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HLM
Dear Sharon

I rode all the time a Stueben Siegfried when hunting and jumping, still have it, and one cant even fall out of it, if one tries.

Treeless, we use these when training race horses, we call it a training saddle.
I just dot know if this will be okay over trails, terrains, because of our weight which can then be distributed at certain times.
I guess, we all use what we are used to.

But I need freedom in a saddle, so that I can combate anything which can happen on trails, over jumps and whatever. In the moment my legs are restricted, I feel lost and helpless.

the western saddle scares me. Here in Ocala a few years back- western class,they were all lining up for the judge. One horse reared up, instead of going backwards, and fell on top of the rider. The horn instantly killed her, crushing her chest.She was a mother of 3 or 4 children.

I once bought one of those light saddles, Wintex, and returned it. I could not balance in it, it was slipping. the material did not give me good grips, when needed. that was years ago, and may be they are different now.


Have a nice day
Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
larapintavian
QUOTE (HLM @ Jul 13 2006, 03:34 PM)
But I need freedom in a saddle, so that I can combate anything which can happen on trails, over jumps and whatever. In the moment my legs are restricted, I feel lost and helpless.


Exactly ... and one IS helpless in some of these saddles.

My neice was riding a young mare in the treeless saddle, and every time the young one zigzagged, my neice (who has several 100 mile rides to her credit) lost her balance, because her legs were restricted, and once she could not recover. Chrissi took her Seigfried off Emmersom and put it on the young mare and my neice was then able to use her legs effectively with no loss of balance. (That's how Chris happened to have to ride the treeless .... she loaned her cousin her Sigfried.)

I also worry about the weight distribution with a treeless saddle. Doesn't seem to me like it would be adequate.
Georgia
Hello Dave,
The QH bars don't have anything to do with QH's persay, that's just what the call the size of the trees on some western saddles. I was just trying to see if anyone
knew which one fit an Arabian best. Or what experiances were with Western saddles so I can try and find one that will work, I can't afford to keep buying saddles that don't work for me or the horse. Kind of trying to narrow the field so to speak.
Full QH bars (tree of the saddle) are flat in front and good for QH's that have no withers
Don't think will work with any Arabian.
(Regular) Qh Bars are for good withered horses and I have found and heard others say that they fit their Arabs and worked out well.
(you also have to watch the gullet size for Arabians and get a nice wide one) no matter what size/shaped tree you buy.
Semi-QH bars are to narrow for Arabians I have found. So, I was just trying to
get some input.
You also see saddles out there that have Arabian trees, but tend to be pricey just for having an "Arabian" tree in the saddle. I will have to check an see what the measurements are in this Arabian treed saddles and see which of the Qh bars comes the closest. unsure.gif

If you have ever purchased a Western saddle it most possibly has one of the three trees above, if it wasn't made specifically for an Arabian. So, it would pay to pay attention to the trees and ask questions. I remember someone saying something about buying a Wintec, I have a friend that loves her Big horn and they have just come out with a lightweight trail saddle I will check out.

My husband bought me a western trail saddle, that had QH bars that fits my
mare fine and has a nice compfy seat, but I just couldn't get the feel of the stirrups of this western saddle and felt very uncomfortable and unsafe. Of course all the fittings are new and I should probably wait to pass judgement after only a few rides.

And Hansi, My sister had a horse go over backwards on her..wasn't her or the horses fault, but they had just freshly oiled a training arena and filpped it over.. the oil got on the hard clay packed soil and when my sister asked for a canter the horse put his back foot/feet under him and tried to push off, but his feet kept on going under him and flipped over backwards.. We thought she was dead. But,
other than strained muscles she was fine. it happened so fast and so straight
she was Ok, had she moved out of position on that saddle at all I think the horn or twist would have gotten her. Which, further adds to my fear of western saddles and being able to get out of one quickly and not getting hung up on that horn. I have learned not to wear baggy t-shirts and keep them tucked in. (safety tip of the day for western saddles).
I am seriously looking at the Trekker one posted it looks like a great blend of saddles and they come without horns and I came across a friend that has one and works well on her Arabians. Plus they are in my pocket book range.

Ok, take care.. enjoying reading the posts...still

Georgia
Georgia
Hello Majid
Thank you for the info on the Trekker I really like what I saw and was talking with a friend that trains part bred Arabs and loves her Trekker, I'm not sure i'm ready for a treeless saddle
as I've heard they take a good seat, possibly after I have ridden awhile and get
back some of my strength (or at least what strength I can for my age). But, the Trekkers with trees seem very nice and secure and not large/bulky and holding looking if that makes any sense.
I will have to continue my research on best trees for an Arabian. I had originally thought semi QH bars as you had said, were the best for an Arabian, then others told me they are to narrow for Arabians. I have a muscular/wide Pure Polish mare with a very good wither.

Anymore input on tree sizes would be appreciated. (from anyone).

Thanks Majid.
Georgia
arabrider57
greetings all:

Well I dont know how much I can add but we have struggled to find the "right" trail saddle for years as well. I had a beautiful Corbett combination saddle we used but it tended to pinch at the withers of our mare. We wanted to try endurance a few years ago and i got my wife a collegite marathon (sp?) saddle I found in a local tack shop. It is a little heavier that we prefer but has been SUPER for comfort and contact with the horse. Plenty of padding makes for a real nice trail saddle. It works for 25 and 35 milers but I really think it would be too much saddle for anything longer and way too heavy for a top 10 finish.

Our weekends tend to take us on slower more liesurly rides in the local hills and some of the area state parks so it works well. I picked up a Wintec western saddle for use as a lightweight training saddle. It has a rounded back like a barrel saddle so will not cut into the hips on a shorter back arab and fits the back of my arabs nicely. I will use a felt pad with cuts in the top for better fit with the withers. My experience has been good with both and my horses seem to appreciate the light weight of the Wintec. On the down side of the Wintec it is still difficult even after a few years of use to get the off side stirrup to stay in place when we mount. Now my legs dont work like they use to... true but I am not that bad off yet! Its the saddles fault!!

The QH bar topic has been interesting to me as well. That was a term I was not famiiar with either so thanks for the "in service" training Georgia.

I was looking into a Tucker endurance saddle they combined with Circle y I believe but make a great saddle for use in field trials, Very comfortable and not too excessive in weight. they will custom make a saddle for your horse and wont break the bank in cost. they look a lot like the old mcLellen or even the Austrailian saddles.

warmest regards

Mark
Guest_Dave_*
Georgia and Mark,

Thanks very much for your input.

Our farrier has a Wintec western saddle that he isn't using and we my try it on our Arabs. I'm very much in agreement that English saddle are easier to get out of. Fortunately, I haven't had much rearing. The last horse that reared with me was my warmblood and that was about 15 or 16 years ago. I find that Arabs buck more than rear.

Dave
larapintavian
QUOTE (Guest_Dave_* @ Jul 14 2006, 05:17 AM)
The last horse that reared with me was my warmblood and that was about 15 or 16 years ago. I find that Arabs buck more than rear.


QHs seem to buck much more often than Arabs.

We've found, over the years, the Arabs are much more likely to zigzag .... something a lot of our Eventing friends who ride only Tb, Wb, or Qh find difficult to sit. Frankly, I find the zigzag the easiest to stay with because I, naturally, have always had very poor balance. tongue.gif Once our friends who have other breeds learn to feel this quick double sideways motion they also agree it's much easier to sit than a buck. JMO
Guest_Dave_*
Greetings from hot hot SoCal. 92 degrees in the shade in Rancho Santa Fe at 1PM and pretty humid also.

I went to the local tack shop - Mary's Tack and Feed. I looked at Stubbens and a Passier Grand Gilbert in the dressage section and upstairs in the western area, I saw Big Horn - synthetics, Circle Y flex trees, and Tuckers. Mary's is a large store that started as a hole in the wall in the 60's. I'd say there were more Tuckers than anything else. They had endurence and western Tuckers with all kinds of trees. These seem to be very popular with trail riders.

All of these saddle had nice features for Arabs
Stubbens - seats not too deep, prices ranging from $1,200 to $2,200. The padding under the seat seemed ok for Arabs but I would have like more width.

Passier Grand Gilbert - flat seat and padding that would be better for Arabs than the others. Again, I would like more width.

Big Horn - synthetic - wonderfully light. The Circle Y - flex was also light. Both of these were great for short backed horses and came in wide trees. Tuckers were also light with wide trees.

I think the dressage saddles of 20 to 25 years ago might be better for Arabs because they were probably designed for warmbloods with rounder backs. my Dutch mare is 21 and she's on the heavy side of modern warmbloods and needs a wider tree. I couldn't possibly ride an Arab with most of the dressage saddles I saw which are for modern warmbloods with lots of TB blood.

I think that you can't tell anything about how a saddle feels to you until the horse moves and you can't tell how it fits a horse until it's on the bakc.

Dave
larapintavian
QUOTE (Guest_Dave_* @ Jul 15 2006, 11:44 PM)
I think that you can't tell anything about how a saddle feels to you until the horse moves and you can't tell how it fits a horse until it's on the back.

Dave


So true.
Ingrid
Dave, could you explain why you prefer not to have a deep seat for Arabs please. I have a Wintec Isabell which has a deep seat for my Arab with a prominent wither. I love it.
Guest_Dave_*
Ingrid,

I wasn't clear in my earlier posting. I should have said that I prefer a flater seat. This is my personal preference and it has nothing to do with riding Arabs or any other breed. Sorry for not being clear.

Dave
HLM
That happened to me in 1975, I was warming up at the Royal Winter Fair,toronto, my horses hind feet slipped under, he went down, I could not get my legs away, and it crushed my leg., spiral break (ancle) Had I been in an English saddle, I could have quickly lifted my leg and not gotten hurt.

Hansi biggrin.gif
Tous crins
the difference comes when you have to race-endurance- than I feel the english saddle has an edge. I dont think you want to use a dressage saddle in an endurance race, but may be a combination saddle. I guess I am thinking more of the horse than the rider.

Hi Hansi,

I agree with you. I use an "Albion Original Comfort" that is exactly what you describe. I did start using the endurance stirrups with the rubber pads as I felt it really helped when posting on bery unequalled terrain for 35 miles (bought the stirrups and sheepskin at the Tehachapi ride a few years ago).

I do not like western saddles at all, the horn is in the way, I feel trapped and way too far from the horses's back. I might have tried a bad one... but I have been rding englesh saddles since I was 7.

I would like to try a teeeless.


Christine
Guest_LMG_*
My experience in the saddle is getting old now, but I've found that smaller horses tend to be a bit "catty" on their feet and can be going in the opposite direction, in what they think is an emergency, while the rider may still be going forward.

Since larger horses, seem to need a bit more room to get around themselves, and there is a bit more horse between one's legs, one has a little more to "hang on" to kneewise, in the "jump sidewise" classical maneuver or the more advanced 180 degree whirl and retreat.

Why a western saddle? Because, from experience, three broken ribs and a broken ankle, I can state that a slide stop from a full charge, and a spin to the left, while on a cow horse, is not as well accomplished in a flat saddle as in a western one. And it does require that one pick oneself up out of the dirt and repeat the lesson, so the horse does not learn bad habits, before one goes to the hospital.

If one doesn't need to take a "dally" around the horn, I would think the Australian Saddle would be a bit safer when riding working horses, but I never had any experience with them in order to comment.

LMG
Majid
The comments about the treeless saddles not giving much support are probably due to how flexible they can be. While I am new to the treeless saddles, I think that they are much more like riding bareback, both from a perspective of feeling the horse, and the horse feeling the rider. Having a good seat is probably an advantage to using a treeless saddle. I am sure many experienced riders also may not like the feel of the treeless, but for some riders, no doubt, they provide a good ride.

There are many different styles of saddles, each with different attributes. The best way to find what works, is to try them!

Majid
Nadj al Nur
Hi all
I have a Circle Y western synthetic for one of my mares that I had a heck of a time fitting because of her short back.It is similar to the Wintec except that it has a leather seat. I find the ones with the synthetic material on the seat get very hot and uncomfortable after a while. I did make a few changes on it however. It had some sort of plastic, composite stirrups which I hated, because they were slippery, so they came off right away and I put leather ones on. It also had nylon latigos which got replaced with leather right away. There seems to be more freedom in the stirrups on this saddle than even the Wintecs and they do put you a little closer to the horse than a heavier western saddle. You can also order them with no horn if you want to.Might be worth a look for you Georgia, since you can get them with either semi or full QH bars.
Cathy
Guest_Dave_*
We tried a Wintec western saddle last weekend which didn't fit my wife's mare who is not real wide through the shoulders. It did seem to fit my young mare who is round like a barrel. This saddle was given to us by our farrier who doesn't think he'll be riding again. It's maybe about 10 years old, so I'm not sure how it compares with the current Wintecs. I'm going to try it on some other horses. It sure beats cleaning leather and the lightness is great.

Dave
Georgia
QUOTE (Guest_Dave_* @ Jul 21 2006, 06:08 AM)
We tried a Wintec western saddle last weekend which didn't fit my wife's mare who is not real wide through the shoulders. It did seem to fit my young mare who is round like a barrel. This saddle was given to us by our farrier who doesn't think he'll be riding again. It's maybe about 10 years old, so I'm not sure how it compares with the current Wintecs. I'm going to try it on some other horses. It sure beats cleaning leather and the lightness is great.

Dave
*


Hi Dave,
It would be interesting if you could find someone that had a saddle with
semi-QH bars to try on you wife's mare. If my theory and what I have heard on the bars are correct, that should be the bar for her. Doesn't matter what kin of saddle, just to see the fit. As, she may be good candidate for the semi bars.
It would be nice if the farrier could tell you what bars is in the Wintec he gave you??. My mare is very rounded barreled and well sprung ribs and a wither and a half. laugh.gif Of course, she is way to fat too!. tongue.gif

How's the seat in the Wintec? The ones I sat in seemed hard to me. Do you know what size the seat is? I'm 5'4" about 130 pounds, so trying to figure out the seat size I should get also and hope your wife doesn't mind if I compare her and my size and the seat size of your saddle, if she liked the fit in the seat... trying to figure out a seat size also and what I should get.

Once I decide on all the sizes, I may order a Big Horn Synthic as they have just come out with them. I think even without a horn. and around $250 bucks, so can't beat that. At least you won't loose a fortune if it doesn't fit. My neighbor raves about her's of course it is not a Syn..thic.

Thanks Cathy, I will be looking at Circly Y also as I've heard some good things about them. I have not seen one in a tack store yet. So, I stop everytime I go past a tack store. biggrin.gif

Thanks for all your help, I can still take all the suggestions and help for anyone or anything at all. biggrin.gif

Thanks Georgia
Sharabia
There are different riding styles to suit different tastes and competitions. Although this seems to be an English riders thread, I sure hope that the readers are not recieving misconceptions about western styles of riding.

Yes, many western saddles have a horn, but there are different types of horns just like there are different types of Western saddles - you have the barrel racing saddle, the reining saddle, the roping saddle, etc. Any riding style is potentially dangerous - look at the late Christopher Reeves. And, not all horns are small and narrow, sticking high up either.

For instance, Curtis had a western saddle custom made with a horn almost the size of a medium sized horses hoof that is low to the saddle. I also ride western with a horn that is not high or narrow. I have never had sore ankles or problems with my hips, nor has Curtis. The type of stirrup you use also plays a role when riding western. However, I can see how riding western would be very different for an English rider to then go to, as the seat is different and takes some getting use to from either riding style - especially when one has ridden a certain way all of their life. (AND NO, the horn is not there to constantly hold on to!) And, for some Western events and riding, they definitely are not for the faint of heart - including riding in the very rugged mountains.

In addition, there is a great sensitivity between horse and rider when riding western properly. The point of western riding is to have your leg and seat aides given so that they are not easily seen. The seasoned Western horses and riders are able to demonstrate their sports - from reining to working cows - bridleless. To me, that is very impressive.

You do not need to been trained in English riding first to win at the high levels in WP and the like. Many more experienced WP/reiners/working cow/etc. horse riders have never ridden english and they excel and can stay with a horse in some fast, catty maneuvers that many other riders may be left to wonder what happened as they brush the dust off their clothes. What I feel you do need in a Western horse is one that does not need constant direction from a rider in the chosen discipline - once the horse is more seasoned and understands what is expected of them.

For many of the western disciplines, you need a horse that is allowed and able to "think" for themselves to a degree in order for them to get you and themselves out of potentially dangerous situations when working a cow, for example. No offense intended with what I am about to say, however - when I am moving cattle, and some 2000 pound bull decides to stop and eye my horse and me up, I sure don't want to have to give continual guidance to my horse, or have a horse that needs me to constantly tell it what it should do, to get us out of harms way if need be. I NEED to be able to give that horse his/her "head" on a LOOSE rein, and trust that he/she will move like the agile "cat" he/she is to get us out of a tight spot. Therefore, I can not be constantly guiding my horse with rein contact.

I have the utmost respect for English riding, and have even tried a couple of lessons. There is a benefit for both types of riding styles, depending on what a person prefers.

My hat is off to all riders, BOTH Western and English. I do not believe either one is superior, except in their element and specific discipline. Therefore, my appreciation for all types of riding for what they are.

Sheila Bautz
Sharabia
PS - We have a saying around here regarding Working horses: "Get off your horse's reins and let him do his job!". In other words, don't interfere with that horse who knows his job and does it well, let him do it. The rider is only the "co-pilot" in such instances, and the horse that does his job well is highly prized. wink.gif

Sheila Bautz
Georgia
Hi Sheila, you are so right.. but you have to get your horse to that point of thinking on his own and taking responsibility for himself and you. I don't think this is a
"English" or "Western" thread, just about riding and different topics in regards to riding. They have been talking about everything from position, hands and legs, feel, equipment, and injuries related to horse and equipment while riding. So, feel free to say what you want (if I'm wrong, please let me know Dave) and I agree with what you have said, Sheila.

I learned to ride English, flat saddle. Haven't ridden much in the last 20-25 years nor did much trail riding.. another whole different ball game out there in the wild open roads. tongue.gif and spent most of the last few decades in a Sulky and on a track. So, now that I'm older and trying to get back in the saddle again, it is a challenge especially since my mare isn't as trained as I need her to be. We are learning to think on our own.. both of us. wink.gif Thanks to all the natural horseman on RFDTV.
I just need a horse that I can get on without worry and ride to get back some of my muscles, get in better shape and get some of my seat back. But, I can't afford another horse, so the ones I have will have to do. and we are learning. I know I will never get back what I had, but my objective is to trail ride and enjoy. and I don't say that because I think it's an easy discipline.. it's not and very scary for me. My husband bought me a Western saddle and I just thought I'd flop my big butt in there and go.. found out it just ain't that easy.. that the saddle doesn't do the riding for you and I can't ride as I once did. I felt more ackward in this new saddle (western)
than I did in the English of yester years. I wasn't saying one was more superior to another, at all, and hope no one took it that way. sad.gif Just that I'm learning and not real comfortable with a western yet (or riding again).
I just thought it would be like a rocking chair and that I could just go, I have more learning to do and strength building. tongue.gif

Perhaps I'm just to novice and asking silly questions and trying to figure out saddles. Been 30 years since I have bought one and I have to make my best selection as I can only afford one. Everyone has been so helpful with all the information and I hope they keep it coming, English or Western. Some on this tread were talking about which English works well with their Arabians, which is nice information to have and nice to share experiances. And some are sharing which Western saddles work well and their experiances. I have a Thoroghwood (sp)
all purpose english saddle that I may just try. Someone better come with a video cam and witness this. tongue.gif May just be able to win enough money to buy all kinds of saddles on America's funniest video. biggrin.gif

I'd like to know how you choose the size of the girth, English or Western thoughts appreciated. As, I have both that I need to buy to hold that saddle on all the tighter, rolleyes.gif so I can ride.

thanks everyone, enjoyed reading the posts.

Georgia
Majid
QUOTE (Sharabia @ Jul 21 2006, 07:03 PM)
There are different riding styles to suit different tastes and competitions.  Although this seems to be an English riders thread, I sure hope that the readers are not recieving misconceptions about western styles of riding.



In addition, there is a great sensitivity between horse and rider when riding western properly.  The point of western riding is to have your leg and seat aides given so that they are not easily seen.  The seasoned Western horses and riders are able to demonstrate their sports - from reining to working cows - bridleless.  To me, that is very impressive. ................................................................................
.......................................

I have the utmost respect for English riding, and have even tried a couple of lessons.  There is a benefit for both types of riding styles, depending on what a person prefers.

My hat is off to all riders, BOTH Western and English.  I do not believe either one is superior, except in their element and specific discipline.  Therefore, my appreciation for all types of riding for what they are.

Sheila Bautz
*





Sheila,

I agree with your comment that neither Western or English is superior, except in a specific discipline. Some years ago, there was a demonstration at the Dressage at Devon show, where an English dressage rider demonstrated all of the gaits and different movements. A Western rider followed and performed essentially all of the same movements, with a Western saddle and a Western trained horse, with the same agility and grace.

It was an interesting way to challenge the perceptions of the audience!

Majid
Georgia
QUOTE (larapintavian @ Jul 14 2006, 01:30 PM)
QHs seem to buck much more often than Arabs. 

We've found, over the years, the Arabs are much more likely to zigzag .... something a lot of our Eventing friends who ride only Tb, Wb, or Qh find difficult to sit.  Frankly, I find the zigzag the easiest to stay with because I, naturally, have always had very poor balance.  tongue.gif  Once our friends who have other breeds learn to feel this quick double sideways motion they also agree it's much easier to sit than a buck.  JMO
*



tongue.gif ohmy.gif Well, I don't know about the tendency to buck less in Arabians than Qh's
but I have ridden all kinds of horses in my day and found my Arabians sooooo
much smooother, of course mine are exceptional horses smile.gif In starting my one mare years ago.. her third saddling, she would not step off. A stable girl came up without me hearing her and whopped her on the butt and off we were bucking
across the field. It was a nice rithmic and straight buck (and I was having fun cool.gif )
so it continued for a short while.. I just said Whoa and she stopped and we trotted back from where we came with no problems. It was like we both were having fun, not that the mare was scared and bucking. It was a strange moment. tongue.gif

I do know what Hansi is saying about feeling funny/unsafe in a western saddle.
I think English trained riders (me included) feel trapped and closterphobic (sp) at first in a western saddle. (I still am trying to deal with this) I think the smaller, lighter versions they have come out with will help. But, I do feel a lot of uneasiness in regards to Western saddles/riding is more of a feeling. And where I found that it wasn't as easy to ride as I thought and that I'd need some lessons to deal with the different feel.

Majid, I did see a demostration of Western Dressage and English dressage. I loved watching the Western dressage on a loose rein (as Sheila was talking about) and very little leg movement and still doing the same manuevers. Was incredible.

Georgia
larapintavian
A number of years ago I was watching the free style reining at one of the National Quarter Horse shows here in OKC. Free style reining is a musical ride which utilizes all of the movements that reining horses do, much like a musical dressage ride. The reiners, though, have much more freedom to be innovative as they may use various costumes and props.

Anyway, the reining ride I remembered most (and truely wished I'd had a video camera with me) was performed to the music "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" from the Broaday show Annie Get Your Gun. The "prop" used was an upper level dressage horse and rider. For those who know the music, I'm certain you're already getting the picture ..... one rider does something, the other repeats a corresponding maneuver. I remember both horses doing the tempi changes, and when the dressage horse did canter pirouetts, the reiner did his spins. It was really nice choreograpy, and very well ridden. The crowd was on their feet cheering both horses and riders. I'd love to see it performed again.

This past year, at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) futurities, also held here in OKC, we went to the free style finals. Three of the horses in the finals were ridden with no bridle, just a "prayer rein" around the neck, one was ridden without any kind of bridle, and one was ridden bareback. The horse with no bridle or reins of any kind was absolutely phenomenal ... spins, sliding stops and all ! He placed 2nd. One of those with only a prayer rein placed 4th. This was a national futurity championship, those riders REALLY knew how to ride and the horses were trained almost to perfection. The judges DON'T give any extra points to horses without a bridle, so those riders/trainers really had a lot of faith in their horse's abilities.
Georgia
That sounds like an absolutely great show of two different diciplines and the
skill it takes to do both. It would be great to see it again.

Georgia
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