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For some time now I have been looking at saddles online. As I age a good fitting saddle for myself as well as my gaited mare is important. With so many types/brands of saddles this is a hard decision. Comfort for long rides is important for both horse and rider. Has anyone heard of Dixieland Gaited Saddle? What is your experience with saddles, any advise from horse riders would be appreciated.

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I started out wanting as perfect a fit as posible for the horse, knowing the longer the ride is the better the fit needs to be. And since I'm a potentual long rider, (mentally anyway)
I've been through the process and took my time doing it, (sence around 1987 I've been watching the saddle market and reading stuff on saddle fit) For a long time I wanted an ortho flex but couldn't justify the price.
After Len Brown came out with the 'corrector' it was a lot more practical, I tried it and it seems to work great.
So then I could get a saddle that fit me and not worry as much about it fitting the horse, because I can use the corrector and with some shimms if needed make one fit that dosn't quite fit otherwise. Looks like the corrector works best with a rigid tree saddle with slightly strait bars, puts a thin flex panel under each end of the bars. But it is best if the saddle is somewhere in the vacinity of the right width for the horse.
So that gave me the freedom to look at rigid tree saddles. I did the research to figure out what I wanted, Looked at all the mass manufactured saddles, but they didn't appeal to me. I finally decided on a custom reining saddle designed by an old reining horse trainer who rode horses all day every day at times in his working life, since reiners are typically a little lighter horses than other western diciplines use I think it'll be a sutable saddle for most medium size horses. And the paso fino I'm getting is a very large one for the breed. So far on my mustang it fits very well. And it fits me very well as well. I find it quite comfortable.
They say a well fitting saddle will stay on the horse quite well with very little cinch. Well this one sits so well the cinch can hang loose and I can get on and off and not know the difference very much. Of course I'm not yanking the saddle sideways when I get on, kind of bounce on like yer supposed to. I hope it works that well on the paso.
Oh and I was fed up with dry leather and poor craftsmanship, even on medium to good grade saddles it isn't the best, I wanted some real quality, and the hermann oak leather is the best qualty avalible. But of course the price wasn't cheap, but it wasn't as high as most custom saddles either. It was 1650 with shipping and took 3 months to get because they build to order. But I got it with the absolute minimum of extras to keep the price down. So it's very plain with no tooling of any kind. Bigger picture in on the attachment, Of course every person needs to do their own research on the subject, what fits my needs may not fit the next rider at all. And yah, asking for opinions is a good way to find the ups and downs on stuff.
That was a great comment. Thank you for all of your imput. As I age (how can I say this like a lady), I only weigh about 112 pounds and I don't have a lot of cushion in my buttock area... so 2 of the saddles I have wears on my butt after about 4 hours of ridding. A well cushioned, soft seat is important for me. I will check out the leather you were talking about for durability and hopefully I can come up with a saddle that will work. Thanks again for the imput.
Hey Rhonda, go to my profile page and look at my pictures. I got a new custom (fit to my horses measurements and to the features that I wanted) saddle last summer and I love it. I have a picture of it on my SSH labled Little Rock's new saddle. The seat is black suede and the whole seat part has memory foam. Very comfy on long rides! I found this website by accident www.sycamorecreeksaddlery.com, and checked it out. Tony Pritchard is the sales rep for the company in South America that specializes in gaited horse saddles. I went to Tony's house and looked at what he had in stock, even tried one out, but ended up custom designing one with the color leather, tooling, stitching color, and features that I wanted...including matching breast collar, crupper, trail stirrups, and cinch...all for $600.00. Since you live close to Nashville, it is definitely worth it to check out the site, talk to Tony, and go to see his saddles he has in stock. Many of the saddles he has are styled like much more expensive name brand ones. Mine is similiar to an Eli Miller, with some tweaks that I suggested (such as the whole seat being padded suede). I was very impressed with the quality of the workmanship and the leather compared to the price. I paid a deposit and then paid the balance when it arrived. I think it took about 5 weeks, maybe 6. Anyway, I have been very happy with it.
Thank you for the comment. I need a custom made saddle not only becuase I am short (especially my legs) but I want comfort. The web site would not pull up so I could look at the saddles. Look at the web site for Sycamore sadddles and see if it is correct. That seems like a great start, it is close enough to go there. Thanks again..
I'm sorry! It is www.sycamorecreeksaddles.com not 'saddlery'. Don't know where I got that. Anyway, that is the correct web address. Have fun shopping!
No worries, I do that all the time... Thanks for the reply.
Rhonda...Circle Y flexlite saddles are great saddles. Light weight...about 24 lbs. and a flexible tree which is a great fit for your horse. I ride walking horses and it's great for them. The saddle is a very comfortable ride and has softee leather...easy on the knees as well as the seat. I have two and have been riding them about 4 or 5 years now. I think if try one, you will be very pleased.
I bought a Reinsman endurance saddle a few years ago. I love it! It has the gel seat, and you can ride all day and never have a sore behind or knees!
I have been looking at the Circle Y saddles for some time now. A friend of mine was telling me about Bedford tack in Shelbyville that makes a knock off of Circle Y. I want to try as many as I can before I buy another saddle. I currently have about 5 saddles and none of them are a flex tree, so the next saddle will have a flex tree. Thanks for the comment.
I am partial to the Bob Marshall treeless saddles with the suede seat. It is lightweight,17 pounds and I wouldn't trade it for any other saddle in the world.
How does the treeless work? Interesting... that is an option.
It's built on a very thick piece of leather with a good amount of wool padding. The girth and stirrups are rigged with nylon straps that are run between the leather. They recomend that you use the Skito pad, as it's fitted especially for that saddle (round skirt or square, Your choice). The pad has memory foam inserts on both sides and it's custom made also for your choice of thickness and colors. The saddle will mold to your horses' back, as it is flexible. It fit's all 3 of my horses, one has flat withers, one has extremly high withers and one has a normal back. You sit right on the horse's back and can feel the horse right underneath you. Plus it keeps your butt warm when it's cold.


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