Best gaited horse saddle: Top Picks for Optimal Comfort

The way you treat your horse affects its well-being and comfort. We as humans like to dress up in comfort and ease. So is our four-legged companion. When a rider fits the saddle before mounting up, it has to be checked twice for the easement of the movement of the horse. Your gaited horses are more concerned with the saddle picks. Are you still investigating the best-gaited horse saddle? If yes, we categorized some of the top picks available online.

Why is Saddle Fit Important?

When you can’t go out for a while wearing excruciating footwear, imagine your horse wearing the wrong saddle size all the time. An animal's behavior can suggest if it's in discomfort even though it can't verbally communicate.

A saddle is a seat for the rider and distributes the weight evenly across the back of the horse. Not only does the saddle prevent discomfort, but it also lowers the risk of excoriation and pressure points.

You may not know a loose-fitting saddle will cause the horse to remain imbalanced since the saddle is continuously moving around. Loose-fitted saddle unnecessarily causes muscle strain.

Conversely, a tight saddle can additionally pressure the horse’s spine, causing painful movements.

If Right Fit Saddle for Gaited Horses Exist?

Achieving the right saddle fit for gaited horses is a blend of artistry and scientific understanding. A rigid saddle tree often falls short. Horses' backs and shoulders change angulation when they move, even if they look good standing still. This holds whether the horse is engaged in ambling, fox trotting, running, walking, or any other gait. 

We can liken this to trying on shoes: they might feel just right when you’re not moving, but turn uncomfortable once you walk.

The creation of a gaited horse's saddle is difficult because it takes into consideration the following parameters:

  • Distinct Challenges of Gaited Horse Movement

When a horse is at a gait, each foot moves independently, demanding high flexibility in the back, loins, and shoulders. The horse's gait and comfort are impacted if the saddle doesn't have enough flexibility to accommodate its back movement. To truly determine saddle fit, it’s essential to place the saddle on the horse and observe how smoothly it moves.

  • Significance of the Gaited Horse Rider’s Position

It made little sense to fit a gaited horse into a saddle if the saddle didn’t facilitate the rider’s ability to start and maintain the horse’s gait. Similar to most western saddles, the saddle primarily used positioned the rider in a seat better suited for a trotting horse, rather than a gaited one. This requires riders to adapt to a riding style conflicting with the saddle’s seat, leading to discomfort.

Therefore, riders must have a seat that minimizes knee stress, slightly tilts backward on top, and positions the foot slightly ahead.

  • Eliminating ‘Pressure Point’ in Saddle Design

A minor misfit of the saddle led to pressure points and soreness because of the horse’s back movement. Thick saddle pads only exacerbated the tight fit and the issue. 

  • Variety in Saddle Configurations

Not even an exceptional ‘average-sized’ flexible tree can accommodate many gaited horse conformations. Preferences for saddle features, like horns, fenders, and stirrup leathers, also differ among individuals.

Best Gaited Horse Saddle

Does the saddle type matter to the gaited horses? Yes, it does. Gaited horses are unique horse breeds having a smooth, natural four-beat gait. This gait is commonly called a “running walk.” This running walk, as it sounds, allows horses to cover more ground and somehow anyone's leg is always in touch with the ground.

Gaited horses are unique in gait and hence require the saddle type and fit to match their movements. The right choice of the saddle would make the ride comfortable for the rider and the horse.

It is important to note that a trotting horse's saddle may or may not fit comfortably over the gaited horse. Here we have shortlisted the best-gaited horse saddle available online for the ultimate gaited horse riding experience-

1. Gaited Horse Western Saddle- Pleasure Show Trail Tooled Leather Tack

‎Orlov Hill Leather Co. brand presents the elegance of design with the comfort and quality of leather tack. Gaited horse western saddle is the mix of want and need.

The gaited horse's western saddle is 100% leather and hand-tooled, giving it a finished look. They made hardware of stainless steel, making it rust-free and long-lasting.

Advantages of purchasing Orlov’s pleasure show leather tack-

  • Hand-tooled to give it an exclusive finish.
  • The makers provide the padded suede seat for comfortable long rides.
  • Underside comes with a well-padded fleece to avoid unwanted traction and aches to the horse.
  • Gaited Horse Western Saddle comes with a matching headstall breast collar and reins.

2. Royal King Memphis Gaited Saddle

It is a perfect fit for a walking horse. If you’re looking for a cheap and lasting alternative to a gaited horse saddle, then the Royal King’s Memphis Saddle would do the part.

Advantage of Royal King Memphis Gaited Saddle over others-

  • Best suited for horses for long trails.
  • Durable stirrups come with a deep-seated solid base.
  • This saddle is a gaited tree allowing free movement of the shoulder in gaited horses.
  • It is one of the lightweight gaited horse saddle.

3. Acerugs Gaited Saddles- Western Trail Premium Leather Tack Set Included

If you’re looking for the perfect trail endurance saddle set, Acerugs Gaited Saddle is for you. It comprises 100% cowhide leather, and a balanced wood and fiberglass tree.

Here’s what makes Acerugs Gaited Saddles different-

  • Close contact leather seat gives a shock absorbance trait for hours to riders.
  • Hand-carved tooling gives it an appealing look and texture.
  • Comes with a premium leather tack set including headstall, reins, and breast collar.
  • 100% cowhide leather and nylon-reinforced leather cinch straps provide extra strength.

4. HILASON Western Gaited Saddle- A Treeless Saddle

If you’re looking for flexibility in the saddle while putting it around the back of your horse, then Hilason’s Western gaited Treeless saddle is for you.

Some premium features of Hilason Western Gaited Saddle are-

  • The saddle's treeless structure makes it flexible for the horse's back, allowing free movement.
  • Flexibility minimizes the pressure points, hence reducing the soreness chances.
  • This gaited horse saddle can fit on a variety of horse conformations. It is a perfect fit for horses with high withers and wide shoulders.
  • You can use Hilason's lightweight gaited horse saddle in trail riding and endurance riding.

What are the Qualities of Best Saddle for Gaited Horses?

Gaited saddles are versatile across various equestrian disciplines, serving the following purposes:

Performance Riding: Customized Saddles are available with a unique tree structure that allows gaited horses to move freely and without discomfort or restriction.

Trail Riding: Gaited saddles are great for trail rides because they can adjust to fit the horse's back, shoulders, and neck.

Endurance Riding: These saddles are great for endurance riding because they don't hinder a horse's movement.

These are some points to consider while looking for gaited horse saddles- 

1. Gaited Horse Saddle Tree

The saddle tree acts as the saddle’s foundation, influencing its fit and comfort. With gaited horse saddles, it’s crucial to opt for a saddle with a tree explicitly crafted for gaited horses. These trees are typically broader and flatter compared with traditional ones, facilitating greater shoulder and back mobility for the horse.

2. Weightless and Well-Balanced

A lightweight and balanced saddle reduces stress on the horse's back and allows free movement for gaited horses. Look for a saddle made from lightweight materials that are engineered to disperse weight over the horse's back.

3. Compact Saddle Flap

Longer saddle flaps can be uncomfortable and cause chafing on gaited horses because of their shorter back lengths. Prioritize saddles with shorter flaps that are contoured to match the shape of a gaited horse’s back.

4. Cushioned and Broad Channel

A wide and cushioned strip helps disperse the weight on the horse, making it more comfortable and stable. Opt for a saddle featuring a padded seat and wide channel, specifically designed to accommodate the unique contours of a gaited horse’s back.


Q 1- Do gait horses need special saddles?

Ans- The gaited horses have a longer stride and their shoulders are at a steeper angle. Gaited horses have more distinct movements than normal trotting horses, so they need more flexible saddles.

Q 2- What kind of saddle do gaited horses need?

Ans- Gaited horse saddles require saddle trees which are shaped differently than usual saddles. The saddle tree of a gaited horse is especially for supporting their unique movements, so they can move freely during their gaits.

Q 3- How can I enhance the comfort of my horse’s saddle?

Ans- The most effective approach is to incorporate a cushioned seat saved along with fitted shims. Attach a saddle seat saved and include a set of shims made from shock-absorbing material. Trim the shims to align with your seatbones.

Q 4- What leads to saddle discomfort?

Ans- Saddle discomfort can arise from friction, often occurring in the groin’s lateral regions. Another prevalent issue involves excessive pressure on sensitive soft tissue areas.

Conclusion :

Gaited horses need different structured saddles to perform their unique four-beat gait. When selecting a saddle for these horses, it’s crucial to opt for one equipped with a tree designed explicitly for gaited breeds. A well-suited saddle should also be lightweight, well-balanced, possess a short skirt, and feature ample padding and a broad gullet. By making the right saddle choice, you can ensure your gaited horse’s well-being, comfort, and peak performance.


Dr Akanksha Agnihotri is another animal lover like you cum veterinarian by profession. She has earned her B.V.Sc & AH from COVS & AH, Jabalpur, India. She has a knack for befriending animals/pets and treating them compassionately. She believes...