I've been on an intense saddle hunt for the past month, & I think I have decided on three saddle options. I need help deciding though, because I'm indecisive, & would also like multiple opinions.
I have a 14.2-14.3 hand high 9 year old Crabbet Arabian gelding. He has basically no withers. My current saddle I bought in October is a Silver Royal Dallas Barrel Saddle. FQHB, 7 inch gullet. It seemed to fit at first, but I didnt' ride in it much when I first got it & only rode in it once or twice over the winter, then once it got hotter, I noticed his personality changing & him being less willing. All his issues I've realized have been because of saddle fit. It is too narrow for him, & after talking to multiple people, I realized it's not the gullet that's the problem, it's the angle of the bars. It was leaving dry patches next to his shoulders & poking up in the back.
So, I've realized I should just suck it up & get a non-barrel saddle (an Arabian saddle... ARABIAN bars). I only barrel race for fun & I would really like an all-around saddle. I want a saddle that will last me years. I was gonna go used, but I really want a saddle that'll just be mine... also, return policies are nice, haha.
So, I have narrowed it down to three saddles: 15" 16" 17" Rocking R Arabian Trail Saddle 1915
- This saddle is lovely. It's a bit pricey, but I figure I'd rather spend a lot on a high quality saddle that'll last me forever than get a cheaper saddle that I'll have to replace in a year or two.. like my Silver Royal. I've heard a lot of wonderful reviews about Rocking R. I like that it has different color options, I love the smoothness & tooling. It's a round skirt but is still a "full" saddle (my descriptive words... lol). I haven't heard one negative thing about Rocking R. ** SALE **15" to 17" Circle Y Oasis Arabian Flex-Lite Trail Saddle 1562 *free gift*
- As you can see, my horse is grey with a black & white mane & tail... so therefore, I'm a sucker for dark tack to compliment his coat. I LOVE the mahogany undertones of this leather... *drool.* Plus, it's a Circle Y... I have heard both wonderful & horrendous things about Circle Y, but I know it's a good brand that has withstood the sands of time.I love the shape, the high cantle, the tooling... I love it. I love it. & it's a flex tree, which I like as well. I just love this saddle. A lot. A lot a lot. Double S All American Trail Saddle in Trail at Schneider Saddlery
- If I can't have dark, I'd rather have red... & this saddle, is STUNNING. I have heard fabulous things about Schneiders... they're known for Arabian tack. There are also 18 reviews on this saddle, & none of them are bad. There's also reviews with pictures of horses who look about the same size as my guy, & the saddle is even more beautiful in photos. I love it. The only thing is, sometimes they refer to this as a Billy Royal, sometimes as a Double S... I looked up Double S, & found some crap about it... but I heard Billy Royal is good. I can't actually tell which brand this is. It says the tree is flexible in this too which I like. Plus, it's a little more cost friendly than the other two, & I know I can trust Schneiders. My guy has some red in his mane so it would definitely compliment him. I know it's not all about looks, but I do want a saddle that is pretty as well as good quality.
But, most importantly, I need a saddle that fits my Bo.... & soon.
Any help at all would be wonderful. I'm so indecisive & need help... since there are no saddle fitters around me. There is one tack shop that said they had used Arabian saddles, but it's a far drive, & like I said, I would like a new saddle... Unless you would advised used... I may drive over there early next week just to see. Couldn't hurt.
I included some pictures of him to give you some insight on the size of him. He's small, but a typical Arab.