July 16, 2013

Western Saddles

In between graduations, visits from family, fires, flash floods and visits from friends I've worked on getting my western saddle ready to ride for me.  I purchased stirrup rotators so that my stirrups are at a 90 degree angle to the fenders.  I noticed with the normal way western stirrups are there is just too much torque on my knees. The rotators added about 4 inches to my fenders and therefore even on the last hole the leathers were still too long.  

I brought my saddle into the Pikes Peak Saddlery in Black Forest.  To get the fenders adjusted for me and to also have some D rings attached would cost about $69.  Awesome.  A week later I could pick up the saddle.  I was very happy with that.

 I got my saddle back and wasn't sure what had been done but the fenders were able to be shortened though on one side it's on the last hole and the other can be shortened even more.  Not sure what is up with that I think I just need to work with it and condition the leather some more on the fenders.  I guess if I need to I can bring it back but I don’t want to keep paying him money if it wasn’t done right the first time!  It felt a bit short for me so I'll try my next ride on a lower hole...perhaps I need to add a hole in between if it's too long??? 

The stirrup rotators don't accommodate all the strapping so you can see in the picture below what I have to do with the one strap. I don't get it.  At least with the stirrup hobble I can keep it all tight but if I shorten my fenders too much there isn't enough room for the hobbles.  Western saddles are so complicated! 

I'm still trying to find a good pad too.  The one I have been using looks like a bath mat and is a bit long for Dani's back.  I just got a barrel pad and it's so HEAVY!  It also just barely fits under the saddle too!  Starting to feel like Goldilocks in my quest for a perfect saddle pad.  It's really thick and not sure how much that will change the saddle fit.  I also can’t push the pad up right where her wither are, I’m assuming you do that with Western saddles just like English.  Ugh.  Tack just irritates me sometimes!


lytha said...

maybe that's part of the reason i cannot ride western without pain in my knees. wow, neither of those pads look like they'd fit in a washing machine. at least, not a german one.

Reddunappy said...

I use a Tacky too, type pad, neoprene waffle on the bottom, 1/2" of felt. I put a woven blanket over it for the Trail Trails(for pretty) and when I took it off after, there were no dry spots, clear wet all the way! I really like those pads. I stay away from fleece now, and I dont care for felt. IMO. :O)

Camryn said...

I use a Skito pad. Love it. Watch those rotators, mine caused the stirrups to rotate right off! Luckily we were right out back when it happened. They did take them back with a full refund.

Barb D said...

I hate stirrup swivels and haven't found comfortable ones yet. I switched to a Kimberly Lite Australian saddle from Down Under. It's much easier on the knees and ankles. When Chloe rides Maddie (Dani's sister), she now rides in a round-skirt Circle Y saddle (bought used). The best, by far, saddle pad I have found is a Tod Slone, 1/2 inch thick, grey pad. Expensive but excellent. I got it here: http://www.rockinmtack.com/Tod-Slone-Round-Barrel-Saddle-Pad-p/p050-r.htm
They don't show a 1/2 inch but they had it last year.

Barb D said...

I forgot to say that the Tod Slone pad also has a round skirt (barrel pad), so it fits perfectly under the saddle.

Lauren Bomar said...

I love my western saddle and it is VERY comfortable, but I do run in to the issue of pads and stirrups and everything you mentioned. English is WAY easier to deal with! lol! I have a thick Wool back pad, but I put a small just thin saddle blanket under it. That way it catches the sweat and I can throw it is the washer and don't have to work about the thick wool one.