The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
621 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I actively ride fairly often at on barn horses others ride as well. My parents and I have been talking about getting a saddle and pads for my 16th birthday this year as I've finally realized that riding is really the only thing I care about a lot.
I ride one horse most of the time, but occasionally I'll get thrown on a different horse. She's pretty skinny and fits in the public saddles (we have 4 or 5 of the same very nice wintecs, mostly plastic but high quality) with only one saddle pad (though I've been using two square ones for her sore back.) I also ride some pretty fat horses, tall horses, short horses....
My issue is that I want this saddle to last a long time (probably want leather for that.) And it needs to be able to fit most somewhat normal horses plus or minus a saddle pad or a fleece saddle shaped pad.
Also, I really do NOT want to go buy three or four saddles then see which one fits best. I take lessons only and our instructor is huuuuge on being on time for the lesson.

If you could help me figure out how to get a good saddle I would be incredibly grateful. Thanks!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,901 Posts
You have two options: You can buy a treeless saddle (look at some of the debates on treeless saddles in this forum for more info) or you can buy a saddle that fits the horse you ride most often, and then use the schooling tack for other horse you ride less often.

Another option entirely is to look into possibly leasing a horse that has tack included, so you can have your own horse without worrying that other people will ride it, and not have to spend the time and effort of finding a saddle that fits the horse as well as finding one you like.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
I don't think you should get a saddle until you lease/buy a horse. if you have access to different saddles that fit all the horses you ride, why get another? I think you should save the money for the saddle and pad until you need it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
956 Posts
If you have a local tack shop they often have saddles. New used and on consignment. Sometimes they will let you keep them for the day to check fit ect. Even though they aren't new you can usually find great quality saddles for decent prices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
What about trying a wintec? They are fairly inexpensive used and last a long time. Plus if you ride a lot of "normal backed" horses it should fit most of them pretty well in the tree, and then you can adjust the gullet to whatever width they need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,455 Posts
First, if you buy a good quality saddle it will out last any horse so it makes no sense to buy a saddle for one particular horse. Treeless saddle in my opinion are a gimmick and the wintecs are low quality at best. Buy yourself a good quality leather saddle. I own a Corriente and I like it. Those can be had for 600-700 dollars. My FIL has a Billy Cook that is also quite nice and is a little better finish-wise. It was about $1500. Semi-quarterhorse bars will fit most horses.

Untill I joined this forum I had never heard of people buying saddles for each horse. I have one saddle and ride alot of different horses but I have NEVER put a sore on a horses back. Unless your horse has some kind of funky back you should be fine. It would be easier and cheaper to get another horse to ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
I have a treeless and love it, but if you're a H/J rider, then you're out of luck. There are only a couple of treeless saddles out there that are made for jumping, and even fewer that look traditional enough to show hunters in. If you're an eventer or Dressage rider, then you can look in to Sensation, Freeform, Ansur, or Heather Moffett saddles. All make nice English models that are traditional enough for Dressage or Eventing.

If you want to stick with a treed saddle, then I would go with either a Courbette with their Swiss E-Motion tree (which self-adjusts to fit a few different shapes of horses), or something with a changable gullet system, like Collegiate, Wintec, Bates, Anky, Pessoa, etc.

Kevin, I agree that she shouldn't buy a saddle to fit a horse that's not hers, but it is important to have a well fitting saddle. English saddles are NOT the type to fit many different shapes of horses. If she buys a fixed-tree saddle now and ends up leasing or buying a horse that doesn't fit it, then she's stuck losing money on the saddle.

Well, actually, there aren't many fixed tree saddles out there that fit a lot of different shaped horses, western or english. With western saddles, you can find one that fits lots of horses because, well, many western horses are the same basic shape. Most western riders ride some kind of stock horse or stock horse cross. English horses can varry from small, fine boned Arabs, to tall lean & lanky TBs, to HUGE wide Warmbloods or draft crosses.

Different shaped horses require different shaped saddles/trees. Try putting your stock horse western saddle on a tall Thoroughbred or a small Arabian. Not gonna happen, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
905 Posts
Most Arabs actually tend to take a wider tree, but a lot of them probably don't get that because it's assumed that they'd need a narrower tree, since overall they tend to look more delicate.

But I agree, it's hard to find a saddle that will fit everyone you put it on. My trainer has a Stubben Siegfried that somehow magically seems to fit everyone - her 17.2 Hanoverian, my bony TB, her draft cross, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,179 Posts
You can really only use one saddle on numerous horses if you ride the same type of horses.

My stock sadde is on a standard stock horse tree - It has fitted every stock horse i've put it on so far. Would it fit a TB or super wide pony? Heck no!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,455 Posts
Try putting your stock horse western saddle on a tall Thoroughbred or a small Arabian. Not gonna happen, lol.
I have done it and it didn't cause too many problems. If you pad correctly you can fit alot of horses with one saddle and no more than most people ride it will never harm your horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
You should not fit a saddle using extra pads. It can work in a pinch for a short ride, but it is not a good idea. You can cause the horse to have back pain and/or fatigue. It's like trying to wear shoes that are two sizes to big with extra thick socks. Or wearing clothes that are too big by putting on lots of layers underneath. Neither one is very comortable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,909 Posts
Try putting your stock horse western saddle on a tall Thoroughbred or a small Arabian. Not gonna happen, lol.
In fact I do. :) I have Alamo trail pleasure saddle I use on my stocky qh as well as narrow high withers paint (she's tb type). It has quarter horse bars (I don't think Alamo has semi-qh bars) and really high clearance. But it was a pain to find one, which would be fine for both of them - took me couple weeks of driving around and looking at different ones.

P.S. I use the same pad on both of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
Most Arabs actually tend to take a wider tree, but a lot of them probably don't get that because it's assumed that they'd need a narrower tree, since overall they tend to look more delicate.
True, but QH bars or Full QH bars on most western saddles are going to be too long for an average Arab's back and have the wrong "flare" in the front. They need a wide gullet, but different angled bars and definitely shorter bars. That's why we have "Arab" saddles ;-).

But I agree, it's hard to find a saddle that will fit everyone you put it on. My trainer has a Stubben Siegfried that somehow magically seems to fit everyone - her 17.2 Hanoverian, my bony TB, her draft cross, etc.
I have a couple of Stubbens that are pretty versatile (versitale? lol) as well. Passiers have a "magic" tree in them too. It's because the tree points on both saddles (the older models particularly) are shorter and the pommels usually have some cut back. The shorter tree points make fitting easier and the slightly cut back pommel gives some room for high withers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
In fact I do. :) I have Alamo trail pleasure saddle I use on my stocky qh as well as narrow high withers paint (she's tb type). It has quarter horse bars (I don't think Alamo has semi-qh bars) and really high clearance. But it was a pain to find one, which would be fine for both of them - took me couple weeks of driving around and looking at different ones.

P.S. I use the same pad on both of them.
Very cool! But see, both horses need about the same bar angle, you just have one with giant withers ;-). A typical TB is going to be narrower than a typical stock horse, so he will need those steeper semi-qh bars, plus mega clearance for the withers. Of course, there are wide TBs out there. I had one as a teenager. He looked part draft almost, lol. But, he was very atypical.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,455 Posts
You should not fit a saddle using extra pads. It can work in a pinch for a short ride, but it is not a good idea. You can cause the horse to have back pain and/or fatigue. It's like trying to wear shoes that are two sizes to big with extra thick socks. Or wearing clothes that are too big by putting on lots of layers underneath. Neither one is very comortable.
I said "properly padded" not over padded. I train horses for a major part of my income and I ride them all in the same saddle. I check daily for signs of soreness or for the start of sores and I have yet to find any. I ride mostly stock horses but I have ridden arabs, TBs and drafts for at least a month and often two months with no problems. I also ride harder than most of the members of this forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
621 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the replies, but I think my post was misunderstood.
Though it would be nice to have a saddle that fit the horse I ride often very well, that's not very practical if I get to college and none of their horses fit the saddle at all. Money down the drain.
The question I'm asking is more along the lines of "Is there a saddle I can get that will fit most horses an English rider will flat and jump - of course assuming they don't have an extremely wide or skinny back or very high withers."
I think writing the post I got a little distracted and wrote about some other stuff too.
In addition (since the topic is in discussion) I have been told that accurately played saddle pads can make an ill fitting saddle feel at least a bit better by at least not letting it pinch them. (For example: A tall skinny horse with tall withers only fits well one saddle in the whole barn. Unluckily for everyone else, this is someone's private saddle and they do not share. We throw this pad I forget the name of at the moment on top of a square pad when we ride her with the school saddles. Not exactly sure why.)
Anyway, sorry for getting off topic there in the beginning. That wasn't very useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,166 Posts
Welcome to the forum, Tymer.

One thing in your original post bothered me, why are they using a horse with a sore back?

Alright, aside from that question, the advise I would give you is not to buy a saddle until you have your own horse. Since you are taking lessons on various horses, and you intend to go to an equine college (unless I misread that), you don't know what you will ride.

I really know the thrill of owning my own tack. I take care of my things as much as I do my horses and I had some of my bridles made for me over 25 years ago. A bride can fit nearly all horses but a saddle, and especially an English saddle, is much more particular.

My advise is to take the money from your 16th birthday, keep adding to it and when the time comes, you will have a heck of a bankroll for a first class saddle.

BTW, a Wintec, although a nice saddle as a starter, is a low line saddle at best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,909 Posts
Very cool! But see, both horses need about the same bar angle, you just have one with giant withers ;-). A typical TB is going to be narrower than a typical stock horse, so he will need those steeper semi-qh bars, plus mega clearance for the withers. Of course, there are wide TBs out there. I had one as a teenager. He looked part draft almost, lol. But, he was very atypical.
Yes, that's certainly seems to be true. It's kinda funny though, because one is very narrow in chest comparable to other one. I believe what Alamo calls "qh bars" is something in between semi-qh and qh, and that's why it fitted them both. I remember contacting them about it at some point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
621 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Welcome to the forum, Tymer.

One thing in your original post bothered me, why are they using a horse with a sore back?

Alright, aside from that question, the advise I would give you is not to buy a saddle until you have your own horse. Since you are taking lessons on various horses, and you intend to go to an equine college (unless I misread that), you don't know what you will ride.

I really know the thrill of owning my own tack. I take care of my things as much as I do my horses and I had some of my bridles made for me over 25 years ago. A bride can fit nearly all horses but a saddle, and especially an English saddle, is much more particular.

My advise is to take the money from your 16th birthday, keep adding to it and when the time comes, you will have a heck of a bankroll for a first class saddle.

BTW, a Wintec, although a nice saddle as a starter, is a low line saddle at best.
To answer your question, she doesn't exactly have a sore back but she is recovering from some nasty blanket sores.

I love your advice, but I'm fairly set on getting a saddle. I've found that in general a horse I don't ride every day is going to fit most given horses unless they're awkward. If I started riding the same horse every day for a long time and the saddle wasn't a great fit I would change to a friends or get one.

And right now I keep having to "borrow" people's private saddles because there are none of the Wintecs left whatsoever. Without asking them, because all the people who have saddles who are THERE are using them. Don't really enjoy that...

What's kind of bugging me is that all of you are saying that its difficult or impossible to have a "general" English saddle yet I know a lot of people who DO have English saddles they use on every horse they ride (which is many) without a hitch. I dunno, maybe they're doing something wrong.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top