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Discussion Starter #1

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My western saddle search continues for my QH mare. Anybody heard of the Hilason saddle?

Flex-Tree Hilason Barrel Racing Trail Western Saddle 17 - eBay (item 220523091593 end time Dec-13-09 18:20:27 PST)

I know, its pink, run away run away! But I really like it, it's not so overly pink that it hurts the eyes, at least not to me.
Color has nothing to do with it :lol::lol:

Read the reviews of the unfortunate that have heard of them and bought one :oops:

Trail Saddles

http://www.horsetackreview.com/results-reader-reviews/Barrel Saddles


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Bad bad BAD saddles. Just picture this, a thirteen year old in a board stiff saddle that barely stays on the horse going around barrels. The second the girl turned the first barrel the saddle went under the horse, as did the girl.

Basically, they are inflexible and do not fit many horses at all. The quality of the leather is average, and they tend not to stay tight on the horse, no matter how much you tighten the girth.
 

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Yikes, all of those, even the people that like them, seem to say the same thing. Back to the drawing board!

I wish I could find this saddle:





It's a well-made no name that a friend got off of ebay a couple of years ago. It is so comfy to ride in!
 

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Had a friend buy a hilason saddle and rode in it once then sold it. She said it was a coochie eater and wouldn't stay put. I haven't heard any good reviews on that brand. You get what you pay for. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I may have actually have found a saddle. Friend of mine is selling hers. It's a another no-name but appears to be good quality leather. Now the hard part is going to be finding matching black headstall and breast collar.
 

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QHD, I would avoid a no name saddle. Typically, even if the leather appears to be adequate, the trees are generally pretty poorly made. They often look good to the uneducated or someone with a very limited budget generally all those saddles are either Asian or Mexican imports and I would stay clear of them.

Look for a good American made saddle - a used Dakota is a good value or contact Kevin at SouthernTrails.

(BTW, the saddle you show doesn't appear to fit that horse too well.)
 

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QHD, I would avoid a no name saddle. Typically, even if the leather appears to be adequate, the trees are generally pretty poorly made. They often look good to the uneducated or someone with a very limited budget generally all those saddles are either Asian or Mexican imports and I would stay clear of them.

Look for a good American made saddle - a used Dakota is a good value or contact Kevin at SouthernTrails.

(BTW, the saddle you show doesn't appear to fit that horse too well.)
So just out of curiosity here because I am trying to smarten up. Would that be because it is lifting up in back?
 

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Its actually diving down in front because it is too wide which makes the back part rise up. This can cause problems with the gullet rubbing the withers. That saddle actually has a draft horse tree in it so I knew it was going to be too wide, but FQHBs was pinching. Whoever buys this girl is going to have a heck of a time finding a saddle that will fit her well.

I was not too worried since I only has this saddle on for about 15 minutes of lunging, the rest was spent with desensitization work, but to actually ride her or to work her with it on for a long time could cause back problems. For the little bit that I worked her I would rather the saddle be too wide then too narrow and pinching.
 

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QHD, I would avoid a no name saddle. Typically, even if the leather appears to be adequate, the trees are generally pretty poorly made. They often look good to the uneducated or someone with a very limited budget generally all those saddles are either Asian or Mexican imports and I would stay clear of them.

Look for a good American made saddle - a used Dakota is a good value or contact Kevin at SouthernTrails.

(BTW, the saddle you show doesn't appear to fit that horse too well.)

I would hardly call myself un-educated. I think I have ridden in pretty much ever brand of saddles there is (I have had terrible luck with saddle thanks to a QH with high withers and a wide back and a TB with a u-shaped back), so I know what to look for. It sits straight and the stitching and leather are all good quality. In the long run, yes maybe I should invest in a nice name brand saddle, but that is impossible on my very limited "starving college student" budget. So this saddle will have to do for now.
 

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I would hardly call myself un-educated. I think I have ridden in pretty much ever brand of saddles there is.
I was just making a general statement and not necessarily referring to you in particular, sorry! If your friend's saddle is what you can afford, and it fits, then we all do what we can. I remember the "starving college student" saga (even though it was eons ago).
 

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So just out of curiosity here because I am trying to smarten up. Would that be because it is lifting up in back?
Yes, as QHDragon said, if it is too wide in the gullet then it falls below the point on the shoulder that the bars are meant rest. Some horses have a wide back but withers that belong on a more narrow horse making perfect saddle fit nearly impossible.

Sometimes in a case like that - and possibly in the case of the horse in the picture, a build up pad can take up the space at the withers and help the saddle fit level. A problem may still exist from the fact that the bars could be at the wrong angle causing the edges of the tree to press into the horse's back rather then lay flat as intended.

There are three considerations when fitting a Western saddle. The first is gullet width, the second is bar angle, and the third is saddle length. Most people forget about the second because the first and third are pretty obvious.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree, I think some people forget to fit the whole saddle to the horse and only concentrate on making sure that it doesn't pinch or lay on their withers. It could still be doing crazy stuff behind that point such as bridging that can be causing the horse pain as well.

With Malibu even SQHBs are too wide on her so I have to use a thick neoprene type pad and then a normal western pad under it to get it to not lay down on her withers. However I think people get a little too trigger happy when it comes to pads under saddles. You have to remember, raising it up in front is going to make it sit differently in the back and visa versa.
 

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Ok, can I see an example of a build up pad? I've never had much trouble fitting saddles before and, as I mentioned in a previous post, I'm having a similar problem with our little gelding. Like I said before, we have a young, wide, flat back gelding with more narrow shoulders.
 

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Are you having trouble with the saddle being too wide or too narrow?

Here is an example of a built up pad: Western Built-Up Therapeutic Saddle Pad TSP#809 (Equine - Horse Tack Supplies - Saddle Accessories

But I have seen them in "normal" pad look, they are just thicker in the front than the back. I even saw one once at my local tack shop where you could take the front inserts out if you wanted. Wish I had gotten it, it was a steal at around 60 bucks, but I didn't and I have never seen it there again.
 

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Are you having trouble with the saddle being too wide or too narrow?

Here is an example of a built up pad: Western Built-Up Therapeutic Saddle Pad TSP#809 (Equine - Horse Tack Supplies - Saddle Accessories

But I have seen them in "normal" pad look, they are just thicker in the front than the back. I even saw one once at my local tack shop where you could take the front inserts out if you wanted. Wish I had gotten it, it was a steal at around 60 bucks, but I didn't and I have never seen it there again.

Well we've tried to FQHB saddles on our guy and they seem to be too wide. Theyre low in the shoulders and raising up .5-1.5 inches in back. I'm going to try reg. QH bars but if are too narrow (hes very wide, flat backed) then I'll try a build up pad. I know his previous owner had saddle fit issues too. If you look at my pics of him on my profile you'll see hes got two BAD contact marks on his side from having to be cinched up so tight from a rolling saddle.
 

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I have a flextree western from Hilason and have had no issues with it. It fits my anglo-arab great and also fits my friends Friesian. It is nice to look at, comfortable, and decent quality for the price.
 
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