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Last updated: February 16, 2021
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Horse saddles are very multifunctional and can be used, for example, for long horse rides, racing, trail competitions and so on. These saddles are comfortable, durable and come in various designs. In order to find the best horse saddles on the market, you need to know what features to look for. That’s because not all saddles are the same. Unless you want to end up with a low-quality saddle, which will wear out over time and may be uncomfortable to ride on. So today we’ll be reviewing our top 5 best horse saddles so you can find one that’s ideal for you.
In our reviews, we’ll be looking at important features such as the materials they’re made from as well as the stirrup, horn and gullet. At the bottom of our reviews, you’ll find an extensive buyers guide to give you more information about the best horse saddles money can buy. So let’s get started on the first pick on our list of reviews which is our editor’s choice.
The Acerugs trail barrel show horse saddle is our editor’s choice because it’s durable, stylish and practical. So what makes this saddle a high-end product? Well, first of all, it’s made with durable fabrics and materials that can withstand any weather conditions. There’s no need for oiling because this product is water resistant and the stainless steel fixtures are non-corrosive. This saddle is extremely lightweight so it’s easy to lift and fit onto your horse’s back. What’s more, it’s easy to clean. All you have to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth to make it look good as new again.
For added durability, there’s nylon stitching around the corners of the saddle so it won’t tear or tarnish over time. The Acerug saddle is incredibly comfortable to sit on thanks to the padded seat area. This makes the saddle perfect for long trail rides and show jumping. Additionally, the seating area has a suede covering that adds some traction so you don’t slip or slide around while riding.
On this saddle, you’ll find adjustable padded stirrups so you can customize the fit of the saddle. Underneath the saddle is a fleece coating so that it doesn’t cause your horse any discomfort.
When you purchase the Acerugs barrel show horse saddle you’ll get additional accessories such as reins, a headstall, breast collar and pads.
This saddle comes in various colors of blue, black, pink and brown.
The King Series synthetic trail saddle is our best valued product. This saddle has the most advantageous features that any horse rider will love. The King Series horse saddle has a streamlined design that’s lightweight so it’s effortless to hoist onto your horse’s back. Additionally, it’s made with durable materials and fabrics that are easy to maintain.
This saddle is made using shock absorption technology so it will protect your horse’s back. It’s the perfect saddle for show jumping and horse racing. The seating is covered with suede to add some traction so you don’t slip around while riding.
On the saddle are scratch resistant synthetic skirts and fenders & padded stirrups to ease joint stress. If you love western horse saddles then you’ll love the King Series product. It’s not made with traditional leather but it still has a robust construction. The saddle doesn’t come with a girth but the advantage of this is you can attach your own girth easily.
Overall, the saddle is comfortable, easy to hoist up onto your horse and the compact design makes it effortless to store in a barn or storage unit. Lastly, this saddle comes with silver conchos for easy adjustments and padded stirrups to keep your feet firmly in place while you ride.
The King Series Mini Delux is our budget pick. This brand makes affordable horse saddles for girls, adults and professional riders. The Mini Delux saddle is specifically designed for young female riders with miniature horses. It’s a small saddle that has extra padding for comfort so it’s perfect for long trail rides. The suede seating ensures that you don’t slip off the saddle while riding.
King Series makes the best pink horse saddles that any girl will love. This particular saddle comes in a blush pink and brown color. It’s a lightweight saddle so it won’t weigh your miniature horse down and it makes it easier to hoist onto your horse’s back.
Fitting the Mini Delux saddle onto your horse is effortless thanks to the Blevins style quick change buckles.
What’s more, this saddle is made with durable fabric and material so you’re guaranteed a product that won’t tear or tarnish over time. It may be difficult to clean on some areas of the saddle but it’s weather resistant and has quality stitching.
Overall, this is an affordable saddle that’s perfect for those who are learning how to ride a horse. It’s comfortable to sit on and the underside of it won’t chafe your horse’s back.
The Orlov Hill leather saddle is the best for trail rides because of the durable materials and fabrics it’s made from. Orlov Hill also makes the best vintage horse saddles so you’ll love this particular design. The saddle is made with durable fabrics and the designs on the sides are embossed images that are hand tooled. All the hardware on this saddle is made with stainless steel so they’re non-corrosive. The suede seating ensures that you stay securely in place while riding.
This saddle has deep seating with a slightly raised back to keep you upright. It’s also known as a barrel saddle because it grips you in while riding or racing especially during sharp or fast turns.
This particular saddle has a tall horn for improved grip and a taller pommel for extra security. Additionally, it has a higher cantle for extra security when racing. The tree is made of fiberglass that’s robust and lightweight and it’s a semi quarter horse bar.
The billet straps and latigo are made with oiled leather so they won’t tear or tarnish over time, although the latigo’s quality could be better. This saddle is easy to hoist and the rigging ensures the seating stays secure on your horse’s back while you’re riding.
The Orlov Hill is a western-style saddle so it comes in a traditional brown color. What’s more, it includes a breast collar and headstall for even more security. Overall this saddle comes with all the parts you need to secure it in place and ensure a comfortable ride.
The Open Store western roping ranch saddle is the best western design on our list. This saddle is incredibly stylish because it has hand-carved patterns all over the traps, seating and stirrup bar. The saddle is made with heavy-duty oiled leather so it’s able to withstand any weather conditions. This is a roping ranch saddle so it’s designed for long trail walks and not suitable for jumping or racing competitions.
Open Store’s western saddle has a high cantle and pommel for extra security. The suede seating ensures you don’t slip or slide while riding. All the hardware on this saddle is made with stainless steel so they won’t corrode when exposed to water. Since this saddle is made with cowhide leather it’s effortless to clean and oil. Simply wipe the saddle down with a damp cloth and then oil it when you need to.
You’ll love that this saddle has an extra-large horn in the front for a sure grip. Rigging this saddle onto your horse’s back is quick and easy and ensures the saddle stays in place as you ride. The saddle comes with extra ties for accessory attachment. You can attach a throat latch to the bridal easily. When you purchase the Open Store western ranch saddle you’ll get a breast collar and a headstall with your product. To sum up, this is a stylish, robust and comfortable saddle that is easy to hoist and rig up onto your horse’s back.
What we liked:
Made with 100% heavy duty cowhide leather
Has a wood-based tree wrapped in fiberglass
Hardware is made with stainless steel
Comes with headstall and breast collar
It’s brown with hand-carved patterns
What could be better:
Poor customer service
Things to Consider
If you’re still not sure which is the best horse saddles brand to pick from in our reviews perhaps our buyer’s guide can assist you. In this section, we’ll discuss important features to look for when shopping for a horse saddle. Afterwards, you can compare the buyer’s guide with our reviews to find your ideal buy. It’s important to read this section carefully especially if you’re new to horse saddles and the various types you can buy. Ultimately the buyer’s guide will help you pick the correct horse saddle for the type of rides you’ll be doing.
Features to consider when choosing a horse saddle
There are various types of horse saddles on the market and all of them have specific features that are designed for either racing, show jumping or trail rides. Find out which saddle you will be needing by looking at the following features mentioned in this next section.
There are two types of saddles on the market: English and western saddles. There are similarities and differences between the two saddles. Let’s take a look at them:
English saddle: An English horse saddle has leg flaps, seating, pommel, skirt and tree. This saddle is lightweight and streamlined and it’s designed for show jumping, racing & trail rides. Youth horse saddles are typically English styled because they’re easier to work with. They come with fewer accessories and fittings and provide closer contact to the horse’s back. In English riding, you’ll take the reins in each hand. Since English saddles are lightweight and have a streamlined design they’re easy to hoist and fit onto horses. If you’re looking for an English style saddle the King Series synthetic trail saddle will be the perfect fit for you.
Western saddle: A western saddle comes with seating, leg flaps, pommel, skirt and tree. These horse saddles are large and heavier than English seating. Furthermore, the western saddle is designed to even out the weight of the rider over a larger area of the horse’s back. These types are the most comfortable horse saddles and are meant for longer rides, gaming and ranch work. Most western riding requires less contact with the horse’s back. Instead, a rider will use his or her weight, neck reigning and seat to control the horse. Moreover, a western rider will take both reins in one hand and the other hand simply rests on the horse’s side. There are many western styled saddles on our review list to pick from but the best and most affordable one is the Open Store western roping ranch saddle.
Material and color
Horse saddles come in various colors. The more traditional western and English saddles are brown with black accents. Show jumpers typically have saddles of bright colors such as blue, pink or red. These stylish saddles can also be fitted with crystals or other jewels for show. For example, the Acerugs trail barrel show horse saddle on our review list has crystals lining the seams.
Other stylish features such as carvings and embossing can be found on traditionally styled saddles. For example, Mexican horse saddles typically have carvings and various color patterns all over the seating.
Besides the style and color of horse saddles, they also need to be durable. Long trail rides or show jumping has a major impact on the longevity of saddles. Therefore, leather or synthetic materials are used to make horse saddles. Seating is covered in suede so riders don’t slip and slide when the horse is moving. Trees are made from wood or fiberglass. A high quality saddle will have hardware made with non-corrosive stainless steel. Vintage horse saddles won’t be made with synthetic materials. These saddles are made with thick leather that simply needs to be oiled to maintain it. On the other hand, you can get vintage styled saddles made with synthetic fabrics to make it look more traditional.
There are various features that make a western or English saddle. In this section, we’ll talk about all the different parts of the saddle and why they’re important:
Seat: The seat is the part of the saddle that you will sit on. English and western saddles are measured by the size of the seat. For western saddles, seats have extra padding to provide more comfort. English saddled seats have less padding so you have closer contact with the horse’s back. And lastly, western saddle seating has a deeper indent to provide more security for the rider.
Pommel/horn: A pommel is a large rounded grip located at the front of the saddle. Riders use one hand to hold onto the saddle while the horse walks. In more modern western style saddles the pommel is made out of metal. The pommel is also known as a horn and they come in various sizes. Bigger horns or pommels provide more space to grip.
Cantle: The cantle is a raised section at the back of the saddle. A cantle provides back support when riding and gives extra security. Furthermore, the cantle anchors the bars of the saddle tree to maintain the integrity of the structure.
Jockey: A jockey is a piece of leather or synthetic material that separates the seat and rigging of the saddle. Most western saddles have one jockey in the front and rear of the seating. English saddle jockeys are small flaps of leather or other synthetic material that’s attached to the seat directly under the stirrup. Its function is to prevent your body from coming into contact with the rigging of the saddle while riding.
Gullet: The gullet is the tunnel running underneath the saddle and rests on a horse’s back. The angle of the saddle tree bars and design of the tunnel fork determines the width and height of the gullet.
Flap: Flaps of a saddle are positioned under the jockey and stirrup. These flaps can either be padded or plain. The difference between padded and plain flaps is leg positioning. Saddles for beginners will have padded flaps to keep your legs in the correct positioning. These flaps aren’t usually found on western styled saddles. If you’re looking for an English saddle with padded flaps then opt for the King Series synthetic trail saddle. These flaps will protect your horse’s sides while you ride.
Stirrup: There are two stirrups on a saddle. These are round or triangular rings that you slot your feet into when riding. Use one of the stirrups on the side of the saddle to mount your horse. High-quality stirrups are made with stainless steel so they don’t rust when exposed to water. Additionally, there are stirrup straps and a bar that attaches these rings to the saddle.
Skirt: A skirt of a saddle is fitted around the horse’s base to secure the seating in place. You’ll find skirting on gaited horse saddles to ensure the seating sits evenly on a horse’s back.
Knowing the various parts of a saddle is one aspect but what about sizing? Let’s take a look at the various size horse saddles you can get. It’s important to select the correct size saddles for the comfort and safety of you and your horse.
Quarter horse saddles: A quarter horse saddle is designed to fit on a horse that has a flat and wide back.
Semi quarter horse bar saddles: The semi quarter horse bar saddle is meant for horses that have medium-sized backs. The difference between a quarter and semi quarter saddle is the angle the bars are positioned and the width of the gullet.
A brand that makes specialized saddles horse riders will love is High Horse Saddles. You can buy western or English styled saddles from this brand. Take a look at High Horse Saddles reviews to find your ideal product.
The swell is the front part of the saddle tree that holds the two seating bars together and it provides a base for the horn. This part of the saddle is also known as the fork. The swell arches upwards to make space for the horse’s withers.
Even though all saddles have swells they’re not all the same. Saddle swells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are typically wider at the fork instead of at the bottom where the bars are attached. To pick the correct sized saddle swell there should be four inches between you and the saddle’s swell. Your buttocks should rest at the base of the cantle. It’s important to select the correct sized swells for your horse so that the saddle fits perfectly over your horse’s back.
Saddle rigging refers to how you attach the seating to your horse’s back. There are two types of rigging techniques: In skirt rigging and conventional on-tree rigging. Conventional rigging puts most of the cinch strap under your leg. On the other hand, in skirt rigging is more secure because the rigging is either built on the skirt for added security or in the skirt. Rigging that’s built in the skirting is attached to a metal plate between two pieces of leather.
Rigging hardware can be flat plates, D rings and circular rings that are made with heavy duty materials such as stainless steel. All the saddles on our review lists have hardware made with non-corrosive stainless steel.
You can use double or single rigging to attach your saddle securely to your horse. In single rigging, you don’t use a flank strap. The rigging will hug the saddle toward a center point. When double rigging, you’ll use a flank strap and a cinch which provides more security especially for steep trail riding.
Saddles are used for ranch work, show jumping or trail rides. For some people riding horses is part of their jobs. In those cases it’s important to pick a saddle that comes with an extended warranty so you can get it fixed immediately or get it replaced if there are any defects or problems with the product.
Standard saddles are priced at $550 but these products aren’t the best quality. Handmade saddles are the most expensive because it takes time to make the correct sizes and shapes. However handmade saddles have the highest quality because they’re made with durable fabrics and materials. Since saddles are robust and have long service lives you can purchase a used one for an affordable price. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an affordable saddle for a child then pick our budget product which is the King Series Mini Deluxe. This saddle is perfect for beginners who want to get into horse riding. It comes in pink for girls and brown for boys.
When buying your saddle you’ll get all the specifications of the product such as the size of the swell, cantle, gullet, horn and more. Before shopping for your saddle take your horse’s measurements first. Use a flexible wire so you can bend it over your animal’s withers. Lay the wire flat on a piece of cardboard or paper so you can trace the shape of it. Then measure the length of your horse’s back. Now it’s time to measure the saddle for yourself. There are charts for western and English saddles that will give you the exact size you need according to your weight. Once you have all your information written down you can start shopping for your saddle. Take a look at the saddles on our review list to see if one of them is suitable for you and your horse.
Leather horse saddles such as the Open Store western roping ranch and Orlov Hill are easy to maintain. All you have to do is wipe them down with a damp cloth and use wax or oil to protect the leather. Saddles made with fabrics are more difficult to maintain. You may have to use a scrubbing brush and some soap to clean saddles covered in fabrics.
Did you find the horse saddle you’re looking for? If not, let’s summarize what we liked about our top three horse saddles. Our editor’s choice which is the Acerugs trail barrel show horse saddle is durable, stylish and practical. It’s lightweight, easy to rig and perfect for beginner riders.
The second pick is our best valued saddle which is the King Series synthetic trail saddle. This saddle is an English styled product that’s streamlined, lightweight and durable. It’s perfect for show jumping and racing.
And lastly is our budget pick which is the King Series Mini Deluxe western saddle. This saddle is perfect for children who want to learn how to ride horses. The seating is comfortable and the suede covering ensures your child stays securely in place while riding. It would seem King Series makes the best horse saddles on the market. So if you want a heavy duty horse saddle pick one of our top three products. You won’t be disappointed in the quality and comfort they provide.