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Hi, so im looking into a new trail saddle and cant decide between a billy cook trail saddle https://www.horsesaddleshop.com/billycooktrailsaddle.html and a Cashel trail saddle https://www.horsesaddleshop.com/cashel-trail-saddle.html both are about the same price. I have more knowledge about the billy cook saddles, but wanted to know if anyone has experience with the Cashel saddles. They are made by martin saddlery, which I've heard are amazing but come with that crazy 3k price tag. So it got me thinking that maybe a Cashel might not be a bad choice. My current Circle Y fits my pony just fine, good even sweat marks and all, but I want a tad more room for her withers & shoulders, just me being picky and wanting an even better fit for my horse if we can make it happen. The Cashel has a a AXIS tree with bar tips that flare up and away from the horse's shoulder which sounds fancy, I only have experience with wooden/rawhide trees. I know when we get down to it, it will depend on how the saddle measurements work with the conformation of my horse, but as for quality which one would you choose and why?
 

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what sort of rigging does the current saddle have? both of those are in-skirt rigged. I'm not a fan of in-skirt rigging, but that's just me.
 

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The Cashel is very similar to one I bought used under the Clinton Anderson brand. Different branding so I can't speak to quality. AXIS tree, etc is very close. I liked the saddle. It was too wide for my horse which led to this:

My first emergency dismount, from Mia...while at a full stop!


If it had fit my horse better, I'd still own it. Very comfortable and my horse liked it even if it was too wide. I have no experience with Billy Cook so can't compare it to those. Nothing special about an "AXIS" tree, but I liked the way it fit me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
what sort of rigging does the current saddle have? both of those are in-skirt rigged. I'm not a fan of in-skirt rigging, but that's just me.
My current Circle Y has in skirt rigging and we haven't had any issues with it yet and my Circle Y is from the early 80s. I never thought about in-skirt rigging being an issue.

The Cashel is very similar to one I bought used under the Clinton Anderson brand. Different branding so I can't speak to quality. AXIS tree, etc is very close. I liked the saddle. It was too wide for my horse which led to this:

My first emergency dismount, from Mia...while at a full stop!


If it had fit my horse better, I'd still own it. Very comfortable and my horse liked it even if it was too wide. I have no experience with Billy Cook so can't compare it to those. Nothing special about an "AXIS" tree, but I liked the way it fit me.
I would love a CA saddle, but my one worry about the Cashel or the CA saddle is that it will be too wide, my girl is on the narrower side and has a good amount of withers so maybe going the billy cook option might be better. I was thinking of even trying a billy cook barrel saddle since they are light weight and from what I have heard a lot of people trail ride in them and it might have the higher pommel area I'm looking for.
 
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