Saddle questions

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Chickerdoodle13, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I am back with some saddle questions and looking forward to responses.

    My dad is looking at a Circle Y Trail saddle to buy for our QH gelding. He's a tough horse to buy saddles for, as he has high skinny withers and saddles tend to lift off his back end as some of you have seen in other pictures.

    Anyways, this is a used saddle (Almost brand is beautiful) that we are borrowing from a friend at the moment. I went home and rode this past weekend, and was able to check it out. Upon my brief inspection, it seems like it's a nice fit. The tree sits nicely and does not touch his withers without weight and with weight. The back of the saddle does not lift up and there doesn't seem to be any points rubbing. We use a thin saddle pad and it didn't seem like the tree was digging at all.

    Anyways, I want to know what else to look for. Over the summer I had done some research, but what do you suggest? It's a fairly pricey saddle, so I don't want to spend the money without being sure it fits him right. It fit me just fine and it is VERY comfortable. When I walked him around a bit with me on his back, he had one small fit of throwing his head around and I'm still not sure why he does this. After that, he was perfect. It was almost as if he wanted to test me...but he didn't show any other signs of discomfort.

    There are two things I hate most...saddle shopping, and horse shopping!
  2. Slightly Cracked

    Slightly Cracked Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2008
    N.E Oklahoma
    We have 2 Circle Y trail saddles and they are on 2 totally differnt horses.

    I have rode high withered horses in my saddle and then turned around and rode my mutton withered mare in the same saddle.
    When riding your high withered horse try using a cut back pad so you are not putting undo pressure on the withers. And after a good ride check for dry spots under the pad, indicating pressure spots.

    I have rode several saddles and I HIGHLY recommend a circleY over anything !!! No pain the knees or hips!! I even had one custom built one time and i trade it for my circle Y trail saddle.

    Ok , I know you wanted to know of other saddles but I can't help you out there. I just know what has worked well for me and my horses. Good fitting saddle with no extra pressure on my knees and hips.

  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ

    It was an extremely comfy saddle. I just want to make sure it is comfy for my horse too. I used the same saddle all the years I had my first horse, and it always fit her fine. Now that I have the new horse, it has been a pain in the neck to find one that fits! Our barn looks like a saddle shop. I think we are up to seven saddles at the moment...and thats for only TWO horses!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Bearing in mind that I am more of an English saddle fitting person than Western saddle fitting... three generically-applicable things to check:

    1) since you have the saddle to try, can you ride him in it enough to get him decently well sweated up under the pad, and see if the sweat marks are large and even and symmetrical.

    2) does it girth up in the right place for him - that is, when the saddle is sitting where the tree "wants" to be on his back, does the cinch sit somewhere plausible, not too far back and especially not too far forward so it is squinching against the back of his elbows.

    3) not positive whether this applies to all western saddles, but you generally want to make sure that with someone sitting in the saddle you can insert a dressage whip or a thin willow branch (or whatever) all the way thru the gullet without it getting stuck anywhere such as under the seat.

    When I walked him around a bit with me on his back, he had one small fit of throwing his head around and I'm still not sure why he does this. After that, he was perfect. It was almost as if he wanted to test me...but he didn't show any other signs of discomfort.

    I hear you on being cautious about this - you're absolutely right - but it is not impossible he was sort of checking out the new saddle, like you might swing your arms around in a new shirt ot see how it fits and whether it binds anywhere. Can you ride him a couple more times in this saddle and see how it goes generally? That'd be the best thing.

    Totally with you on hating saddle shopping (worse even that shopping for bras, swimsuits, or cars, IMO!), good luck, have "fun" :p,

  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    An old circle Y is one of the best western saddles you can get. All my favorite saddles (some of them 10+ years old) are circle Y. None of them have ever needed any repairs despite abuse and I put all of them on a wide range of horses without issues. Now the newer circle Y saddles I wouldn't touch. My friend went through 2 in a couple years with repairs required (the company paid) due to poor design. My older saddles have run from $500-$3000 depending on size, type, age, and other factors. The most expensive being a custom made roping saddle and the cheapest a scuffed up, round skirted, trail saddle. A good saddle will last you your lifetime, your children's lifetime, and I still use my grandma and grandpa's saddles occasionally. It's worth the price.
  6. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    i am not much help but I am wanting to try a flex tree for my hard to fit horse maybe you should try one of those
  7. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    I love Circle Y's. Put the saddle on over a thin blanket and push your hand in between the horse and the saddle at the front (below the wither). If you can't fit your hand in there, or if you have to force it, then it's too tight on him. If it's a bit snug but you can slide your hand in readily, that's good. Now slide your hand from there all the way across to the back of the saddle, keeping it under the saddle tree all the way along. If the saddle fits well, you'll find pretty even pressure all the way along. (Be sure to check both sides.) If there's little or no pressure in the middle, then the saddle is bridging (not enough rock in the bars to fit the slight sway in his back) and will make him very sore. If there's more pressure in the middle, then there's too much rock and he needs a straighter tree (you will also know this because the back of the saddle will easily rock up and down). Check that the width at the back of the saddle fits his back and sides. Now cinch it up (not super tight, but nice and snug) and do it all again. You should still be able to slide your hand in there. Then climb on and ride long enough to work up a sweat under the saddle. Ideally the entire area should be wet without dry spots. Good luck!
  8. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets

    Aug 17, 2008
    What I like to do with a horse that is difficult to fit a saddle to, is get a saddle fitter out. Most tack shops have one or know where to find one (its a person). They can also do things to a saddle that doesn't fit to make it fit as long as its only small adjustments. Having 1 saddle that fits instead of 4 per horse is worth the price of having a fitter come out. Check how much it costs-ours aren't expensive but I'm not where you are from.
  9. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks everyone for the help!

    Seems like I may have found a winner with this saddle. There are a few more tests I'd like to run with it, but so far I'm thinking it will be a good one. Once I am home for Christmas break, I will be able to ride him a bit more on the trails and in the arena. It gets cold here, so it's difficult to work up a sweat with the horses during the winter sometimes, but I'll try that trick too.

    It's so much easier to buy a saddle when you can try it out! I'm very lucky that these friends are allowing us to use the saddle before we buy it. They even gave us a breast plate and some other piece for the saddle. I believe they are asking $700, but my dad thinks it will be worth it. It's a bit too large for him (Says its a 16 inch, but it's more like a 16.5 inch), but he still says he likes it too much to pass up. I told him I'd be stealing it for my use! LOL
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by