BEST LIGHTWEIGHT WESTERN SADDLE
Finding a good lightweight western saddle can be tricky. If you are interested in knowing more about what makes a good lightweight saddle you have landed on the right page. A lightweight western saddle is likely to enhance the saddling-up process for you, thereby giving you a better riding experience. However, not all lightweight weight saddles are created equal.
The more material, the heavier the saddle
If you’ve ever tacked up a horse with an old-time roping saddle you know the problem, they can weigh up to 60 pounds. It is still common to see western saddles weighing 30 to 45 pounds, while extremely lightweight high-tech endurance saddles can get down to 4 or 5 pounds. Western saddles are notoriously heavy and bulky.
Western saddles can be overbuilt with multiple layers of heavy leather. Years ago, that’s all the saddle makers had to work with, it was expected, and tradition keeps the practice alive. Interestingly, I don’t see any western riders driving the old solid steel pickups from the pre-50S. They have all switched to newer, lighter, more comfortable, and powerful models. I see a similar trend with the Olympics; modern, lightweight, stronger materials allow athletes to break records year after year. By selectively replacing heavy and bulky components with lighter, stronger, modern materials that are available to us now, the western saddle can be reimagined as lightweight saddles.
Our Saddles are Lightweight.
When fully rigged, Easy Fit Saddles’ LIGHTWEIGHT WESTERN SADDLE weighs approximately 20 pounds. In order to accomplish this, we use modern materials in the construction of our saddles and incorporate innovative design features.
The use of modern materials has improved the performance of many sports, so why not saddles? Our trees are made of a glass-infused polymer, which allows us to embed coated aircraft cable rigging directly within the tree. By eliminating all plates, rings, and leather associated with conventional rigging systems, bulk and weight are reduced and strength is increased. No matter how unusual the shape, we can create it using glass-infused polymers. The fork and horn are reinforced with a tubular steel frame that is attached to the cable that carries on down through to the cinch. The tree bars, ground seat, cantle and forks are incorporated into a single piece and covered with aircraft military specs S-glass and epoxy during the vacuum bagging process. They are the ultimate in lightweight strength.
We hang our forward and backward adjustable stirrup straps from nylon seat belt webbing reinforced with latigo leather. This reduces weight and bulk under your leg while increasing strength. We also use lightweight stirrups with pre-twisted hangers that eliminate stress on the ankles and knees.
In order to reduce weight, the quality of leather has not been compromised. The best quality 12 oz North American tanned bridle leather is used. Felt pads are made from 100% wool felt for superior cooling and moisture-wicking. Conchos buckles and D-rings are stainless steel or german silver. Trees are durable and will not warp or change shape over time, guaranteed for 5 years. The seat is adjustable with pads to your preference and the bars can be shimmed able to fine-tune the fit to your horse. Innovative design has allowed us to maintain high quality and minimal weight in our saddles.
Fit the saddle to the rider
Though saddle is to be placed on the horse, it must also fit the rider. So, companies offering western saddle specify saddles according to the rider’s height, body shape, and weight. For instance, tall riders usually prefer large-sized saddles to accommodate their tall legs. Likewise, overweight riders may not opt for a large-sized saddle but do not compromise on the saddle’s seat.
Fit the saddle to the horse
Fitting the saddle to the horse is equally important as it is to fit the rider. You cannot expect exciting riding if your horse is uncomfortable. The poorly fitted saddle is one of the common reasons for the horse’s discomfort. The best way to ensure the best size of the saddle is to check it on the horse. The perfectly sized saddle is likely to be few centimetres away from the withers. Moreover, it should not burden the back of the horse in any way.
Size of the saddle
The size of the saddle is another crucial factor to consider when buying a saddle. Saddles are offered in different sizes, ranging from 12 to 19 inches. However, one can expect slight variations in the upper and lower bound. Sizes are marked as extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large. Minors are recommended extra small size. The size increases proportionally according to the height, age, body, and preference of the rider.
Seat & size
The seat is something that needs to be of perfect size to facilitate you when riding. If the size of the seat does not fit the rider, it can be challenging for you to ride a horse. The seat is different for young adults, such as those in their early 20s, and it’s different for riders in their middle-age.
Padding and comfort
Saddle rigging must work well with you and your horse. Saddle sellers offer different rigging styles. However, you need to select one that suits your riding style. Experts also recommend trying different rigging positions before finalizing a deal.
One must find an ideal midway between comfort and padding. If the padding is minimized, the comfort is compromised. On the contrary, over-padded saddles will make things difficult for your horse. In addition to this, you also need to be careful of padding material and technology incorporated into it.
Material and colour
Pay heed to the material and colour. The material determines whether the saddle can withstand prolonged use or not. Plus, good material will also help the lightweight saddles to dissipate heat in hot weather. Lastly, choose the colour as per your preference, but be mindful of the colours that catch dust quickly.
Easy Fit Lightweight Saddle Features:
We pay close attention to leather thickness, heavy where we need it, thin where we don’t, and one layer of leather will usually suffice. Our light saddles for horses use high-quality North American tanned leather available in a variety of different colours and keep it light.
The tree is made of a lightweight glass-infused polymer with steel reinforcing. Military-grade fibreglass covers all the tree parts unifying them into a much stronger single unit. Our trees are stronger, more durable, can be shaped to fit your horse’s measurements or back type, and reduced weight.
A wooden tree has a built-up ground seat made of layers of heavy leather skived/shaved to fit the rider. The EFS ground seat is incorporated into the tree and has a foam insert to further shape the seat as required by the rider. It’s adjustable, shock-absorbing, and sheds more pounds from our saddles.
In general, horses’ backs have gotten shorter while saddle skirts remain long. Skirts that are too long can interfere with the horse’s range of motion, drive the saddle forward, and can cause soft tissue damage. We offer short skirts for all of our saddle styles and only use one layer of leather to improve comfort and cut weight.
We use a stainless-steel cable to replace the traditional western saddle rigging systems. The cable rigging system gives us a closer contact, narrower seat, it’s stronger, can adjust cinch position and sheds many pounds and also helps in forming the light saddles for horses!
The single-strap stirrup system replaces the traditional leather straps and fenders with nylon seat belt webbing and light floating fender. It provides closer contact, can be adjusted forward and back, offset side to side to help balance the rider, and reduces weight. All in all, this results in the fabrication of lightweight saddles for your next horse ride!
Traditionally, stirrups are twisted by turning the stirrup leather and wrapping it with leather lacing. Our lightweight stirrups’ twister replaces the thru-bolt spacer, pre-twists the fenders, offsets the angle of the stirrups, and slims the total weight.
Easy Fit Saddles (EFS) design quality, innovative saddles using modern materials that average 10 kg / 22 pounds, by rethinking every component of their construction. The saddles are a manageable weight for any rider to lift onto their horse and offer many adjustable features. We have maintained a traditional look, but give horse and rider superior fitting capabilities for optimum performance and comfort via producing light saddles for horses!