Flat Seated Western Saddle? Snaffle Bridle? - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By COWCHICK77
  • 1 Post By horselovinguy
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-20-2020, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Flat Seated Western Saddle? Snaffle Bridle?

I applied to an equine college and I was accepted. They sent me a list of tack and supplies I would need for the school year, and I don't understand a couple of items on the list. So, I am going to put a few from the list down below. If anyone could please explain to me what it means in more basic terms and/or provide examples, I would greatly appreciate it.

1. Western Saddle: flat seat/small to medium cantle/fender and stirrup drop from center of seat
2. Snaffle bridles with 7ft. Split reins, dropped or flash noseband, and 5" stianless steel eggbut or loose ring snaffle bit with medium thick (18-21 mm) mouthpiece.
3. Cob Size snaffle bridle with 4 1/2" stainless steel eggbut or loose ring snaffle bit with medium thick (18-21 mm) mouthpiece.

I simply don't understand what a flat seated western saddle would be like, nor do I understand how to tell if the cantle is too high or if the stirrups don't line up right?
I don't know what it means by snaffle bridle. I know what a snaffle bit is, but I'm not sure if a snaffle bridle is different somehow? I know what Cob sized means, I know what the two types of bits are. I don't understand what a dropped or flash noseband is.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-20-2020, 06:45 PM
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Snaffle bridle refers to the whole setup, ready to hang on a horse. Snaffle bit, headstall(browband! No single/split ear), chinstrap and reins.

A flat seated saddle, the first thing that comes to mind for me is the older style "cutter board". They are flat seated, a bit lower cantle the stirrups have a wide range of motion but where they are hung kind of depends.
I think they basically telling you not to show up with a bear trap with a 5" shovel cantle..lol.

I'll try to find a picture example but a good cheap option is an older style Billy Cook cutter.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-20-2020, 07:16 PM
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The saddle I can't help with, but the bridles with dropped or flash nose bands they mean English style snaffle bridles in horse and cob size. The bits sound English style too because of the thickness description.

The only thing western would be the split reins.

I prefer a flash noseband personally, because a dropped noseband can sometimes press on the bones and cause damage if sitting too low.

Sample of bridle

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post #4 of 6 Old 03-20-2020, 10:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Saddle - something like these:

I'd say no more than a 4" cantle. NOT this:

Some saddles have the stirrups hung more forward (which I like). Others, like the Abetta, have them centered under one's butt (which I dislike but I like my Abetta anyways). You really have to sit in the saddle to feel where the stirrups hang.

A bridle something like this if western....not sure why they would call for a flash noseband since most western bridles don't have any noseband:

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-21-2020, 12:35 AM
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Any bridle can be a snaffle bridle. But, you may want to make sure it has a noseband. If you need a flash noseband, you can get a regular noseband that has an attachment position for the flash noseband. That way you can use a regular noseband WITH and WITHOUT the flash.

As for a flat seated western saddle, an 'equitation' type might work well.

Google is your friend here.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-21-2020, 10:15 AM
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Your school is looking for you to be outfitted with both some English and some western tack by the choice of wording.
A western saddle with a flatter seat would fit into the description of a "All-Around" or "Show" (fancier you not need}where it literally can be used for many general riding activities.

In western, a browband bridle can be outfitted with either a snaffle or curb bit...but it is a versatile headstall.
Western split reins, are 2 piece and of adequate length so they can be used draped and held in one hand with adequate excess tail length on most average sized horses. 7' is standard length.

A cob headstall is a size category in a world where so much has gone to oversized, cob fits a pretty broad range of horses by shortening or lengthening straps.
4 1/2 and 5" mouthpieces on the bits are pretty common sizes for average size muzzled horses.

Again today with so many going to warmblood horses, a fancy name for a draft horse crossed to another finer boned bred, bits have become very large in width.
A flash noseband is a loop that is sewn onto a conventional noseband you then pull a long strap through that will fit around the horses muzzle and be able to close the mouth while wearing a bit.
A dropped noseband is slightly different that you have rings the back part of the noseband attaches to so it has the ability to "drop", literally be moved to a lower location like the flash noseband does but is only one strap across the nose-bone of the horse...This noseband has fallen out of favor and fad so although a great piece of equipment, not as easily found.
For illustration only so you can see the differences.
The 1st picture is a snaffle bit with eggbutt rings on a bridle with a flash noseband.
2nd picture is again a loose-ring or o-ring bit on a flash noseband bridle
3rd picture is a drop noseband with a loose-ring bit...
4th picture is also a drop noseband , loose-ring bit

You are being asked for specific sizes in equipment brought with you because the horses used in the school riding program have these "fit" requirements...

Since you will be purchasing much of your equipment it sounds like to take with you, if you want new I have purchased with good results at Stateline Tack { www.statelinetack.com } and from Chick Saddlery { www.chicksaddlery.com }. Both businesses have good equipment for daily use at reasonable prices.
You can also go to local horsey yard sales and purchase much of this equipment for a pittance if you know what you need and how to determine still usable and safe versus junk status...
Bits especially can be bought used for often $10 or much less, what you are asked for should be much less.
The style of saddle you need I can buy local at my yard-sales for about $300 for a good quality leather saddle used, with years of daily use still left.

If you need any more assistance in figuring out your list of needed just ask me or any of the members who respond...
Much of what you need is basics...easily found and does not need to cost a fortune.
Enjoy getting your list of needs together and the upcoming school year of "horse"...
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