These are useful should you wish to change your set up. You can convert either way, English to western or Western to English. Usually these retail at about £30 and can be located directly from Cashel or various worldwide stockists.
I came across this company in Australia. Natural Horse World
They stock girth converters to allow you to change the western fitting to English fittings. This can work with any bareback pad. Up until now I had only discovered Cashel. I will be adding this to the useful links.
If anyone has an idea who made this please let me know. It was purchased from a seller in New York but it may or may not have started out in the states.
It is 22″ in length with a nice straight cut front. It has a sympanova type non slip base and a herculon top with Black Southwest/Nevada pattern. The top gives you a fairly secure feel to it. Lightly padded so ideal for those slightly rounder, plump cob steeds as it doesn’t remove your leg from them.
Optional fittings to add stirrups that I don’t like seeing on these products. Didn’t even attempt to use these.
Western latigo with rings requiring you to use a cinch knot as oppose to allowing you to add a standard buckle cinch. Nylon strap. This is the one big thing that let’s this pad down. Having those rings there ended up being underneath my leg. This is going to depend on your height and what you are riding but this was a reason to let this pad go.
I have spent the summer trying out our new seat. I had it shipped over from VA USA just before the summer.
I needed to move up a seat size and the difference is amazing. It’s on a Classic Freeform Base with a brown Freewest seat. The skirt I didn’t know if that would hinder or help, but I don’t notice it. In fact I have ditched the t bar and gone back to standard leathers. So maybe the skirt shape protects my thigh from the flat buckle.
The black and brown combo looks quite nice and since the brown was reduced I just got that.
The Ghost will be launching a western model. More details should be available in about four to six weeks time. 🙂
They have not done all the testing and some photos doing the rounds are of the prototype, not the finished product. So be patient.
I really like this pad, but it doesn’t sit right on my pony which must be his shape. My friend rode in it with her pony and it looked much better. Both are similar size but just different backs.
This is a handmade bareback saddle pad consisting of pressed wool felt base with soft-top breathable suede leather. The combination of wool and leather offers greater durability, grip, stability and elegant look. It has a contoured shape to fit the horse’s back, providing a superior fit and appearance. It also has additional memory foam cushioning in the wither area for added comfort to the horse and eliminates soreness and pressure points.
Sold to my friend as it just didn’t sit well. Shame as it was comfortable.
This is what I would describe as very close to the Barefoot, it looks very much like the barefoot Cheyenne in style. It has small closed rings as oppose to the Barefoot large rings.
The base on the reviewed saddle is 20″, this would be equivalent to the size one, but the actual seat area is a bit smaller.
Nicely made in nubuck leather with a slightly higher fibreglass pommel, probably on the lines of the Torsion pommel, it gives a secure feel. You could change this if you wanted though it has a zip, whether the bf pommel sits in would be up to someone else to find out.
There is not much spinal clearance with this model, you do need to make sure you have an adequate treeless pad. For want of a better word it is on the non structured floppy side.
Designed for endurance by US riders, it is equally as good out and about hacking.
Hilason saddles are designed to fit almost every type of horse! All the saddles I’ve had i’ve bought from them, they all fit my Arabian Mare perfectly. The leather is just perfect! The quality is outstanding and I love the feeling of it when I’m riding it. I’ve ridden it so many times and it also seems like my horse loves it. Everything is just perfectly in place and i was really happy by the quality that it was made. I’ve tried other companies as well but honestly i really like Hilason the best. The leather is really comfortable and very durable.
As for their prices, its unbeatable. I was surprised how such good of a saddle didn’t have sky-high prices.
I really like Hilason and now I don’t buy anything else.
It looks like a treed western saddle. But amazingly it also rides just like one! It has a solid swell/horn, but is interchangeable and they have 5 different widths. It comes in 3 different seat lengths and they will also be doing a childs’ version.
My horse went really well in it. Normally he finds it difficult to maintain a slow jog, but in this saddle no problem. His canter was wonderful in that his back felt so unrestricted.
The saddle is quite firm, so would be no good for a sway backed horse. They are designing one for sway backed horses later in the year. I rode with the Port Lewis Impression Pad. Without a saddle pad under the saddle was a little too low at the front. So I rode with the Mattes Rio Pecos western correctional pad. I put 3 shims in each front pocket to balance the saddle. The Port Lewis showed a little extra pressure still at the front. So I kept the 3 shims in each front pocket and added 1 in each middle pocket, and I added 3 full length shims (I had the pad designed so you can add full length shims in the pad if the horse has a prominent spine (as mine does)) and the impression was almost even. It was a little bit thinner at the front, but hardly different to the rest of the PLIP. So was happy with that. My horse is so very difficult to fit. Nearly everything slips back on him – he a saddle fitters nightmare!
The Mattes pad is really expensive though (retails around £350 for the one I was using which is a modified version of the standard Rio Pecos). So tried a cheaper Pro Correction pad which costs £185. (This has removable shims but not as flexible as the Mattes as you can only put thicker one shim per pocket (Mattes you can put up to 6 thin shims) The results of the cheaper pad were almost as good as the Mattes pad.
So all in all, horse happy, PLIP happy and rider VERY happy to ride in a treeless western saddle that FEELS like a treed western saddle.
Eze Fit Modelled By Shorty
I swear by the EZ fit. With the panels on the outside I can mount up my no wither donkeys without the saddle moving at all. Skito pad and a mohair or neoprene girth. Swear by it!
Photo of Shorty a small mammoth donkey.
I bought this saddle in February 2010 after researching on the net about a suitable saddle to accommodate my young Quarter Horse whilst he was growing and provide a functional and comfortable saddle for both of us. He was rising 2 at the time so it was really just for groundwork purposes at that point.
These saddles are made to order by the Amish saddle Eli Beiler, so it is possible to have it in quite a vast range of colours and either with a suede seat or leather seat. You can also choose rigging (english or western centre fire rigging) and what style stirrups and leathers you have. They supply either english leathers, western leathers (about twice the thickness of english ones) or fenders. Stirrup wise you can choose from regular steel irons, endurance style caged stirrups or western style bell stirrups. I fell in love with a photograph of a saddle with tan leather and a blue ostrich leather seat so decided to go with a copy of that one, but with western fenders and stirrups. This saddle is rather unusual in its looks with the buckle system at the rear of the saddle but I think it is rather stylish.
The ingenious thing about these saddles is that they are incredibly adjustable. You can adjust where the stirrup hangers are, where the girth rigging is so you can achieve ultimate stability and also adjust the seat size to get the most comfortable set up for you and your horse. The adjustments are made underneath the seat which is stuck down with heavy duty velcro and fastened down at the rear by the funky buckles. There are inbuilt measurement guides under the seat to ensure you get everything even on both sides, which is a handy feature.
I tested this saddle on my 17 year old Shire x, who is 16hh and takes an xx-wide tree’d saddle which is forever slipping. In 9 years of ownership we haven’t ever found a saddle that didn’t slip. This saddle has a non-slip material on the underneath which is great for stopping the pad from slipping. I have been told you can also use it without a pad in some instances but my riding horse is fussy and doesn’t like grippy materials next to his skin so we used my Professional’s Choice Air Ride pad underneath. The interior of the saddle is close cell foam (including the pommel) so it will mould to fit most horses and to my joy it did stretch enough to fit my wide horse comfortably!!
I have to say I am very impressed with this saddle. We have ridden up and down hills on awkward ground and have had the odd spook and this saddle hasn’t moved an inch. It is incredibly stable! My horse will also rein back and turn on his haunches now which is something he never used to be comfortable doing. He will also stretch down in all paces and he never trips which is something he used to do on a regular basis. From a rider’s point of view it rides very much like a tree’d western saddle, and for surprisingly does have quite a twist, especially as the test subject is almost as wide as he is tall! The pommel doesn’t get in the way when posting to the trot although I keep my rises small. My hips are totally ache free and I also oddly do not get saddle sore in this saddle. It can only be good!
I have recently purchased a 6 year old Quarter Horse who was unbroken and this saddle has been used on him for his groundwork and backing, it also fits him well and he seems very comfortable in it. In fact I look forward to riding all our horses in it!