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 barrel saddle for just pleasure
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Beginning Rider

60 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2009 :  10:13:37 PM  Show Profile Send canine46 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi all,
I'm looking to get my own saddle, hubby's is to big and heavy!!
i had for years a circle Y saddle that was so comfy -and really was a pleasure to ride in.
But... now I like the idea of a barrel saddle, looks more comfortable and the shorter skirt i do like for our horse., plus i'm sure they are lighter. but i've heard that these saddles, tend to throw the riders legs forward. I tend to ride very straight up and down (old equitation form dies hard) is this true? I'm in sticker shock already, and really want to make sure i get a saddle that will fit my needs. We do have a tack shop that will let you trial saddles, but that will have to wait until at least spring and dry weather.
So any ideas or thoughts on barrel saddles for just horsing around at home or on the trail.?

Trail Boss (Moderator)

5303 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2009 :  10:57:16 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I rode in my trusty barrel saddle for YEARS and YEARS. I just bought a new saddle right before Christmas and really like it but it's not my barrel saddle which fits my butt like a glove (it should since it's 35 year old...the saddle not my butt). LOL! RedHawk rides in her barrel saddle too.

The trail saddles are much lighter now than they used to be and have handy strings to tie all the stuff one has to carry on a trail. Make sure to check out the HorseSaddleShop for a HUGE selection of saddles. I don't think you can beat Chuck's saddle prices anywhere. There is a template you can use to make sure you get a saddle that will fit you horse.

I wound up with a TexTan Flex which fits both horses and is comfy now but is going to get even more comfy after it breaks in.

We love to help shop for horse stuff!

Karen ~ Trails & Joe Paint Gelding Paoli, IN
"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night." ~~~~~~

Edited by - PaintGal on 01/02/2009 11:02:02 PM
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Trail Boss (Moderator)

6117 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2009 :  05:55:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Chuck at the saddle shop (as paintgal points out) has a complete line of saddles. Check out them all before you decide to buy.

Mrs Hooks Favorite saddle is still the Tex Tan Pleasure saddle very similar to Paintgal's and I suspect you will find a lighter more suitable trail riding saddle but if your heart is set on a barrel saddle we like this one.

Mrs Hook bought this custom Dakota barrel saddle for working with Lottie and it fits Flyer too. A very nice saddle at a very competitive price.

No problem with stirrup position as you can see in the photo below of Mrs Hook on Flyer in the Dakota.

Here is the link to the saddle at the saddleshop.


Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Beginning Rider

60 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2009 :  07:29:31 AM  Show Profile Send canine46 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
paintgal, thanks for the info,
Hook, love that saddle -mrs hook is very lucky and i do like how the leathers fall straight down, i'm not hooked on just a barrel saddle just thinking the higher cantle would be more comfortable and it may help with keeping my butt in the saddle on the occasion copie decides to spook from the horse eating bush out on the trails (hehe)
I am looking hard (really hard) at a used saddle that chuck has, just trying to get up the nerve to just order it,(still have $500 to pay for stall matts, ) wish my income tax would come in now!!
thank you both for replying, have a great day
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654 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2009 :  08:30:29 AM  Show Profile Send homein3turns a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I ride trails in my barrel saddle and am saving for a brand new saddle. I had been leaning toward a trail or ranch saddle but the more I look and 'test drive' at the tack shops, I am looking at a new barrel saddles. As PaintGal said - it fits my butt like a glove and I am very comfortable in it. I use a horn bag to carry maps, camera and snacks and added some ties to the back to carry a saddle bag when we are out all day and need more 'supplies'.
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3785 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2009 :  10:22:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree that barrel saddles are fine on the trails, and really like the looks of the one Mrs. Hook has.

Your statement that barrel saddles have the stirrups hanging too far foreward, confused me! I've never seen one that did. Contrarily, all the barrel saddles I've seen have had the stirrups right under the seat, this being to allow the rider to move up & off the horse's hind end when asking for speed. Maybe you were thinking of cutting saddles, which, in my opinion, DO tend to have the stirrups way too far foreward?

One thing I've noticed; not all barrel saddles are light weight! I'm not really in the market for a new saddle at this time, but love to look. And, sometimes, you will see a barrel saddle that is actually heavier than a trail or pleasure saddle.


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Red Hawk

5092 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2009 :  3:24:25 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now, you gals just knew I'd have to chime in on this discussion .

My barrel saddle is an old one, too. I've had it for over 20 years and bought it used from a lady who also bought it used. She had it for 3 years. So I'm betting it's around 30 years old. Like everyone else; my saddle holds me firm and fits me just right. As long as it will fit my horse, I'll continue to ride in it until it falls apart.

I'm not sure what brand it is. There's no identifying marks on it anywhere, and I've looked. I've been told it may have been custom made for someone. I really don't know for sure. There may be other saddles similar to it, but it's the only one I've ever seen with a suede covered pommel along with the seat.

I've had knee problems for years and can't take much of a bend in them without being in pain. So I ride with a very straight leg. I also replaced the original stirrups with the extra-wide trail riding stirrups. They sure helped take even more pressure off my bad knees.

Barrel saddles may not have strings for tying things to it, but I've found that if you take a chain-type chin strap that you can remove the leather straps from the chain, these are just the right length to buckle a cantle bag to the slots made for a back cinch on the saddle. I use leather strings to tie my horn bag to my horse's breast collar. This holds everything snug and from flapping around.

Here's a couple of pics of me and my mare Terra. The first one was taken in the Salamonie River in the forest by the same name. That's EZ on her mare behind me. This will give you an idea of how I've secured my horn bags and cantle bag onto my saddle. The second one will let you get a better view of the saddle itself since I was riding without a breast collar and horn bags:


It's been awhile since I looked at these pics. I have horn bags, now, that are much bigger than that and do tie onto my breast strap. And that first pic was also taken before I bought a different saddle pad that holds my saddle much better. My horse's breast collar will never hang like that again .

Maybe this pic will be better:

Oh, yes!!! MUCH BETTER !

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown

Edited by - Red Hawk on 01/03/2009 3:37:46 PM
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