Your ideas for the ideal trail riding saddle - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 04-25-2013, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Your ideas for the ideal trail riding saddle

Hi all, love to get your opinions on this!
Here is a photo of the main trail riding saddle I make

It has solid brass hardware, padded seat, choc brown leather, breastplate dees, hoof pick holder and aluminium stirrups with rubber tread.

I want to develop another style and i'd like your help on what things you look for in an ideal trail riding saddle? What would like to see added and what changes would you make?

Photos of your favourite saddle to go trail riding in would be great too :)

Attached Images
File Type: jpg trail sadle.jpg (56.2 KB, 236 views)
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post #2 of 53 Old 04-25-2013, 07:23 PM
Green Broke
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Some things I see in your photo that are missing, at least for me, you don't have anything to tie saddle bags to the saddle and there isn't a rear cinch.

We just bought a used Aussie saddle. I'm waiting to try it out because we have to order a cinch for it. I like the idea they have with not much skirting behind the seat. For western saddles, I like the rounded skirting instead of the square type, especially if you do extended rides.
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post #3 of 53 Old 04-25-2013, 07:31 PM
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I agree about the saddle needing a smaller skirt. It also could use some places to hang things. Another thing, the stirrup leathers should be turned so that the stirrups hang nicely. For long distances, I would use endurance stirrups.

I like a saddle horn; some people do not. They are afraid that they will be injured by it. Making a horn free version might be a selling point.

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post #4 of 53 Old 04-25-2013, 07:42 PM
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Turned finders are an absolute must, and a bonus would be padded angled stirrups. I also like a memory foam, or other sort of padded seat, you may notice a trend here, I like my comfort.

I second the places to tie stuff, round skirts, definitely there should be a hornless option.

Muses..cup holder, set belts, DVD no not going to happen
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post #5 of 53 Old 04-25-2013, 08:06 PM
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I agree with everyone, other then I ride alot and I'd rather not have the padding, but rear cinch and saddle strings would be a must. I would rather have rigging for the rear cinch rather them a hole in the skirting, stirrup leathers should be turned. I would like a bigger saddle horn, I like small maching saddle pockits, I like rough out leather better and I couldn't tell but just to be nit picky :) I have never liked the bard wire tooling but thats just me being....... The picture I am posting is a little bit of a dream saddle.wade_eugene_side.jpg
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post #6 of 53 Old 04-25-2013, 08:09 PM
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what is the price on the saddles you are making?
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post #7 of 53 Old 04-25-2013, 08:24 PM
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I second what pretty much everyone else has said, you might want to make a round-skirted option (not everyone likes round skirts though, so keep the square skirt option as well), saddle strings are a must, a back cinch (like Bob said, an actual rigging instead of slits in the skirt) is also a must.

Another thing you might consider is making it on a tree that would withstand pulling so that a person could put a rope on a log or tree blocking the trail and drag it out of the way without worrying about breaking their tree. I like a rawhide covered wood tree. It makes things a bit heavier, but IMHO, it's worth it to have the added sturdiness.

My favorite "trail" saddle is actually my ranch saddle, it's got a nice deep seat, the fenders are back enough to keep my leg more underneath me.

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post #8 of 53 Old 04-25-2013, 08:52 PM
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I second everything said. Rigging is a MUST for me. If I can't tie on saddle bags at the very LEAST, I will not buy a saddle to trail ride in.

Since everyone else has addressed that though, I'll say I like a trail saddle with a nice deep seat that isn't going to hurt my back. Some ranch style saddle are very good at this.
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...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #9 of 53 Old 04-25-2013, 09:06 PM
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Very much a non-expert, but what I looked for when buying my saddle was, first of all, the weight. At 6' and close to 200 lbs, I'm a load for a horse to carry for hours. I don't want to add 10-20 lbs of extra saddle weight, especially things that are just for looks.

I didn't want a horn (no way am I going to be roping cows!), but attachments for saddle bags (or a cantle bag) were necessities. And like a couple of other commenters, I wonder why the stirrups can't be turned 90 degrees...
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post #10 of 53 Old 04-25-2013, 09:14 PM
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I will mention about the saddle you put on in the first post; I like the swede seat. It gives a lot of sticking power.
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