TACK & GEAR
Ride comfortably in saddles designed to accommodate both you and your horse.
“Upon the moon I fix’d my eye, All over the wide lea; With quickening pace my horse drew nigh Those paths so dear to me.” ---William Wordsworth, “Lucy” Handmade, with custom tooling and color options, the Santa Fe (suggested retail, $4,999), from Specialized Saddles, is made of Sonoma leather from the Napa Valley with multiple layers of foam for a comfortable seat. It features a new, slimmer pommel and weighs 15 pounds. Available in black, brown or mahogany, in sizes from 14 to 18 inches. Call 915-345-4130 or visit www. SpecializedSaddles.com.
Offering a fully customized fit, the Western Trail Saddle (suggested retail, starting at $1,990), from Allegany Mountain Trail Saddles, is made by hand with high-quality leather, stainless steel hardware and the option of genuine sheepskin under the skirt. Other options include leather color, skirting style, cantle height, seat padding, tooling, rigging and hardware. Six basic models are available. Call 716-652-0680 or visit www. trailridingsaddles.com. Ergonomically designed to help a rider maintain balance and a close-contact feel, the equitation-style 249 Horizon Nomad Trail Saddle (suggested retail, $2,416), from Tucker Trail Saddles, features a tree built to accommodate the horse’s back, with a “finger design” skirt that flexes independently to maximize weight distribution. A shock-absorbing Gel-Cush seat reduces pressure on sensitive areas to prevent back soreness after a long ride. Available in brown or black; the tree comes in medium, wide or extra wide, in seat sizes 15 ½, 16 ½, 17 ½ or 18 ½ inches. Call 800-882-5375 or visit www.TuckerSaddles.com.
Weighing only 13 pounds, the Kincade Redi-Ride Child’s Western Saddle (suggested retail, $200), from Weatherbeeta, is constructed of all synthetic materials for a soft, comfortable fit and ease of cleaning. A matching synthetic cinch is included. Available in black, with 10- or 14-inch seats. Available through local and online retailers. At an easyto-handle 22 pounds, the Supreme Lady Trail (suggested retail, approximately $952), from Fabtron Saddle and Tack, features a doublepadded seat with a five-inch cantle for comfort and support, a seven-inch gullet, and a Ralide tree with full-Quarter Horse bars. The seat is quilted top-grain leather, with stainless steel hardware, nylon Cordura fenders and a fleece-lined skirt. Available in brown, in 15-, 16- or 17-inch seats. Go to www.fabtron.com.
Durable enough for ranch work yet comfortable for long hours on the trail, the Drover Saddle (suggested retail, $2,135.99), from Cashel Company, is made with high-quality leather, 100 percent sheep wool and soft leather latigos. Other features include an Association swell, a leatherwrapped dally horn, a fully padded seat and an Axis saddletree, available in 14-, 15-, 16or 17-inch seats. Call 800-333-2202 or visit www.cashelcompany.com.
The Lightweight Trail Saddle (suggested retail, starting at $1,795 for semi-custom and $2,395 for fully custom), from Synergist Saddles, can be fully customized to the measurements of both horse and rider. The design is based on saddles for endurance riding, with gender-specific seats and added features, such as a horn and eight D-rings, that can be useful on trails. It weighs approximately 21 pounds in a 15-inch seat. Available in black, brown, chestnut, mahogany, saddle tan or any combination, and in a range of seat sizes. Call 877-595-0115 or visit www. synergistsaddles.com. To hold up comfortably for thousands of trail miles, the Basic Endurance/Cutback Saddle (suggested retail, $1,230), from Bob Marshall Sports Saddle, Inc., features a leather seat with a pommel, three-inch cantle and rigging designed for endurance. The saddle weighs about 15 pounds. Available in black or chocolate, with 14- or 16-inch seats. Call 270-988-2684 or visit www.sportssaddle.com. Designed specifically for women, the Devin Western Trail Saddle (suggested retail, $4,295 to $4,795, depending on options), from Schleese Saddlery Service, Ltd., is fully adjustable for both horse and rider. Constructed of high-quality leather, the saddle has a flexible tree with multiple foam inserts for a customized fit. Available in dark brown, chestnut or black, in a 15-inch seat; a 16inch seat will be available soon. Call 800225-2242 or visit www.schleese.com.