Best Trail Saddle for Quarter Horse: Ultimate Buying Guide

Looking for the best trail saddle for your Quarter Horse? Look no further! We’ve put together the ultimate buying guide to help you find the perfect saddle for your needs. From comfort to durability, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and find the Best Trail Saddle for Quarter Horse!

Traits of the Best Trail Saddle

Horse with a black leather saddle

When searching for the best trail saddle for quarter horses, there are several essential factors to consider to ensure maximum comfort, durability, and proper fit. This section will discuss the various traits of an excellent trail saddle, including materials, comfort features, and saddle fit.

Materials: Leather, Synthetic, and Cordura

There are three common materials used to construct trail saddles, each offering distinct advantages and benefits:

  • Leather: Leather has been a popular choice for trail saddles for generations, thanks to its unbeatable combination of durability, comfort, and timeless style. The AceRugs Cowhide Western Leather Horse Saddle is a prime example of a high-quality leather saddle that ticks all the boxes. Featuring exquisite hand-crafted designs and functional ties, this saddle is not only a reliable workhorse but also a stylish accessory for any rider.
  • Synthetic: An alternative to leather, synthetic materials such as Cordura are lightweight, easy to maintain, and more affordable. Brands like Wintec and King Series offer durable and easy-to-clean synthetic trail saddles for those seeking a practical and cost-effective choice.
  • Cordura: As a type of synthetic material, Cordura is lighter than leather but still offers excellent durability. It is often combined with leather to create a hybrid saddle that provides both performance and style.

Comfort Features

Comfort is paramount when it comes to long trail rides, and a few features contribute to a cozy and well-balanced saddle:

  1. Deep Seat: A deep and cushioned seat offers better support and stability throughout the ride, reducing rider fatigue.
  2. Padded Stirrups: Comfortable, secure stirrups are crucial to maintaining proper balance while riding.
  3. Suede or Gel-Cush Seat: A suede or gel-cush seat provides extra cushioning against impact and pressure, ensuring rider comfort during long rides.
  4. Swinging Fender: This feature allows for more natural leg movement during the ride, enhancing rider comfort and security.
  5. Adjustable Rigging: Proper rigging ensures an even distribution of pressure across the horse’s back, preventing discomfort or injury. Saddles like the Cashel Western Trail Saddle offer adjustable rigging options for a customizable fit.

Lightweight and Durability

Lightweight saddles are better suited for trail rides, especially when navigating varied terrain. A heavy saddle may cause fatigue both for the rider and the horse. Thus, lightweight materials like synthetic or Cordura saddles come highly recommended. A balance between a saddle’s lightweight and durability is essential to ensure that it endures long-term use.

Saddle Fit: Gullet, Tree, and Rigging

A properly fitting saddle is vital for the comfort and safety of both horse and rider. Factors to consider include:

  • Gullet: The gullet width should accommodate the horse’s withers without causing pinch or discomfort.
  • Tree: The tree of the saddle should match the horse’s back shape, ensuring even pressure distribution and preventing sore spots. Many saddles offer fiberglass or adjustable trees to accommodate various horse body types and riding styles.
  • Rigging: Appropriate rigging connects the saddle to the cinches, ensuring safety and stability. In-skirt rigging, found in saddles like the Cashel Western Trail Saddle, reduces bulk and increases rider comfort.

Choosing the best trail saddle for your quarter horse involves considering essential features, materials, and proper fit. By taking all factors into account and utilizing information from reputable sources, finding the perfect saddle for trail riding can be a rewarding endeavor.

Top Picks for Trail Saddles

Sport horse standing during competition under saddle

In this section, we will explore some of the top choices for trail saddles specifically designed for quarter horses. These selections cater to various needs, such as comfort, budget, and customization options.

Wintec Western Trail Saddle

The Wintec Western Trail Saddle is a great option for beginners, as it is designed with a comfortable padded seat and a customizable fit. This saddle features a memory foam seat that provides both comfort and support during long trail rides. Riders can benefit from the Equi-Suede grip, which offers stability and easy maintenance. Wintec saddles are known for their durable, easy-care synthetic materials, making this option ideal for riders who seek quality at a budget-friendly price.

Cashel Western Trail Saddle

Another excellent choice is the Cashel Western Trail Saddle, which boasts a combination of comfort and functionality. This saddle is designed with a padded seat and a customizable fit for utmost rider comfort. Cashel saddles are known for their attention to detail, ensuring that both horse and rider can enjoy a pleasant trail ride experience.

Acerugs All Natural Cowhide Western Leather Horse Saddle

If you’re in search of a trail saddle that exudes authenticity and timeless elegance, look no further than the Acerugs All Natural Cowhide Western Leather Horse Saddle. Expertly handcrafted from premium quality leather, this saddle boasts exquisite hand-carved floral and basketweave tooling that sets it apart from the rest. The well-padded seat and adjustable Blevins buckles ensure maximum comfort and a customized fit for both horse and rider. It’s no wonder why this saddle is a top choice among riders who value both style and function.

King Series Synthetic Trail Saddle

Lastly, the King Series Synthetic Trail Saddle provides a lightweight and affordable option for riders. This saddle is made from durable synthetic materials that require minimal maintenance, making it an ideal choice for those who prioritize easy-care saddle care. Offering a comfortable ride, this saddle is designed with a padded seat and adjustable rigging, allowing for personalization to ensure rider comfort throughout the trail ride.

Specialty Trail Saddles

When choosing the best trail saddle for a quarter horse, it is important to consider specialty trail saddles designed for specific riding needs. In this section, we will discuss two types of specialty trail saddles: Endurance Saddles and Australian Saddles.

Endurance Saddles

Endurance saddles are designed for riders who venture on long trail rides, sometimes covering 25 to 100 miles in a day. Their key features include a comfortable suede seat, withers clearance, and impact foam or gel-cush padding. A prime example of an endurance saddle is the Tucker Horizon Outpost Endurance Saddle, which provides comfort for both the rider and the horse during long hours on the trail.

Some endurance saddles cater to gaited horses, accommodating their unique movement, while others are specifically designed for short-backed horses. Rigging options in endurance saddles add versatility and allow for adjustments to cater to the horse’s individual needs.

  • Key features:
    • Suede seat for better grip and comfort
    • Impact foam or gel-cush padding
    • Adjustable rigging options

Australian Saddles

Australian saddles are known for providing a secure and comfortable ride, making them a popular choice for trail riders. These saddles feature a deep suede seat that allows the rider to sit comfortably for extended periods. Additionally, they have a unique design offering extra withers clearance and tunnel skirting to accommodate varying riding styles and preferences. Australian saddles are quite versatile and suitable for different types of horses, including quarter horses.

When searching for the best trail saddle for a quarter horse, it is essential to consider riding style, horse physique, and the intended use of the saddle. For short-backed horses, Circle Y High Horse saddles are an excellent option, while Cashel Western Trail saddles cater to a variety of riding styles.

  • Key features:
    • Deep suede seat for added security and comfort
    • Tunnel skirt for improved airflow and to prevent pressure on the horse’s back
    • Withers clearance for better fit and freedom of movement

By considering the specific requirements of your horse and riding style, you can choose the best trail saddle to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable ride for both you and your quarter horse.

Saddle Care and Maintenance

horse saddle hanging on a fence close up

Cleaning and Conditioning

Proper saddle care begins with regular cleaning and conditioning, regardless of whether your saddle is made from leather or synthetic material. For leather saddles, use a damp sponge to apply a thin layer of saddle soap or glycerin soap in a circular motion. Be sure to cover the entire leather area, avoiding suede parts, and don’t forget the underside of the leather and between the flaps. Synthetic saddles might require a different cleaner, so it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

After cleaning, it’s crucial to condition the leather, as this can prevent it from becoming too dry and cracking. Apply a suitable leather conditioner, being careful not to apply too much or too frequently, as that can lead to oversaturation.

Safety Inspections

Regular safety inspections are an essential aspect of saddle care and maintenance. By routinely checking your saddle, you can identify potential issues and address them before they become more significant problems.

Here are some key points to consider during a saddle inspection:

  • Check for any excess wear and tear, especially on the billet straps, stirrup leathers, and the tree.
  • Inspect the hardware, including D-rings, buckles, and screws, for any signs of rust, corrosion, or damage.
  • Examine the stitching on the saddle, ensuring it’s still intact and not fraying or coming loose.
  • Feel the underside of the saddle, checking for any unevenness that might indicate the flocking needs adjusting.

Performing these inspections not only promotes the longevity of your saddle but also ensures the safety of both rider and horse during trail rides.

To maintain your saddle in optimal condition, it’s also important to store it in a cool, dry place with adequate airflow. This type of environment can help prevent mold and mildew from forming on both leather and synthetic materials. Furthermore, using a saddle cover when not in use can protect it from dust and dirt buildup.

Remember, saddle care and maintenance is an ongoing process. By regularly cleaning, conditioning, and inspecting your saddle, you’ll be more likely to enjoy safer and more comfortable rides on your Quarter Horse while using a trail saddle that remains in excellent condition.

Fitting the Saddle to Your Quarter Horse

Quarter Horse with Rider

When selecting the best trail saddle for your Quarter Horse, it’s essential to ensure a proper fit to maximize your horse’s comfort and performance. In this section, we will discuss how to measure your horse, adjust the tree, and pad for an optimal saddle fit.

Measuring Your Horse

Before purchasing a saddle, it’s crucial to measure your Quarter Horse’s withers and shoulder blades. Start by measuring the height of the horse’s withers, from the base to the highest point. Next, measure the width of the shoulder blades to determine the appropriate tree size for your saddle. It’s essential to consider the shape and curvature of your horse’s back, as different breeds have unique needs.

Adjusting the Tree and Pad

Once you’ve measured your horse, it’s time to choose a saddle with the right tree size. Quarter Horse bars are designed specifically for this breed, providing ample room for the horse’s shoulders to move without undue pressure. To adjust the tree, ensure that it is positioned correctly, with the front bars of the tree placed just behind the horse’s shoulder blades. This will prevent unnecessary pressure points and allow your horse to move freely.

When selecting a pad, choose one that evenly distributes pressure along your horse’s back. This will help mitigate any potential discomfort caused by the rigging and tree size. Additionally, make sure the pad is thick enough to offer the necessary support, without adding too much bulk beneath the saddle.

Ensuring an Even Fit

After adjusting the tree and pad, step back and visually assess the saddle’s position on your horse’s back. The saddle should be level, with adequate clearance between the top of the wither and the gullet on the saddle, allowing for two to three fingers’ width.

Moreover, check for any pressure points along the horse’s back by running your hand along the underside of the saddle, feeling for any uneven gaps or pressure. If any trouble areas are discovered, consult with a professional saddle fitter to make adjustments as necessary.

In conclusion, finding the best trail saddle for your Quarter Horse begins with accurate measurements and thorough attention to details, such as tree size, saddle pad selection, and proper alignment. By prioritizing your horse’s comfort and the saddle’s fit, you’ll promote a positive riding experience for both you and your horse.

FAQs About Trail Saddles for Quarter Horses

Finding the Right Saddle for Your Riding Style

When searching for the best trail saddle for a Quarter Horse, it’s essential to consider your riding style and the saddle’s features that cater to it. The Tucker Horizon Outpost Endurance Saddle is highly recommended for long hours on the trail, as it’s designed for riders spending 25 to 100 miles a day in the saddle.

Leather is a popular material for trail saddles since it provides durability and support. However, synthetic materials like Cordura can significantly reduce the saddle’s weight, making it ideal for riders who value lightweight equipment.

As for the seat, the King Series Synthetic Trail Saddle features a suede padded seat for additional comfort during long rides. It’s crucial to consider the horse’s comfort as well, taking into account features such as square back, wool fleece lining, and a proper fit to avoid any ill-fitting problems.

Should You Buy a Secondhand Saddle?

Purchasing a secondhand saddle can be an economical option, especially for riders on a tight budget. However, it’s essential to thoroughly inspect the saddle for any signs of wear or damage that could affect the horse’s comfort and safety. Common issues to look out for include torn leather, damaged stitching, or cracks in the tree.

Moreover, check the quality of secondhand saddles since they can significantly affect your riding experience. Opt for a quality saddle even if it’s pre-owned to ensure long-lasting performance.

How to Upgrade or Customize Your Saddle

There are several ways to upgrade or customize a trail saddle to make it better suited for the rider and horse. Here are some options:

  • Add accessories like saddle bags, strings, or conchos to your saddle. For instance, the two-tone Acerugs All-Natural Cowhide Saddle includes ties and conchos that can be used for attaching such accessories.
  • Consider using a custom saddle pad that offers additional comfort, support, or moisture-wicking capabilities.
  • Opt for a saddle with customizable features such as adjustable rigging, stirrup options, or swappable panels.

Regardless of which type of saddle you choose—English, endurance, or dressage—always prioritize your and your horse’s comfort and safety. Remember, finding the perfect saddle may take time and effort, but it’s worth the investment for enjoyable long rides on your Quarter Horse.

Best Trail Saddle for Quarter Horse

Saddled horse

When selecting the best trail saddle for a quarter horse, it is essential to consider factors such as balance, comfort, security, durability, and attachment options. Quarter horses, known for their versatility and athletic ability, require saddles that provide these features while also ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable trail riding experience for both horse and rider.

One highly recommended trail saddle is the Circle Y Flex2. This saddle offers exceptional comfort and stability for the rider, as well as the horse. It is designed with a flexible tree, which allows it to adapt to the horse’s shape, ensuring an ideal fit. Additionally, the Flex2 saddle is made of high-quality materials that promise durability and longevity.

Another excellent option for long hours on the trail is the Tucker Horizon Outpost. This saddle is specifically designed for extended periods of riding, with features that promote comfort and reduce fatigue. Its ergonomic and cushioned seat provides excellent support and helps ensure a comfortable ride for both horse and rider.

For riders with gaited horses, the T60 High Plains by Tucker® Saddlery is a top choice. This saddle is designed to accommodate the unique movement of gaited breeds, allowing for a smooth and comfortable ride. It also offers a balanced seat and plenty of attachment options for trail gear.

In addition to these specific models, there are other factors to consider when selecting a trail saddle for your quarter horse. These include:

  • The type of riding you’ll be doing (English or Western)
  • The shape and size of your horse’s back
  • Your budget and personal preferences


In conclusion, finding the best trail saddle for a quarter horse entails considering various factors, including the horse’s shape, size, and intended use. The Circle Y Flex2, Tucker Horizon Outpost, and T60 High Plains by Tucker® Saddlery are all excellent options that cater to different needs and preferences. By selecting a saddle that provides the necessary balance, comfort, security, and durability, riders can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trail riding experience for both themselves and their quarter horse. Remember to always prioritize the well-being of your horse and choose a saddle that aligns with your specific riding goals and style.