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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have a 17'3, 2000lb Belgian/Percheron and need a saddle. I would like to start with a western. I am really struggling with this. I have a couple of questions:

1) What type of saddle are you using, brand, treeless, etc?

2) Does anyone have a favorite place they like to purchase tack at?

I would love AND really appreciate any input.........lhaag
 

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What do you ride him in now? What do you like and not like about it? How does it fit? What is the tree and seat size? How long is it? Pictures would help too, with and without a saddle.

I prefer treeless, Bob Marshall endurance or Black Forest saddles, both have western models. The trail or barrel models of Bob Marshall saddles won't fit really wide horses though. You'd need to stick to one with an Endurance pommel. I have also had good luck with Abettas. Abetta makes a Draft saddle now if he's wide enough to need one.
 

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Well I have purchased several saddles. I have an australian, western and english. All but the english are fairly inexpensive. Somehow I am really not happy with the fit on any of them. Cinches are a problem as well for the english and aussie. He requires a large, i mean giant cinch, very hard to find.

Vinnie is really green so we haven't ridden much. So, currently I would like a nice western style saddle to do arena and trail work in. Being as I am starting him out I like the security they offer. I have heard a lot of good things about the treeless but that's one that I have not tried. I was hoping for input on what everyones preference and experience as been.

Vinnie is not over weight but he is all draft. Very think, and stocky. Literally like sitting on a coach. Thanks again for any input.....Lisa
 

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You get what you pay for with any saddle. My treeless Bob Marshall (used), skito pad (new), and Thinline pad (new) set me back around $1,300. My treed saddles were all much more affordable, but they are all older and well used.

I would suggest finding a saddle fitter in your area, or a horse massage therapist or chiropractor that will help you with saddle fitting.

If you want to go treeless, I would join the treeless group on yahoo to get their advice. Lots of good people and dealers on there that can help you narrow down the choices, and even try out saddles before you buy. I have let a few local members try my saddles.
treelesssaddles : treeless saddle discussion
 

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Finding a Western to fit a draft shouldn't be too terribly hard, we have two draft crosses at the ranch who take really wide saddles.

I can't really help you much with the draft part, as both my boys are rangy with high withers, but I love love love my Longhorn round skirt barrel. I personally like barrels because of the security...they generally have a deep pocket and good bucking rolls. I was taught a proper Western fit should fit one of these criteria: you can get two fingers between your knee and the bucking rolls or pommel, you can get your palm flat between your...ahem...crotch and the pommel, or a fist between you and the pommel.

I was also advised to avoid buying a new saddle, as it takes time to break them in. All of mine, and all of the ranch's, were used saddled. Sometimes you can find really great deals, too. My longhorn only cost me 150 plus shipping, and it looks like it's barely been ridden...just a few scars on the horn and cantle.

Take a piece of cardboard and do a wither trace of your boy, then start hitting the used tack stores, is my advice. ^_^
 
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