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Not all saddles can be used for short-backed horses. If a saddle is too long for a horse’s conformation then they can become uncomfortable when being ridden, or may experience issues with the saddle skirt and haunches.
We recommend picking from the list of the best saddles for short-backed horses below.
The general rule of thumb is to pick a saddle that is shorter in length and/or has a round saddle skirt.
EDITOR’S PICK: The Circle Y Omaha Flex2 Trail Riding Saddle is a popular choice among short-necked horses owners for western, dressage, and endurance including trail riders. It has a round, 26″ length skirt.
Best Saddle for Short Backed Horses
If you find yourself searching for:
- Best Western saddle for short backed horse
- Best Dressage saddle for short backed horse
- Best Endurance for short backed horse
Then we recommend going through our table below. This table will help you find the best trail saddle for short backed horse.
These saddle are either shorter in length than what is commonly found in other saddles, have round saddle skirts, or both.
Here are the top saddles for horses with short backs
|Saddle||Weight||Cantle||Skirt Shape||Skirt Length||Tree|
|Abetta Beach Ride||17||4″||Round||R, W|
|Abetta Brushpopper||18||4.5″ regular tree, 5.5″ wide tree||Square||15″ seat – 24.5″|
16″ seat – 25″
17″ seat – 26″
|Circle Y Omaha||29||4″||Round||26″||R,W,EW|
|Circle Y Walnut Grove||26||5″||Round||14″ seat – 24″|
Other seats – 26″
|R, W (Wade)|
|Circle Y Wind River||32||3.5″||Round||27″||R, W|
|Tucker Big Bend||29||4.5″||Full or Round||26″|
Full or Round
|Tucker Cheyenne Frontier||28||3.5″||Full or Round||25″|
Full or Round
|Tucker High Plains||26||5.5″||Full or Round||24″|
Full or Round
|Tucker Horizon Trail Head||31||4″||Full||26″||M,W,EW|
|Tucker Pine Ridge – Mule||28||5″||Semi-round||26″||M, W (Mule)|
READ MORE: Best Saddle for Mutton Withered Horse
Meaning of Terms used in the Table
- Wt. – Weight in pounds. All weights shown are approximate.
- Skirt – Saddle skirt shape.
- Cantle – Cantle height in inches.
- Tree – Saddle tree widths:
- R – Regular
- M – Medium
- W – Wide
- EW – Extra wide
- FB M – An “FB medium” tree as: “For a flatter barrel, or slab sided, conformation typical in gaited horses.”
What Is A Short Backed Horse?
A short-coupled horse is one that has a relatively short back compared to the rest of its conformation.
Generally, when a horse is viewed from the side the length of the shoulder, back, and hip should all be equal.
Put another way, the length of the back should be 1/3 of the horse’s overall body length (excluding the neck).
A horse whose back is shorter than this is usually considered to be a short-backed horse.
How to Pick a Trail Riding Saddle for A Short Backed Horse
Short-back horses are common in the riding industry. So, if you are looking for a saddle then this is good news!
There are a couple of things to remember and they are:
- A round Saddle Skirt: Some short backed horses do well with a round saddle skirt.
Why use a round skirt?
The round skirt will get rid of the back of the saddle from extending too far down the horse’s back, and from interfering with the hip.
- Need more than that: If a short round saddle skirt doesn’t work for you then you might have some look with one of the trail riding saddles with shorter skirts in the table above.
Best Saddle Pad for Short Backed Horse
First, we recommend measuring your saddle to find out what dimensions you need.
For example, a Diamond endurance pad can easily hang over the top of the pad around where the rear rigging is if your saddle is a little too round.
My Experience & Recommendation – Best short-backed horse saddle pads!
I recommend Diamonds – They are affordable, nice, and good working quality pad.
I also use and recommend 5 Star pads on my horses.
I have the 30”. Last night, I actually measured the pad I had, and it is 29 1/2″ long (front to back) and 29″ wide. I have the square pad.
They do make rounded pads too. 5 Star Barrel Saddle Pad 28″L x 30″ D *free gift*
And endurance “round” pads 5 Star Endurance/Trail Round Pad 28″L x 35″ D *free gift*
And treeless pads 5 Star Treeless Saddle Pad 28″L x 38″ D *free gift*
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I’m Jack Johnson, a proud Texan and passionate horse lover. Growing up around horses has given me a natural affinity for the equine species and I’ve been able to hone my riding and training skills from an early age.
In recent years I’ve been traveling the country with my horses, competing in rodeos and other events. It was this passion that led me to create my own business, Own the Horse, to help aspiring horse lovers learn the fundamentals of horse care and training. I’m also an active member of the equine community, often volunteering my time to help preserve and promote the culture of horsemanship.
When I’m not riding, I love to spend my free time with my family and friends, camping, and fishing. Exploring the great outdoors and taking in the beauty of the Texas Hill Country is one of my favorite pastimes. I’m also an avid reader and enjoy learning more about the history and culture of the horse world.