Horn or Hornless trail saddle ? - The Horse Forum
View Poll Results: Horn or Hornless ?
Small wide horn 22 43.14%
hornless 29 56.86%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 42 Old 07-12-2012, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Humid South
Posts: 158
• Horses: 2
Horn or Hornless trail saddle ?

I'm going to get a new saddle sometime this year . But I can't choose if I want a small wide horn or no horn at all . Right now I ride in a reining saddle . Since I just trail and pleasure ride , I just want a trail saddle . Getting either a Crest Ridge Saddle or AMTS for my quarter mare. And if the saddle fits my 3 yr old grade gelding it's a plus . If not thats fine .

Anyway , I just ride to have fun and this Billy Cook Pro Reiner ain't cutting it anymore ! It only has 2 dee rings .... And those are for the breast collar ! I need more dee rings ,footman loops ,and saddle strings . The skirt is also to long for my little 14.2-3hh mare . The skirt is around 28'' and she needs

I sometimes ride with a mecate rein or my lead done up on my little horn .But I can just put the mecate rein in my belt loop and my lead in my saddle bag if I needed to. I pony my 3yr old and my yearling donkey .Not at the same time though.

I might do some competitive trail in the furture .Either NATRC or ACTHA .

*Cowgirl for Christ*

John 3:16 KJV
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post #2 of 42 Old 07-12-2012, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Georgia USA
Posts: 6,866
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I like a horn. You can tie stuff to it. I like to use a saddle horn bag.
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Carpe Diem!
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post #3 of 42 Old 07-12-2012, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: McAlester Oklahoma
Posts: 19
• Horses: 9
Just bought a hornless endurance saddle to use, I have been using a Western trail saddle up until, I always preferred to tie my things to the back, they always seem to get in the way on a pommel bag, or come off when we are moving faster than a walk. There are ways to attach things to a hornless saddle.
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post #4 of 42 Old 07-12-2012, 09:05 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,482
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I love having a horn and would never buy one without. I also know plenty who don't have a horn and are just as happy. Just personal preference is all.

I do know a couple of people who have come out of the saddle after buying a hornless saddle. Horse acts up, they make a grab for the horn and ummm, miss which ends up with them on the ground. Just be aware it can take a few problem times to learn to grab something else.
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post #5 of 42 Old 07-12-2012, 09:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Georgia USA
Posts: 6,866
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My saddle horn has prevented a few falls for sure.

Carpe Diem!
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post #6 of 42 Old 07-12-2012, 10:06 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Central Tennessee
Posts: 311
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I spent my first few years as a child riding bareback, didn't have a saddle. So I didn't have a saddle horn to grab!

I love my hornless saddles, those saddle horns make me nervous and I feel like they are in the way. I really never did learn to grab one at any time, so even if my horse acts up I wouldn't use it. And I'm always afraid if an accident happens that thing will poke a hole in me.
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post #7 of 42 Old 07-12-2012, 10:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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I've always had a horn and I couldn't imagine having to go without one for any length of time at all. Not only do they function as something to hang things from (IMHO, much easier to get a water bottle out of a horn bag than to have to turn around to get one out of a saddle bag when you're moving), but they can also work well as an "oh-s***" handle and they give you something to stabilize yourself when navigating rough or steep terrain.
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post #8 of 42 Old 07-12-2012, 11:54 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 3,391
• Horses: 2
I rode bareback as a teenager - but I didn't really trail ride - I was just going around the neighborhood but when I did ride in a saddle it was a western with a horn!

When I got my horses three years ago I started with a Billy Cook Trail saddle and then got an Aussie with a horn. I couldn't imagine not having one if I needed it. Well, I got a horn in the gut going up a steep hill, my fomer gelding bucked out twice when I asked him to slow down. The hematoma in my gut was HUGE, immediate and painful as all get out. I felt like I had been stabbed. We walked slow all the way back. Even the following week a trot was too painful. I have got it in the gut a few times with that horn but not that bad. I then bought a hornless Aussie and I liked it.

I bought a custom AMTS for Biscuit last year with a horn. I liked having places to hang stuff but when going up hills or ducking under limbs the horn would interfere. I was training Biscuit for Endurance and I just got in a new AMTS Renegade Endurance saddle with the slim pommel - not horn. I haven't even put it on him due to pouring rain this week but I have enough D rings on the pommel and front and bar things on the cantle along with 4 ties on each side. I don't think I will miss the horn - if I need to grab a hold of something I can grab the slim pommel.

Here is my new saddle - I hope to get it on Biscuit this weekend. This picture was taken before they added the D and O rings and the cantle bars.

Enjoying my Garmin and mapping trails
Visit my trail riding blog at

Last edited by QOS; 07-12-2012 at 11:58 PM.
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post #9 of 42 Old 07-13-2012, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Humid South
Posts: 158
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I've always been scared I'd get gutted by the horn ,or worse ....LANDING on it ! It happened to my "step" aunt who is only a few years older than me . She had bled so bad she had to go to the ER . It was a tall slim horn on a barrel saddle .

I learned how to ride in a english AP saddle . I ride bareback alot ,so I really don't grab the horn at all . I go for the mane .Thank the Lord my horses all have long thick manes !

BTW I'm adding bucking rolls ,no matter what saddle I get .

QOS -I looooove your new saddle !
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*Cowgirl for Christ*

John 3:16 KJV

Last edited by GoWithTheFlow; 07-13-2012 at 09:47 AM. Reason: adding
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post #10 of 42 Old 07-13-2012, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 212
• Horses: 0
I have a hornless trail saddle, and I love it! It is so much easier to move around in (up or down steep hills, dodging branches, jumping small logs if I have to) without catching a horn in the gut. I was about 10 when I bought it, and my mom made me save up every last dime for it. She also made sure that I got a saddle that would be large enough so when I was an adult I could still use it. I worked my butt off to get it, but it was totally worth it!

Circle Y Saddles - Expedition Flex2 Trail Saddle

I have the 16" seat, with walnut colored leather.

The good thing about not having a horn is that no body wants to ride in my saddle lol
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