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gaited horse saddles


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#1 noip1963

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 08:10 PM

I'm sure there's already a thread here somewhere....

We have a 7 yr TWH that we do only trail rides with.

He's my husbands horse.

Right now Mr Noip rides in a Circle Y.
Standard tree. Nothing special about his saddle.
I believe when we bought it, it was listed as a trail saddle.

I don't like it, don't like how I sit in it and it weighs a ton.

His saddle is constantly shifting itself over to the left and hubby sits on the right side of the seat.
And he's constantly having to shift it back over.

I would like to know a couple of name brands to go with, so we can buy a saddle that actually fits the horses.

Thanks.

#2 Guilherme

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 08:29 PM

...don't exist.

Saddles marketed to gaited horse owners do exist. The makers claim that somehow they can work "magic." I don't believe in "magic." (On the other hand I do believe in misdirection and presterdigitation. [Wink] )

I ride in a Stubben, as does my wife. Fine, high quality saddles that fit very well (they even make a "gaited horse" Stubben; ours are Siegfried VSD/DLs). I've also got a Miller Collegiate and a custom made Western saddle. My wife has a "no name" trail saddle that mostly gathers dust.

I've seen Wintecs, Passiers, Circle Ys, Steeles, Tuckers, and many others. The ones that fit did so because they matched the conformation of the horse (and rider), not because of the name burned into the leather. Ditto for the ones that did not fit.

If you don't know how to fit a saddle, then learn. Get David Genedek's video ($25 from his website). Hire a professional saddle fitter to help you if you feel the need. But don't fall for the marketing hype of people who would perform a walletectomy upon you.

Good luck in your search.

G.

#3 foxtrotUSA

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 08:42 PM

Agreed with the above poster. I own a Circle Y "Omaha" (I believe it's listed as a park/trail saddle). It's round skirted so it doesn't interfere with my short-backed horse's gait, and it has a flex tree so it moves some with her gait as well. My favorite part of the saddle is the memory foam underneath the flocking - that way it conforms to the little discrepancies of my horse's back and giving more of a "custom" fit. The saddle is a semi-QH bar as well.

Honestly, don't really look at name brand. Look at affordability, quality and fit before brand. I know all sorts of gaited horse owners who ride in everything from the special "gaited" saddles to arab trees to halflinger trees to plain QH and semi QH like me. It all depends on how your horse is conformed.

#4 Guilherme

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 07:56 AM

Regarding brand names, they CAN be a quality indicator but they will not necessarily be a function indicator and will never be a fit indicator.

Stubben, Passier, and some other high end English saddles still maintain their reputation for quality by producing quality. We owned a Steele Plantation saddle several years ago and were very happy with fit, finish, and overall quality. I'm a bit "out of the loop" with Western or other types of saddles anymore, so I'm not sure who is quality and who is not.

I do some leather work. I don't make saddles, but have been "mentored" by a couple of saddlemakers in a few projects. About a year ago one told me that the materials cost for a standard Western saddle (tree, leather, thread, dye, fittings, fixtures, etc.) was running between $600-$750. It takes between 40-50 hours of labor to produce a good saddle, more if you want carving and stamping. Do the math, here, and you get some idea of what lies behind the price tag.

Now this guy is a "quality" producer. He won't make a "cheap" saddle. If you use lower quality material and off shore labor you can bring in a saddle for an "affordable" price. For the "weekend warrior" who rides only a few days a year that will probably do. If you're a serious rider it won't.

The "touchstones" are quality materials and workmanship; style consistent with planned use; and fit to horse and rider. Whether the horse is "gaited" or not is a big "so what?"

G.

#5 mye

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 08:31 AM

I ride my TWH in a Bob Marshall treeless saddle. I use it on my QH's too. It molds to the individual horse. Very comfortable to horse & rider. We camp & trail ride a lot. I LOVE it. You couldn't GIVE me a different saddle. My TWH is barefoot (had to throw that in) & gaits better than when I first got him because I allowed him to carry himself in a more relaxed manner conducive to his gait. No special saddles or footwear needed to make a gaited horse gait.
Look for your horses comfort 1st, then add your own. Try a Bob Marshall if you can get your hands on one. They come in a variety of styles. Here's a site with a lot of information. You can find them on E-Bay, too.Bob Marshall Saddles

[ 08-23-2007, 09:32 AM: Message edited by: mye ]

#6 Guilherme

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 09:08 AM

So called "treeless" saddles are a prescription for sore backed horses. I've never, as in NEVER, seen one that didn't cause long term problems.

I know of the various anacdotes about them, but the plural of "anacdote" is not "data."

If you're a serious rider (and serious about the long term health of your horse) you don't use technology that was supplanted two millenia back by superior technology.

G.

#7 twhgirl

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:37 AM

Both my husband and I own and ride TWH's.My husband uses a trekker(not sure of the spelling)endurance saddle for trail rides.It is similar to a tucker saddle,has no horn,endurance stirups,and a deep seat.It is also light weight,aprox 18lbs.He loves it,fits our horses great,has never slipped.I have seen saddles like his on ebay and the price is nice as well,usually around 250.If you are looking for a comfortable trail saddle you might like it,I have also seen this saddle with a horn.
My husbands saddle was also very easy to break in,,was comfortable the first ride.The longest ride we have done with it was aprox 30 miles.Both horse and rider were pain free at the end of that ride.My husband uses this saddle in all terrains as well,hills,water crossings,flat.Never felt he was going to fall off the horse.Says he feels very secure.
Hope this helps,,
Happy trails to all,,

#8 iheartcalaban

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:44 PM

There are "gaited horse" saddles, and they do usually have a slightly different tree in them that are meant to fit the gaited horse back (which in general is shorter and built differently from say, a QH), but they don't fit all gaited horses, like so many claim.
Same with treeless saddles. I have yet to find one that even properly fits a horse, which is why the original idea of treeless saddles was banned by the military back in the days of the civil war.
A special brand or idea of saddle isn't going to improve your horse's gait any, but a properly fitted saddle of any brand will greatly benefit you and the horse.
I ride in a barrel saddle with a semi-QH tree, and it fits most horses I've put it on. It has a round-skirt so that it doesn't cut into the hip and backbone of the horse.

#9 Spikes Dad

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 08:26 PM

Some gaited horses do gait better with quality gaited saddle like an Imus. My gaited Morgan does improve with some saddles whereas my walker could care less as long as the saddle fits. Look at www.gaitsofgold.com and look at thier saddle and read Brenda Imus article on gaited horse saddle fit.

#10 noip1963

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 08:52 PM

Thanks for all the input everyone.

A friend just told me about Brenda Imus...
So I need to go do some reading.

And I do realize that not all name brands are the best there is ....
I just thought it might be easier to say "so.and.so" has a good line or whatever.

But I do thank you for the replys!

Happy Trails!

#11 Guilherme

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 08:25 AM

Avoid Imus like the plague. She's all about marketing and massive mark up. She's not worth anymore than the OTHER Imus.

G.

#12 majik

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 08:58 AM

When I was searching for a saddle for my TWH, I found a site with product reviews from people who had actually used them. The review on the Imus saddle was that it was slippery to sit and bouncy. I ended up getting a Tucker type saddle from ebay. Couldn't afford an actual Tucker, they got great reviews for the most part.

#13 iheartcalaban

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 10:09 AM

I would also avoid the brenda imus saddle. They aren't constructed the best, and the foam in the seats will break down. Not worth the money IMO.

#14 MuleSkinner#1

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 07:53 AM

I have a gaited mule and use the crest ridge guffey saddle and it is almost like it was custom made and is so comfy on long rides and crest ridge will tell you how to measure for a saddle and you tell them the measurement and a week later you have a new saddle and if for any reason it does not fit you can keep returning it until you have the right size.

#15 hansenshorses

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 09:42 PM

I am patiently waiting, I have 8 weeks to go, he said 11 weeks for my custom David Genadik(sp) -About the Horse saddle. I brought Lukka down to him and he fitted her at his place. I wish I had done this last year but had to order and take back many saddles and lots of $$$.
Get a saddle to fit. Many of the tack shops have saddle fitters but some may not be very good. Read, rent videos and learn about saddle fit yourself.
I had a friend whose horse got very sore with a Imus saddle.

#16 tsnelms

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 12:32 PM

MY 2 CENTS WORTH IS THAT MY TUCKER SADDLE BLISTERED MY BUTT AND GAVE MY TWH SORE SPOTS ON HIS WITHERS . MY NATIONAL BRIDLE SHOP GOLDEN TENNESSEAN IS A GOOD RIDING SADDLE BUT DID NOT FIT THE HORSE I BOUGHT IT FOR(SORE WITHERS) BUT IT FITS AND RIDES GREAT ON ONE OF OUR OTHER TWH.
I USED THE CLOTHES HANGER BENT OVER THE WITHERS TO MEASURE THE HORSE AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT ENDED UP WITH AN ABETTA ARABIAN TREE CORDURA ENDURANCE SADDLE.IT COST SOME OVER 400.00$ ON LINE FROM ABETTA. I ALSO HAD AN IMUS AND I SOLD! IT.(OVERRATED) [Big Grin]

#17 sundayslady

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 10:25 AM

My opinion based on many many saddles and many horses--

Determine what you are going to afford, then buy the best quality used saddle that fits your horse in that price range.

I have a bunch of horses and a bunch of saddles for children's riding. I use good quality used Stubbens and Crosbys for hunt seat and Crates or Circle Ys in Western.

Having gone down the cheap, new route too many times and been disappointed, I have found that used saddles (good quality- find someone you trust to look at the tree) is the way to go.