Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: March 29, 2021
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No matter what type of trail saddle you prefer, you can choose from a wide array of saddles that are designed to keep both you and your horse comfortable. Many people ask, “what is the best trail saddle you can buy?,” but the answer is not always straightforward, particularly because there are so many factors to take into account when shopping for this type of saddle.
We looked at the best trail saddle options available on the market and came up with five models that offer the best quality you can find out there. When analyzing the saddles, we looked at multiple features, including material, size, stirrup, horn, swell, gullet, cantle, skirt, color, weight, which are all extremely important for both the comfort and the ease of use of a trail saddle. Hopefully, our guide will give you an idea of what to look for when choosing a new trail saddle and make the experience easier.
Our first choice is the Acerugs Beautiful Western Pleasure Trail Barrel Racer Show Horse Saddle, a saddle that will take you places without surrendering to just about any kind of abuse you might throw upon it. The saddle is made from synthetic cordura material, and has a soft synthetic fleece underneath for extra comfort.
We like that the saddle comes in multiple colors, and that it is suitable for all kinds of riders. It has a comfortable padded seat and comes with a free matching reins, headstall, and breast collar, which makes it an ideal choice for those who don’t have these accessories already.
The Acerugs Beautiful Western Pleasure Trail Barrel Racer Show Horse Saddle sports padded stirrups and adjustable Blevin buckles, while also being lightweight at just 18 lbs. Many of the users who tested and reviewed this saddle mentioned that it is a great everyday saddle for beginners and experienced riders alike.
What we liked:
Easy to mount on the horse
What could be better:
Might be uncomfortable for some when riding long hours
The best saddle on the market for those who are looking to get the best value for their money is the Orlov Hill Leather Co Brown Leather Tooled Trail Horse Racing Pleasure Western Barrel Saddle, which is made from 100% leather and handcrafted by hand. We particularly like the look of this saddle that is designed in a classic Western-style and features an antique finish.
Users who tested this saddle found it very comfortable to ride, particularly because it features a suede sit that increases the level of comfort you can experience every time you ride. This is not the lightest saddle from all the models that we reviewed, but it is still very easy to handle at 25 lbs. The stirrup leathers of this saddle are comfortable and easy to turn, which makes this saddle ideal for a leisurely trail ride.
Our budget pick is the King Series Synthetic Trail Saddle, which comes with lots of features that make it ideal for beginners. This is a synthetic saddle that comes in multiple sizes and features a shock absorbing construction. We found it to be quite lightweight and comfortable thanks to the suede seat. This saddle sports scratch resistant syntactic skirts and fenders and comes with padded stirrups to ease the stress on the joints.
Users who tested and reviewed the King Series Synthetic Trail Saddle found it particularly comfortable on rough trail rides because it has a high back. If you want to use this saddle on long riding trips, you may want to use a seat pad. The saddle comes with silver conchos, but it does not have a girth. This is something that many users before because they can easily attach their own.
If you would like to be comfortable when going for long rides, a trail saddle with memory foam might be an ideal choice for you. The Acerugs New Comfy GAITED Western Pleasure Trail Show Horse Saddle has a soft padded seat that will give you comfortable all day long. The soft fleece that you can find underside eliminates pressure points for extra comfort, and you will also feel the difference on longer rides thanks to the adjustable padded stirrups.
This is a very lightweight saddle that only weighs 15 lbs. and is designed with a water resistant synthetic material that makes it very easy to handle. The saddle
features silver conchos and comes complete with a free tack set. Users who reviewed the Acerugs New Comfy GAITED Western Pleasure Trail Show Horse Saddle mentioned that it is indeed very comfortable things to the memory foam construction and that it is suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike.
The King Series Old Time Trail Rider Saddle is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a classic style leather saddle. It features a square skirt and leather stirrups, and it comes with Tough-1 quick change buckles.
This saddle might be a bit expensive especially if you’re a beginner, but it offers great quality and most of the users who tested it mentioned that it is one of the most comfortable saddles you can find in this price range.
The King Series Old Time Trail Rider Saddle is not only a great looking model with a classical appearance, but it is also highly durable and can expected to last for the years to come. Most users have been particularly happy with the look of the rich leather the saddle is made from. The saddle is available in black and weighs 25 lbs.
What we liked:
What could be better:
Weak stirrup leathers
Things to Consider
Shopping for a trail saddle is not always easy, particularly for beginners, as there are numerous factors to take into account before making a decision. After purchasing your horse, the saddle is probably the most expensive piece of equipment you’ll need, so it’s essential to choose wisely. This comprehensive buying guide will give you all the information you need to make a good choice.
What is a trail saddle?
Trail saddles are also known as pleasure saddles, and they are lightweight saddles that generally come with a padded seat for increased comfort. On a trail saddle, the fenders are positioned in a way that will keep you in a correct riding position, which is essential for your comfort during long rides.
Riders generally use trail saddles in conjunction with a breast collar in order to prevent the saddle from sliding back. Trail saddles may also come with saddle strings so you can secure your trail gear. Because they are highly popular with riders of all experiences, trail saddles are available in a multitude of colors and styles.
Features to consider when choosing a trail saddle
In order to make sure you’re purchasing the right saddle for your needs, it’s important to take into account multiple features. Vital ones include the material the saddle is made from and its color, the characteristics of the seat, the swells, rigging, as well as the price and warranty.
It’s important to keep in mind that top quality leather is always going to be more expensive than poo leather and synthetic materials. Leather is a popular choice for trail saddles because it’s a highly durable material that also looks classic and stylish. If you opt for synthetic materials, on the other hand, chances are your saddle will be much lighter.
The seat is an incredibly important element to consider when choosing a saddle, as you won’t be able to be comfortable if it’s too small or too big for you. You should check the size of the seat by placing the saddle on a stand with a saddle pad, and placing your feet in a natural position once you hop on. A seat that is the correct size will allow you to keep your hip under the heel comfortably. You should also be able to stand in the stirrups without falling backward or forward.
Check the stirrups of the saddle to see if they are durable enough, and also consider the skirt of the saddle, which is the material that’s attached around the seat. This is what gives a saddle its rectangular look, and its role is to keep the saddle in place while also helping to distribute weight across the back of the horse.
All saddles have specific gullet sizes, which refers to the width of the horse’s withers and shoulders. By considering the gullet, you can find a saddle that will fit your horse correctly and will be comfortable as well. The cantle is another thing to look at. This is the back part of the seat and its function is to help hold you in the seat. With a proper cantle, you get additional comfort and support when riding.
The swell is the part of the saddle that provides a base for the horn and also holds the two bars together. You can find three main types of swells — A-fork, swell fork, and undercut swell fork. You can find trail saddles with different swells, and it’s important to consider their size to make sure they are a good fit for you as a rider.
Most trail saddles come with 3-way or 7/8 position rigging, which is an important element to consider when in it comes to the stability of the saddle.
Basically, rigging refers to the dee rings that you can find on both sides of the saddle. They are used to strap the saddle and they come in multiple types, with most trail models featuring a Y rigging. Some models have multiple rigging options, which gives the rider more flexibility when it comes to achieving the perfect saddle fit.
Many manufacturers offer a two-year warranty on materials and workmanship, but this may be up to 10 years, depending on the model. The warranty doesn’t cover any damage that was caused by improper use. Normal wear and tear and any accidental damage are also not covered under warranty.
The price of trail saddles may vary significantly from one model to another, depending on the type and quality of materials used, as well as the reputation of the manufacturer. You can expect to pay anything between $100 and over $500 for a quality trail saddle. Consider the features you want to have in a saddle and the number of hours you intend to spend riding before deciding the budget for your saddle. If you’re going to spend a couple of hours in the saddle every day or are someone who enjoys even longer rides, spending more to get a comfortable saddle might be a good investment.
Finding the correct size of a saddle for your horse can be frustrating, because there are lots of measurements that you need to take in order to be able to find something that will be comfortable for both you and the horse. You need to measure both yourself and the horse and find a saddle that will fit both perfectly.
You should be able to fit three to four fingers between your thigh and the swell, otherwise your saddle will be too small. However, you can fit more than four fingers, the saddle is too big, and it is highly likely it would be uncomfortable for the horse and yourself.
Cleaning and maintaining your trail saddle depends on the type of material it is made from. It’s always a good idea to consult the instructions provided by the manufacturer in order to be able to care for your saddle properly. As a rule of thumb, you can purchase cleaning products that are designed for use on leather if you are opting for a leather saddle. If your saddle is synthetic, it would require less care and maintenance, but you also still clean it with a gentle hand soap and remove the excess dirt and debris from it after each ride. When not using your saddle, it is recommended to store it in a dry and clean location.
After carefully reviewing the most popular trail saddles on the market, looking at a wide variety of features, we concluded that the Acerugs Beautiful Western Pleasure Trail Barrel Racer Show Horse Saddle is the best option for beginner and experienced riders alike. This saddle is made from synthetic cordura material, and comes with a soft synthetic fleece underneath for extra comfort.
If you are looking for the best trail saddle but you’re on a budget, the King Series Synthetic Trail Saddle would be an excellent choice, as it is quite lightweight and comfortable, and super easy to use even if you are a beginner.