Trail & Pleasure Saddles
Trail Saddles: Light weight with a deep padded seat, designed for maximum comfort for horse and rider allowing a more enjoyable trail ride.
Differences: Padded seats, wider stirrups and light weight
Perfect For: Long and slow trail rides
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Trail Saddles & Pleasure Saddles
The trail saddle is also known as a pleasure saddle. It is specifically designed for pleasure riding. Comfort is the main goal of the saddle. Spending hours in a saddle over an uneven terrain will really make you appreciate a saddle that is designed to lessen the wear on your body and make your experience a lot more enjoyable. Since most riders will not be doing heavy work on their pleasure rides, Trail and Pleasure saddles are much lighter weight than working saddles, such as ranch or roping saddles. Because trail saddles are so popular and the choice of so many riders, you will notice they come in more styles than any other western saddle type. You can still choose from a wide variety of trees, swells, horns, seats, and skirt styles.
The most common features of a trail and pleasure saddle include:
- Higher fork to help you stay more secure in your saddle
- Thinner horn to hold on to, opposed to dallying a cow to
- Most often they have a padded seat
- Cantle of medium height and with a pronounced dish (recess in the front side) for comfort
- Most often has cutout or round skirts so that it will lessen bulk and weight
- The fenders are positioned underneath the rider’s body to assure the rider is in the proper riding position
- Stirrups with wide tread for comfort and stability
- Double rigging to tighten the back of the saddle down
- In-skirt rigging to lessen the weight
- Some include a Breast Collar to ensure the saddle won’t slide backwards while climbing hills
- Multiple saddle strings for tying gear and jackets
- All around lighter weight saddle
Trail or pleasure saddles are the most commonly purchased saddles today. Most riders simply ride for pleasure and do not require heavy working saddles. Because of their popularity, the trail and pleasure saddle type is also where you'll most often see new materials (i.e. synthetics) first appear and gain traction. While some pleasure riders prefer the security, comfort, and tradition of the ranch-type saddle, the trail and pleasure saddle, with its lighter weight and many varieties, will be the ticket for the majority of riders.