Saddles

NoProblem

Newbie
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Messages
2
Hello, I have a few questions about saddles if someone could help me.

I have been a wrangler on a dude ranch and simply used their saddles, but have taken a job at an outfitter this season and would like to buy my own saddle.
At home I ride family members horses and use their saddles.

So is there a certain size I should be looking at that will work on several different horses/mules? Gullet size?

Do you have any recommendations for saddle makers I should be looking at?
I would prefer to buy used and not break the bank too bad.

Any other saddle buying tips for backcountry trips?

Thank you.
 

BigAntlerGetter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
592
Location
Gypsum, CO
Cant really go wrong with full quarter horse bars, I ride a corriente or Sheridan they are basically same saddles and trees, father and son companies. I’ve ridden my corriente in big draft crosses to colts and it fits them all about the same. They are relatively cheaper but decent quality. Ur seat size is the only thing that will be for you.


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Skerhunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 26, 2018
Messages
292
Location
Nebraska
My experience - fqh bars - 6.5" gullet for colts/narrow horses, 6.75" for a lot of horses, 7" for bigger broader horses. Don't know about mules. Pro Tip - Buy a CSI saddle pad or similar - helps cheat saddle fit by dispersing weight on any pressure points created by poor saddle fit.

I would also suggest you call someone like corriente and explain what you want - they are going to have a pile of different trees they use and point you in the right direction. Most saddle makers will be 6-12 months out if you order one - a place like corriente might have one in stock?
 

missjordan

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
1,127
Location
Missoula, MT
Just like buying optics, the bigger the budget the more quality your saddles going to be

You’ll spend more money on saddles that are tooled to the 9’s also. Full suede will be more affordable but probably not the route you want to go if your going to be in wet weather

Lots of real working cowboys go the wade saddle route i just don’t know anything about them. There definitely a lot more of a investment

If it was me I’d look at a ranch cutter or cow horse specific saddle. Stay away from roping saddles. There just not going to be comfortable for you for those long days. The cow horse/ranch cutters have a sturdy enough tree and horn you can still rope off it if you needed to and will have a nice deep seat. Capo, don rich, saddle house, Sean Ryan’s, coats, Martin, roo hides will be your cream of the crops. jeff smith, Teskys, bobs,corriente, circle Y, etc. will be kind of next in line after that. These are more your “custom mass produced lines.” It’s easy to shop used and you can still pick up a quality saddle for a good price from the top brands. You might be surprised on what you find.

I have two saddle houses and love them. Both on buster Welch trees. They fit my horses and myself really good. I like the deep pocket that the cow horse has. It fits like a glove and comfortable on those long days. Buy once cry once with a saddle. Take good care of it and you’ll keep it your whole life


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jolemons

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Messages
901
Location
MT, USA
Saddle selection is often equally influenced by finances, function/use and cultural heritage. A working saddle from makers in TX, MT and NE will all be totally different but equally as functional as an example of culture.

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NoProblem

Newbie
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Messages
2
Thank you all for the responses. I will do some more research with what you guys have given me. I have about 1.5 months before I leave, so hoping to find something.
 

Pony Soldier

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
813
Location
Montana
How about a list of mistakes to think about. I bought a Colorado - it was very comfortable and fit the horse. I had it stored in my tack shed when someone stole it. They are tough to identify. If you have a brand - brand the underside of the offside stirrup leather or an identifiable mark. Chain it down and lock it as well as the tack room.

I replaced it with a circle Y. It had a padded seat. It seemed nice at first but after 3-4 hours the edges were like sitting on dowls and it got worse every time. I had a cheap saddle with a suede seat. I thought it would keep you in it better. We packed out a bull elk head and the seat soaked up gallons of blood. Two years later a 2 hour ride on a hot day and your legs stuck to your pants and were pink.

I replaced the Circle Y with a custom hunting saddle out of Ennis, Mt. It has been very good and I can pack off of it. It has a smooth leather seat that doesn't absorb blood with no pressure points.

I have another saddle that is about 100 years old that is also very comfortable. They tend to be smaller so make sure they are big enough. Match your saddle to the horse. A lot of my stock tends to have high withers and needs a little differant fit on the bars. The round back quarter horses don't fit my saddles very well.

Pay attention and ask a lot of questions. You will get a little bit of good info from everyone you talk to. Shopping is half of the fun. Visit a bunch of saddle makers.
 

Kpdaniels

Junior Member
Joined
May 6, 2022
Messages
11
I use my saddles every day Working cattle and training horses. My favorite is a McCall Pendleton. It is very comfortable for all day riding, it fits a variety of horses very well and it is fairly lightweight. The trees that McCall uses in their saddles are very high quality and made right. Mine has full quarter horse bars and with a few different pads/blankets will fit 90% of the horses you’ll be riding. If you’re going to be doing lots of trail riding I would encourage you to look at a wade style saddle as they are designed with big country cowboys riding long days in mind. Stay away from roping saddles, trophy saddles, and especially barrel saddles. Cow horse or reining/cutting saddles are ok but not very functional outside of an arena. I prefer a rough out leather saddle as I feel I get better contact with my horse with less ambiguous movement. Just my .02 but I’ve been through quite a few saddles and spent a lot of time on a horse.
 
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