BEST LIGHTWEIGHT WESTERN SADDLE
A lightweight saddle can enhance your saddling experience and your horse’s performance. But you want to be sure that, even though the saddle is light, it is durable, has high-quality components, and fits both horse and rider.
If you’ve ever tacked up a horse with an old-time roping saddle, you know that western saddles 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. Our Easy Fit Saddles are lightweight and finish out at about 22 pounds.
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 more 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 a lightweight saddle.
Our saddles are lightweight.
When fully rigged, Easy Fit Saddles weigh approximately 22 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 to the cinch. The tree bars, ground seat, cantle, and forks are incorporated into a single piece and covered with aircraft military specification S-glass and epoxy during the vacuum bagging process. They are the ultimate in lightweight strength.
Our stirrup straps are suspended with a single nylon seat belt webbing reinforced with latigo leather. This decreases weight and bulk under your leg while increasing strength, eliminating stirrup strap stretch. You can achieve a balanced riding position by adjusting the stirrups forward and backward. A balanced riding position allows all of your back curves, as well as your hips, knees, and ankles, to absorb riding movement. This helps to relieve muscle tension and aches and pains caused by riding.
A balanced rider makes for an easier load for our horses to carry and allows them to move and respond more freely. Because the foot is the foundation of our riding posture, our stirrups can be padded and angled to absorb shock while also providing a level foundation for your foot.
In order to reduce weight, the quality of leather has not been compromised. The best quality 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 to fine-tune the fit to your horse. Innovative design has allowed us to maintain high quality and minimal weight in our saddles.
Easy-Fit Lightweight Saddle Features:
We pay close attention to leather thickness; it’s 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 bridle leather, available in a variety of different colours, to keep them light. English bridle leather is stuffed with oil and tallow to keep the leather soft and water resistant.
The tree is made of a lightweight glass-infused polymer with steel reinforcement. Military-grade fibreglass covers all the tree parts, unifying them into a much stronger single unit. Wooden trees are prone to leaking moisture and warping, causing fitting issues. Our trees are stronger, more durable, can be shaped to fit your horse’s measurements or back type, and reduce weight.
A wooden tree has a built-up ground seat made of layers of heavy leather skived or 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 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 closer contact and a narrower seat. It’s stronger, can adjust to cinch position, 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 fenders. 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 around and wrapping it with leather lacing. Our lightweight stirrup twister replaces the thru-bolt spacer, pre-twists the fenders, offsets the angle of the stirrups, and slims the total weight.
By rethinking every aspect of their design, Easy Fit Saddles (EFS) are high-end, innovative saddles that weigh on average 10 kg (22 pounds) and are made with modern materials. Any rider can easily lift the manageable weight of the saddles onto their horse, and they have a variety of adjustable features. Even though we produce light saddles for horses, we have kept the traditional appearance while giving horse and rider superior fitting capabilities for the best performance and comfort. You can choose from a variety of western saddle designs that we have to suit your preferences.