Why do western saddles hurt? - Page 3

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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

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    02-27-2013, 03:49 PM
I rode in saddles for so many years that didn't fit me that I just kind of figured that pain was a part of riding. After I outgrew my kid saddle when I was 10 or 11 (yes, I was a small child), I moved up to one of my Dad's old roping saddles. 16" seat, wide twist, flat seated torture devices is what they were LOL.

I often wonder if that isn't the source of my habit of riding with my weight on my feet. Whenever I would try to ride properly in those old saddles, they would absolutely kill my hips. Even my own roping saddle that I bought about 10 years ago hurts me...and it's got some really thick seat padding. Now, when I got my Association saddle, the difference is like night and day. Where before, all my weight would be directly on the points of my seat bones (which did cause sore and bruised spots), now, the pressure is more spread out to everything around the seat bones as well. It's like a glove down there. The only time I end up with a sore butt now is if I go for months without riding and then spend all day in the saddle. But, I think that's a combination of a hard seat saddle and a bony butt .

Point is, whether the seat fits you or not plays a big part in how comfortable it is.
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    02-27-2013, 04:26 PM
Three cheers for the narrow twist! For me it makes all the difference in how I sit and comfort level.
That is a nice looking saddle you posted. Let us know how it fits your horse.
    02-27-2013, 04:29 PM
Originally Posted by Dustbunny    
Three cheers for the narrow twist! For me it makes all the difference in how I sit and comfort level.
That is a nice looking saddle you posted. Let us know how it fits your horse.
I'll probably put up a thread with pics to see how everyone thinks it fits. I'm pretty good at saddle fit (had eight saddles on my old gelding in a 6 month span lol), but I'd like an outside opinion.
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    02-27-2013, 05:13 PM
The saddle is in my possession and I have until Friday to make my decision! Can't wait to go out to the barn after work and try it on the beastly! Hopefully my BO has a pad I can borrow and I can try riding in it, too...
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    02-28-2013, 10:26 PM
I think I'm going to cry. Tried the saddle on Aires today. He has grown a RIDICULOUS amount. The tree was so incredibly narrow on him that he actually grabbed the sleeve of my hoodie in his teeth when I stuck my hand under the bars in the front to see if there was any space. He has NEVER bitten me like that since that last time before he was gelded and he got my fist to his jaw. He got a hard slap on the face when he bit me, but I don't really blame him. Poor guy. I would have been pissy too if I'd had something that narrow pinching my shoulders.

My BO's husband has a really nice custom saddle that he's going to let us try next time we're out there. It's a 17" and I think he said it was FQHB (he's from Italy and has only been in the States for a few years, so his accent is a little difficult to understand sometimes). Hopefully that'll fit. I need to measure the gullet on the Circle Y so I know how wide it is so I can look for something wider. I think I'm also going to make a withers tracing to take with me when I go saddle hunting.
    02-28-2013, 10:30 PM
    02-28-2013, 10:51 PM
Yikes. The good news is, FQHB seem to be a bit easier to find.

They seem that way to me anyway.
    02-28-2013, 10:55 PM
I'm not sure that the Circle Y wasn't actually FQHB. The gentleman who helped me on Wednesday said he thought it looked like what is considered semi-QH bars, but when I picked it up yesterday, the assistant manager who helped me said it was FQHB. She was considering buying it for herself.
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    02-28-2013, 11:13 PM
I have a similar problem with western saddles being uncomfortable. For me, it feels like my seat bones are teetering on the edges of a block of wood. My seat bones REALLY hurt after riding in a western saddle, and I've ridden in probably around 10 different ones. Honestly I think it might have to do with the shape of the tree. None of my friends have this problem, but I have very wide hips, and was wondering if my seat bones were just wider set than the average person? It's the only thing I can come up with. I never get that feeling in english saddles, and the only western saddle I've never experienced this in was one that was much too small for me (I think it was a 14 inch, and I was over flowing out with back :P).
    02-28-2013, 11:23 PM
Take a measuring tape to the gullet! A FQHB from one manufacturer/time period might be different from another...
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