District of Columbia Four Old Tennesee Walking horse ridden in snaffle, short shank, pinchless with english , wintec saddle in round pen and ring by beginner rider.

Question: I would like some suggestions on types/names/styles of western-style saddles to consider purchasing for my TWH. I am especially interested in a synthetic or other lightweight saddle, to be used primarily for trail riding. As a new owner, I'm not sure where to look, how to find appropriate saddles.  He is 4 years old, 15 hands, gaits well, just needs to be more consistant in gaiting. 
Thank you.

From Panelist Jonathan

Chooseing or recomending a saddle is such a personal thing . All I can do is recomend 
what I use and prefer on the high desert trails around the ranch and up in the Chiricahua Mts. a half hours trailor away . For a ultra light weight saddle I have gone to a Circle Y , Bob Marshal edition , TreeLess saddle . I find my short backed single-footers will go more and tire less and the freedom they experience on sharp turns and in tight spots in the rocky hillside forests is very rewarding . I haven't ridden anything else since getting it . My secound choice a Tucker Trooper hasn't been off the rack . 

I suggest you try one before a purchase , they are different and being a "beginner" there are certain times when jumping and coming out of deep sharp ditches I set my seat on my knees rather than leaving all my body weight on my mounts back . It takes a little work but it keeps me focused , which I like .

Good luck on your hunt and tells us what you get

From Panelsit Liz


There are many good saddles out there being made that could work for your horse. Lots of western synthetics and leather, synthetic combinations to. I have my self many western saddle that are all leather that are nice and light. 

For fit the best way is to find someone that can do bare tree to horses back fit first but this is not always available easily in certain parts of the country. So find some where that will allow you to take a saddle on trial to check for fit and have someone that knows what to look for help you. A poor fitting saddle can cause all kinds of problems from behavior to poor performance. Also don't get a saddle that the skirting is so big that it rubs the shoulders or hip of your horse as this can cause restricted movement of your horse . To name a brand would not help as every horse has it's own individual shape and fit the saddle when the horse is in the condition it will be in for riding not when it may be over weight from standing all winter. 

I also recommend not to be taken in by the term gaited horse saddles again there is no guarantee it will fit your horse properly until fitted for each individual animal. One size  or type does not fit all. 


From Panelsits Darla

A good saddle is always a good idea.   I use the Calente by Orthoflex,  Steel makes some good ones too.  Don't pinch those shoulders! TLC



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