thing I care about a lot.
I ride one horse most of the time, but occasionally I'll get thrown on a different horse. She's pretty skinny and fits in the public saddles (we have 4 or 5 of the same very nice wintecs, mostly plastic but high quality) with only one saddle pad (though I've been using two square ones for her sore back.) I also ride some pretty fat horses, tall horses, short horses....
My issue is that I want this saddle to last a long time (probably want leather for that.) And it needs to be able to fit most somewhat normal horses plus or minus a saddle pad or a fleece saddle shaped pad.
Also, I really do NOT want to go buy three or four saddles then see which one fits best. I take lessons only and our instructor is huuuuge on being on time for the lesson.
If you could help me figure out how to get a good saddle I would be incredibly grateful. Thanks!
You have two options: You can buy a treeless saddle (look at some of the debates on treeless saddles in this forum for more info) or you can buy a saddle that fits the horse you ride most often, and then use the schooling tack for other horse you ride less often.
Another option entirely is to look into possibly leasing a horse that has tack included, so you can have your own horse without worrying that other people will ride it, and not have to spend the time and effort of finding a saddle that fits the horse as well as finding one you like.
I don't think you should get a saddle until you lease/buy a horse. if you have access to different saddles that fit all the horses you ride, why get another? I think you should save the money for the saddle and pad until you need it. :)
If you have a local tack shop they often have saddles. New used and on consignment. Sometimes they will let you keep them for the day to check fit ect. Even though they aren't new you can usually find great quality saddles for decent prices.
What about trying a wintec? They are fairly inexpensive used and last a long time. Plus if you ride a lot of "normal backed" horses it should fit most of them pretty well in the tree, and then you can adjust the gullet to whatever width they need.
First, if you buy a good quality saddle it will out last any horse so it makes no sense to buy a saddle for one particular horse. Treeless saddle in my opinion are a gimmick and the wintecs are low quality at best. Buy yourself a good quality leather saddle. I own a Corriente and I like it. Those can be had for 600-700 dollars. My FIL has a Billy Cook that is also quite nice and is a little better finish-wise. It was about $1500. Semi-quarterhorse bars will fit most horses.
Untill I joined this forum I had never heard of people buying saddles for each horse. I have one saddle and ride alot of different horses but I have NEVER put a sore on a horses back. Unless your horse has some kind of funky back you should be fine. It would be easier and cheaper to get another horse to ride.
I have a treeless and love it, but if you're a H/J rider, then you're out of luck. There are only a couple of treeless saddles out there that are made for jumping, and even fewer that look traditional enough to show hunters in. If you're an eventer or Dressage rider, then you can look in to Sensation, Freeform, Ansur, or Heather Moffett saddles. All make nice English models that are traditional enough for Dressage or Eventing.
If you want to stick with a treed saddle, then I would go with either a Courbette with their Swiss E-Motion tree (which self-adjusts to fit a few different shapes of horses), or something with a changable gullet system, like Collegiate, Wintec, Bates, Anky, Pessoa, etc.
Kevin, I agree that she shouldn't buy a saddle to fit a horse that's not hers, but it is important to have a well fitting saddle. English saddles are NOT the type to fit many different shapes of horses. If she buys a fixed-tree saddle now and ends up leasing or buying a horse that doesn't fit it, then she's stuck losing money on the saddle.
Well, actually, there aren't many fixed tree saddles out there that fit a lot of different shaped horses, western or english. With western saddles, you can find one that fits lots of horses because, well, many western horses are the same basic shape. Most western riders ride some kind of stock horse or stock horse cross. English horses can varry from small, fine boned Arabs, to tall lean & lanky TBs, to HUGE wide Warmbloods or draft crosses.
Different shaped horses require different shaped saddles/trees. Try putting your stock horse western saddle on a tall Thoroughbred or a small Arabian. Not gonna happen, lol.
Most Arabs actually tend to take a wider tree, but a lot of them probably don't get that because it's assumed that they'd need a narrower tree, since overall they tend to look more delicate.
But I agree, it's hard to find a saddle that will fit everyone you put it on. My trainer has a Stubben Siegfried that somehow magically seems to fit everyone - her 17.2 Hanoverian, my bony TB, her draft cross, etc.
You can really only use one saddle on numerous horses if you ride the same type of horses.
My stock sadde is on a standard stock horse tree - It has fitted every stock horse i've put it on so far. Would it fit a TB or super wide pony? Heck no!
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