Why do western saddles hurt?
 
 

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Why do western saddles hurt?

This is a discussion on Why do western saddles hurt? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • "western saddle" sit bone
  • Bruises from saddle

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    02-26-2013, 05:42 PM
  #1
Trained
Why do western saddles hurt?

I've wondered this for years. Every single last western saddle I have ever ridden in hurts me in some way. Usually, I get quarter-sized bruises on my butt where my seat bones are. Other times, my legs or lower back will hurt. I've tried sitting back on my seat pockets and I've tried sitting more forward, like you would in an English saddle. Half the time when I climb down from a western saddle, I can barely stand, much less walk.

The thing is, I've ridden in at least a dozen different western saddles. From my best friend's Circle Y Park and Trail with a ridiculous amount of padding in the seat, to an old slick seat roping saddle that belonged to my old BO.

The closest I've come to a comfortable (for me) western saddle was my friend's ridiculously heavy show saddle. No idea what brand, but I gave pics of me in it (it was too small, though).

Here's the kicker, though. My trail saddle is an Aussie saddle with a slick, non-suspended seat and it is the most comfortable saddle I have ever sat in. I can go for a long trail ride with zero pain and full mobility at the end. The only thing that has come close to my Aussie saddle was the authentic Peruvian saddle I rode my friend's Peruvian paso in.

So, is it me...or the saddle?

I'm going to be showing Aires western this summer, so I need to figure out how to not be dying 5 minutes after climbing into the saddle.
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    02-26-2013, 07:03 PM
  #2
Trained
I have no idea, bruises on your butt even! Most western saddles I ride in are pretty comfy, sorry no help here.
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    02-26-2013, 07:19 PM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
I have no idea, bruises on your butt even! Most western saddles I ride in are pretty comfy, sorry no help here.
I wouldn't have believed there were bruises, except when I worked at the Girl Scout horse camp a few years ago, I rode every day. By the end of the first week, I couldn't figure out why it hurt to just sit, even when I wasn't in the saddle. Checked in the mirror and sure enough, there were literally quarter-sized bruises right where my seat bones would hit when I was in the saddle. And every horse at the camp had its own saddle, so it had to have been more than one saddle doing it to me.
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    02-26-2013, 07:19 PM
  #4
Trained
Me either-only sores I ever get is from wearing the wrong boots and jean seam rubbing on my inner knees. And that is rarely.

Maybe you have a bony butt-mine surely is not.
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    02-26-2013, 07:20 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
Bruises on your butt means you need to eat more....
     
    02-26-2013, 07:24 PM
  #6
Trained
Trust me, I have plenty of padding. Lol. My ex-husband used to tease me that Trace Atkins' song, "Honky-Tonk Badonk-a-donk," was my theme song.

This is the only pic I have of me in a western saddle. Like I said, the saddle was too small.

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    02-26-2013, 07:25 PM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmpony84    
Bruises on your butt means you need to eat more....
No! No eating more!! Lol. I need to stop eating, is what I need to do.
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    02-26-2013, 07:25 PM
  #8
Showing
Have you tried a saddle with a 5" cantle? Unlike the low cantle the high one correctly aligns the pelvis which makes for more rider comfort. Circle Y's High Horse line puts out such a saddle. Not light weight tho.The position you are in put you in the chair seat.Slide your hips forward about 2" and bring your heels back until they are under your hips.That saddle may not be too small, it seems it's because you are sitting too far back. Someone should be able to hold up a straight stick and it will be in line with your shoulder, hip and heel.
     
    02-26-2013, 07:28 PM
  #9
Trained
Maybe because you are riding in saddles that are too small for you?
     
    02-26-2013, 07:28 PM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Have you tried a saddle with a 5" cantle? Unlike the low cantle the high one correctly aligns the pelvis which makes for more rider comfort. Circle Y's High Horse line puts out such a saddle. Not light weight tho.
A high cantle like on a wade? I haven't, that I can recall.

This is the saddle I'm hopefully going to buy. While it wasn't as comfortable as my Aussie, it wasn't exactly uncomfortable, either (I sat on it on the rack).
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