Endurance saddle for everyday use? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-16-2019, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Question Endurance saddle for everyday use?

Hello all! I'm brand new to the forum, but not to riding in general. I've always had a horse up until about three years ago when I was forced to sell my mares because at the time my living situation was ping-ponging around a lot. I wasn't exactly the best situation to have two horses in. So now I'm making slow steps back into the horse world.

But onto my point. I've always ridden western, but I was thinking about getting an endurance saddle for my next horse? After I actually get a horse, of course lol. I only ride for pleasure, which largely includes just cruising trails around/on my property. From what I've seen, endurance saddles are usually pretty light and comfortable, as they're obviously used for long periods of time at once. That sounds like something more enjoyable for both me and my horse, rather than the heavy western tack I'm used to.

I haven't seen any reason why I couldn't used an endurance saddle for pleasure riding, but I thought it would be worth asking!

While we're on the subject, could someone help explain the differences in the styles of endurance saddles? I've seen them ranging from looking like basically smaller western saddles to english saddles.

Sorry if this seems scattered, it's real late here and I just wanted to get this posted before i'm off. Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-16-2019, 11:10 AM
Green Broke
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Nearly type of saddle is suitable for general pleasure riding. This is my endurance-type saddle -- I'm a western rider, but finding something that was comfortable for both me and this little horse with his short back has been a challenge. I think we finally found one that works for both of us. It's basically a dressage saddle with a few more rings for tying things on for trails. Not as secure as a western-style saddle, but it's comfortable. It also weights about 20 pounds vs. the 50 pounds for my western ranch-style saddle.
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-16-2019, 11:41 AM
Green Broke
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As @SilverMaple said, almost any saddle can be used for pleasure riding.

And I can fully understand your interest in endurance-type saddles. I rode in Western and English saddles, but always preferred the Western type - as they give me more sense of security and (in my completely personal opinion) they spread the rider weight on a bigger surface. Did I like the horn and the fenders? Nope.

So I ended up with an endurance-style saddle on a western tree... Weighs less than 20 lbs even with the hooded stirrups, makes me feel secure and is super comfy on top of it...


And my horse is also on the short-backed side: the saddle is barely 23 inches long...
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-16-2019, 11:56 AM
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One of the nice things about endurance saddles is that they are generally light. Western saddles are often far heavier than need be for pleasure and trail riding. The sport of endurance has produced a wonderful plethora of useful equipment and knowledge that is widely applicable to any kind of trail riding. Trail riding has long made do with gear designed for roping, barrel racing, cutting, jumping etc. but now there is a whole industry devoted to creating light well-made comfy saddles specifically for covering ground at a reasonable pace. Same with saddle pads, girths, breastplates, stirrups, bridles ... I say go for it.

Short horse lover
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-16-2019, 12:14 PM
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Just make sure it IS comfy for you and don't just assume it will be because it's an endurance saddle. I bought a used one once online, I think it was a Big Horn, and I found it was like sitting on a fence rail. The seat was really straight and had no pocket or dish to it and I found it horribly uncomfortable.

My friend who used to do endurance said that's because most endurance riders don't "sit" but 2-point or post? Something like that, I don't remember exactly, it was many years ago. Anyway, I sold it on. I really tried to like it and it WAS lightweight. But it was a no-can-do for my bottom! I am now using western wade/ranch type saddles, they are heavy, but they are comfy.

So make sure it has a dish to the seat unless you spend all your time standing in your stirrups. The ones the other posters posted pictures of don't seem to have that straight seat my Big Horn did.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-16-2019, 12:31 PM
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Here is a photo I found on the internet showing the seat of the Big Horn endurance saddle. It gives me painful memories just looking at it:

Here is my new trail saddle, if you don't mind me showing it off. I LOVE it. It's a Corriente, wade style saddle. But yes, it's a bit heavy. But the seat is perfect for ME. I guess everyone's body is a little different and everyone rides a little different. Must be or saddle seats wouldn't vary as much as they do!
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-16-2019, 01:11 PM
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My saddle is a ReactorPanel Summit Trail. Super comfy. Heavier, not their endurance model (which is something like 12 pounds). A lot lighter than most western saddles though.
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File Type: jpg reactorpanelvsdsummit.jpg (14.5 KB, 44 views)

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post #8 of 15 Old 05-16-2019, 01:44 PM
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I like my Abetta. I think it is 17 lbs with cinch. I like the horn but they make them without horns.

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post #9 of 15 Old 05-16-2019, 03:42 PM
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I donít think itís a bad idea at all. I have an English saddle, and I am quite comfortable in it. It took me a while to get that confident feeling in it.

My long rides are always in a western saddle though because if I need to rope something I have the ability to. If it werenít for that aspect of it I honestly think I would like using a light little saddle. I too have a corriente as my main saddle, and I find it super comfortable. It isnít as great as the saddle I ride Bones in, which is an old custom saddle my grandpa gave me. He is super narrow, and the seat of that saddle is not only narrow, but also deep. Itís amazing for long days.

@trailhorserider there is something about your horse that is just beautiful to me.
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-16-2019, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the information and sharing your personal experiences! I'm very interested in the english type saddles, though I'm sure that will take me some time to feel as secure in as I do my normal saddle haha. Of course I certainly have no rush.

And WOW do you all have some lovely horses (and tack too)!! Thank you all for being so friendly as well as informative, I think I'm going to like this community quite a lot!
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endurance saddle , horse tack , saddle help , trail riding

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