by Linda Benson
Most of us ride in a saddle of some kind, right? (Unless you're a teenager, extremely athletic, climb up on anything, and stick to a horse like glue.) But for most people, whether you ride English, Western, or one of those teensy little racing saddles, this piece of equipment gives the rider more security on the horse's back, as well as stirrups for comfort.
Here's the saddle I acquired (somewhat serendipitously) and rode for many hundreds of miles and hours and hours and hours. Yes, it's Western.
If it looks a bit broken-in, well, it is. It was a used saddle when I got it, and was thrown in on a deal with a little bay horse I bought years ago. I sold the horse not too long after that, but kept the saddle because it was so darn comfortable. And I kept it and kept it and kept it. I rode all kinds of horses in it, and logged many, many miles training for, and riding my palomino horse in the Tevis Cup 100 mile/one day endurance ride. The wide stirrups that it came with made it exceptionally comfortable for long days in the saddle.
I had a crupper ring stitched into the back of it, and I put on new saddle strings and latigos, but other than that it is exactly as I acquired it decades ago. I have no idea of the maker, either, but it is certainly a well-made saddle. It held up for me, and I will probably never part with it!
What is your favorite saddle to ride? (We know you have a favorite.) Tell us in the comments!