Western

Guide to Western Saddles, Types, Styles, Sizing, Fitting, and Care.

Saddleonline.com Horse Tack Bulletin #86 The Western Saddle By Joanne M. Anderson           An icon in American history, the western saddle came to the Old West via the Spanish vaqueros. The original, basic structure was subsequently modified to meet the demands of the working cowboy ~ heftier stirrups, the horn and skirts (side panels), for example. The stirrups accommodated another American symbol, the cowboy boot, while the horn was used for tying a calf to the saddle, and skirts prevented brush and branches from scratching the horse along the widest part of his sides.           Today’s...
The history of the Western saddle is an interesting one, with origins that can be traced all the way back to the dark ages. When Moorish soldiers invaded Spain during the 8th century, they brought their unique riding style – and innovative tack – with them. Designed to stand up to the challenges of mounted battle, these saddles featured high forks and cantles for greater security, plus long stirrups that made it more comfortable to ride in full armor. This saddle – the precursor to the Western saddle of today – was soon adopted by knights and crusaders. From War Saddle to Stock Saddle...
While endurance saddles are designed for competitions in which horse and rider teams cover between 50 and 100 miles in a day, they are also the ideal choice for long trail rides. A gaited endurance saddle is specially designed to allow your gaited horse complete freedom of movement, ensuring he is able to offer his best performance while remaining comfortable and free from saddle sores. Here are some basic tips for choosing a western gaited endurance saddle that meets your needs. Features Start shopping for a gaited endurance saddle, and you’ll soon notice that the main feature is comfort for...
Cowboy tack is all the same, isn’t it? This sentiment may have held mostly true in the past, but things have changed in the world of equestrian tack. Visit any of the western tack shops in your area, and you are likely to see quite a few specialty items designed to enhance performance during specific sports / riding styles. From barrel racing tack with lightweight, streamlined designs to trail saddles meant to offer support during long adventures, there are many innovations to choose from. Saddle pads were once very simple – and of course, you can still have a simple design if you want to....
Thanks to their surefootedness and gentle nature, draft horses are becoming more popular as everyday riding horses. Their large size contributes to a smooth feel, and their muscular frames lend them impressive stamina. Many who ride these big beauties prefer the security a draft horse western saddle offers. If you’re among them, you’ll appreciate these tips for selecting a saddle that fits you and your riding partner. Before beginning the process of selecting your draft horse western saddle, be sure that your mount is at least five years old. Unlike some other horses who develop at a younger...
Hit the trail or head to an event, and you’re likely to see more than a few synthetic western saddles. These awesome saddles are becoming more popular, and you might be considering picking one up for everyday use. There are quite a few reasons these saddles are gaining favor. Let’s take a look. Stylish Some colors just don’t come naturally. True, we carry colorful western saddles made of leather, but the synthetics represent less of an investment while allowing you to ride in trendy style. Kids particularly enjoy the many designs available, as do fun-loving adults. Think purple, pink, zebra,...
It’s always exciting to get a new “ride,” but inevitably, the question of “What size western saddle do I need?” arises. You might already know that all western saddles come with a specific seat size, measured in inches. In general, the following western saddle size rules apply: Youth – 12” to 13” (Be sure to see our guide to fitting kids’ western saddles if looking for a child’s size) Small adult – 14” Average adult – 15” Large adult – 16” Extra large adult – 17” Very large or tall – 18” to 20” If you fit somewhere between sizes, you will probably find that you are able to...
For many kids, western saddles are the first they’ll ever ride in. Buying a saddle – even a pint-sized one – is a major decision and a bit of an investment. Before making this important purchase, it is a good idea to do a little homework. Pick a Size Just like a full-size saddle for adults, a kids’ western saddle needs to fit the child and the horse he or she will be riding. If your child is riding a full-size horse, consider our kids seat quarter horse saddles, which are built on average size quarter horse trees with youth seat sizes. A very small child or toddler will fit in a 7 to 8 inch...
Just like horse saddles, pony saddles come in a variety of configurations designed for different uses. Meant to fit horses up to about 14 hands high, pony saddles are usually made to fit children and small statured adults. With shorter stirrup leathers or fenders, smaller stirrups, and of course, smaller seats, they look like diminutive versions of their larger, horse-sized counterparts. Popular Styles in Pony Saddles The most common types of pony saddles are English and Western. English pony saddles are extremely lightweight, so it is very easy for kids to saddle up by themselves after they...
Start shopping for saddles for sale, and in the blink of an eye you’ll find lots of attractive options to choose from. We’ll save discussions about types and styles of saddles for a different day; for now, let’s talk about the pros and cons of leather vs. synthetic saddles. Price Price is definitely one of the first considerations most riders make when looking at different saddles for sale, both online and off. If it’s the deciding factor for you, consider looking at synthetic saddles over leather ones. Synthetics are almost always priced a bit lower. Of course some synthetics do cost more...

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