Are you looking for the most comfortable trail saddle? Ever gone on a trail ride that’s longer than an hour? My guess is that you got a little bit sore and had some trouble walking afterward! Especially for those not accustomed to spending hours in the tack every day, rides with long durations can prove to be pretty uncomfortable.
I’ll be discussing the Cashel Trail Saddles, Allegany Mountain Trail Saddles, and Saddles by Steele. All of these saddles were designed with the trail rider in mind, and strive to keep the rider comfortable for longer length trail rides.
Each of these companies creates custom made saddles designed with not only the comfort of the rider but also the comfort of the horse in mind. They all come with trees that are custom fit for each horse, and features that can be custom-fit to each rider.
Choosing The Most Comfortable Trail Saddle
Every type of saddle is designed with a purpose. Racing saddles are designed to be lightweight and aerodynamic to help the horse run faster. Dressage saddles are designed to allow the rider to open their hips and shift their balance backward when necessary.
Similarly, there are saddles designed for keeping a rider comfortable on long trail rides. Many commercial trail riding businesses just use older, used western saddles because they are inexpensive and safe. Western saddles are designed to hold a rider’s leg in place, and they offer a horn for inexperienced and unbalanced riders to hold onto.
Old western saddles are the safest and most cost-efficient saddles for these companies to use. But, there are types of western saddles that are designed with the rider’s comfort in mind. In this article, I will be reviewing some of these saddles.
Most Comfortable Trail Saddle, Cashel
Cashel Trail Saddles creates their saddles with the comfort of both the horse and the rider in mind. They create custom-fit saddles made for long length trail rides and/or ranch work.
Cashel makes their trees out of carefully dried and handmade wood, with a fiberglass finish. This allows for necessary movability without allowing the possibility of warping and disfigurations in the wood.
Essentially, the saddle will self-adjust to fit the horse, and it will self-adjust to fit you, all well taking the pressure and the weight of the saddle and rider off the horse’s spine directly and expanding it to the entire area the saddle covers.
Features and Material of the Most Comfortable Trail Saddle
Cashel trail saddles are made with soft, high-quality leather, and they include appropriately proportioned foam padding for additional comfort. These saddles typically weigh between 25 and 27 pounds, so they are relatively heavy, but comparable to other western and trail saddles.
Cashel Trail saddles are a custom fit to the horse and they are a comfortable fit for the rider. Foam padding will help you stay comfortable in the saddle during long rides, and the custom wrapping trees will keep the horse’s back from getting sore on long rides.
Most Comfortable Trail Saddle Price
Cashel Trail Saddles’ price is reasonable, depending on the model and accessories you are looking for. This is a very reasonable price for any type of custom saddle and is comparable to other western and trail saddles on the market today.
Their saddles can be viewed and the company can be contacted at this link.
Allegany Mountain Trail Saddles
The Allegany Mountain Trail Saddles takes a different, but still effective approach to optimizing the comfort of their saddles. Allegany uses Steele trees made out of pine, and also coated in fiberglass, as well as resin.
This method was developed by Steele Saddles and is ideal for creating a custom fit for each and every horse. The concept behind these types of trees is similar to that of close contact saddles used in the hunter/jumper discipline.
Features and Material
While Allegany Mountain uses very high-quality leather, there is no mention of any foam padding in their saddles. While saddles can certainly be comfortable without foam padding, it allows for additional support and comfort in saddles that do have it.
These trail saddles offer many customizable features such as strings, tie rings, and different rigging options for different pieces of tack, including breastplates, cinches, and more.
Allegany’s prices start on the cheaper end for a typical western saddle and range up to about mid-range for a trail saddle.
Allegany’s saddles can be viewed and the company can be contacted at the following link.
Saddles by Steele
While Cashel Trail Saddles and Allegany Mountain Saddles both offer custom-fit saddles, Saddles by Steele take customization to a whole new level. With their innovative fitting technique and other desirable features, Saddles by Steele creates an All-American custom saddle that trail riders love.
Features and Material
Like Allegany Mountain Trail Saddles and Cashel Trail Saddles, their saddles are made with wooden trees, typically out of yellow pine or western cedar. They are also designed to spread the weight and pressure of the saddle across the entire areas it takes up, not just on the horse’s spine.
But, Saddles by Steele has a method of custom fitting that is unique to their company. They send out a molding kit to each prospective buyer. This kit is to be placed in the oven for 10 minutes and then laid on a horse’s back, where the saddle would go.
The mold hardens, and then the prospective buyer sends it back to Saddles by Steele, who then creates a saddle to match it. They then send the prospective buyer a prototype saddle with a temporary seat, in order to make sure the tree fits the horse properly.
If it does, the prototype saddle gets sent back to Saddles by Steele, who then finalizes the design and sends the finished product back to the buyer. Talk about customized!
Additionally, Saddles by Steele only uses American made products to make their saddles. For many trail riders and ranch workers, this can be very meaningful. Saddles by Steele has created an American brand loved by patriots across the country.
Steele Saddles uses comfortable and soft leather with optional foam padding. Some of their design options include stirrups located further up on the saddle than normal. This creates a more comfortable position for the rider, taking the pressure of the rider’s knees and ankles, while still keeping their backs upright.
These things can help the rider stay comfortable on longer trail rides, and on trail rides over rough terrain than what they may be used to.
Design and Weight
This design not only keeps the rider in a more comfortable position, but it also prevents the horse’s backs from getting sore. Saddles by Steele weigh 21-27 pounds for saddles with the pine tree and 16-22 pounds for saddles with the cedar tree.
So, where other brands may focus on one of the other, Saddles by Steele focuses on both the comfort of the horse and the comfort of the rider. They create a truly one of a kind, customized saddle for you and your horse.
Steele Saddles are expensive. The lightweight cedar tree hits the top end of the price bracket. But, you pay for the extreme customization in these saddles; for many, the price is worth it.
Saddles by Steele can be viewed and the company can be contacted at the following website link.
Another recommended brands:
Cashel Trail Saddles, Allegany Mountain Trail Saddles, and Saddles by Steele all create saddles that will keep you comfortable in the tack for longer length trail rides. They are saddles suitable for trail riding, ranch work, and pleasure riding.
Your choice will depend on your own priorities. There are options that include foam padding, options that will add additional accessories appropriate for use with other pieces of tack, and options that optimize the custom fit for the horse.
Every horse is different, and every rider is different. The right saddle is out there for you and your horse, and these three companies are a great place to start looking! Make sure you keep an open mind and have your priorities straight.
Saddle shopping can be a time-consuming process, but the result is well worth it. Comfort in the saddle on long rides is difficult to come by, but the result is well worth the wait.
I hope this article helped give you a good understanding of what is at the top of the trail riding saddle market today!
If this article was helpful, and if you were able to use it to aid in your saddle hunt, please share this article, and share with us your experiences with comfortable trail saddles and shopping with these three companies!