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Saddles, particularly western saddles, can be rather heavy. Heavy saddles can be particularly difficult for petite adults with tall horses, as it can be hard to place a 30+ pound saddle on a 17 hand tall horse’s back.
Both horses and riders can benefit from using lightweight saddles. The weight of a regular saddle can be hard for some people to carry, let alone put on the back of a horse.
Lightweight saddles let riders sit closer to the horse’s back, allowing for better contact. Lightweight saddles also put less pressure on your horse’s back, vital for horses with sensitive backs or past injuries.
Many people opt for lightweight saddles when trail riding and competing in endurance. They are particularly beneficial as they keep the horse well-conditioned and comfortable over long rides. The more weight over long rides, the quicker your horse will tire.
Best Lightweight Saddle Brands
The best lightweight saddle brands are Wintec, King, Circle Y, Cashel, Henri de Rivel, and Kincade. They offer expertly crafted saddles that are lighter without sacrificing comfort or durability. Most lightweight saddles are mostly built with synthetic materials that are lighter than real leather.
1. Kincade Synthetic All-Purpose Saddle
At just 11 pounds, this all-purpose saddle is lightweight yet durable. It is made from synthetic materials, making it easy to clean and maintain.
This saddle has a medium deep seat, allowing for ideal contact with your horse. The padded airflow flaps with knee rolls provide additional comfort and support as you ride. For the comfort of your horse, the tree is also lightweight as well as being flexible.
At a budget-friendly price, this would make a great first saddle. It is ideal for training and can even be used for showing.
2. WintecLite HART D-Lux All Purpose Saddle
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Weighing in at only 6.6 pounds this ultra-light saddle is perfect for riders of all ages. No matter if you are training or trail riding, it will keep you and your horse comfortable for hours on end.
The refined design allows for a steady seat and close contact with your horse. Thanks to the soft Equi-Suede, you will have excellent grip while you ride for a solid seat. Air cushions are used in the innovative CAIR system, replacing traditional fillings in the saddle panel for top-notch comfort.
The EASY-CHANGE Gullet System and the EASY-CHANGE Riser allow you to fit the saddle to your horse’s unique conformation. The Elastiflex Tree maintains clearance over your horse’s withers while possessing lateral flexion. Comfort Seat Technology provides a comfy and supportive seat to give you an optimal position as you ride.
3. Wintec 250 All-Purpose Saddle
Coming in at just 11.5 pounds, both you and your horse will love how light this saddle is. Made from synthetic materials, it is easy to care for while also being durable and splash-proof.
The unique Equi-Leather grip panel consists of a hardy synthetic material with a smooth leather-look finish to provide you with excellent support. In addition, the Equi-Suede knee insert is soft and grippy, giving you a secure seat. Thanks to the Flexibloc System, you can adjust the thigh support to your personal preference.
The EASY-CHANGE Gullet System allows you to easily adjust the saddle to your horse’s build. In addition, the flocked panels are adjustable, allowing for a precise fit. Take this saddle out on the trails or use it for everyday riding as well as showing.
4. WintecLite HART D-Lux Dressage Saddle
Luxurious and lightweight, this dressage saddle weighs just 10 pounds. The synthetic design is easy to clean and ideal for all-weather riding.
The grippy Equi-Suede material along with a close contact design allows riders to achieve a proper dressage position. With a refined build, your leg will be able to naturally groove to your horse. The innovative CAIR Cushion system uses air cushions to provide light yet comfortable cushioning that evenly distributes weight across your horse’s back.
The EASY-CHANGE Gullet System lets you easily adjust the saddle to your horse’s conformation. In addition, the Elastiflex Tree allows for clearance over your horse’s withers while also providing lateral flexion. From training to showing, this saddle will keep both horse and rider happy.
5. Henri de Rivel Vegan-X All Purpose Saddle
This beautiful all-purpose saddle is lightweight and stylish, making it ideal for training, showing, and even trail riding. The vegan leather resembles real leather while being free of any animal products.
Included in our best vegan saddles guide, this saddle is simple to clean and care for. Synthetic wool flocking forms to your horse’s conformation to provide ultimate comfort. The medium deep seat and stabilizing knee rolls gives riders excellent contact with their horse.
At a budget-friendly price, this saddle is great for riders of all levels. With an all-weather finish, you can ride outside rain or shine.
1. Wintec Western Trail Saddle
Included in our most comfortable western trail saddles guide, this light western saddle weighs approximately 20 pounds. Made from Duraleather, this soft synthetic saddle is simple to clean while being durable.
The closer-contact Equi-Suede seat has memory foam padding to keep you comfortable for hours on end. With wide stirrups, you will have support and grip no matter the terrain. The EZ Fold Fender System allows riders to personalize the fenders to their shape.
This saddle is weatherproof, so you can enjoy riding outside no matter the season. It even features a soft synthetic wool underside to keep your horse comfy.
2. High Horse Eldorado Saddle
At 22 pounds, this saddle by Circle Y is great for trail riding and everyday use. It features real leather that is durable and long-lasting.
Featuring Cordura skirts and fenders for less weight, this saddle is practical and comfortable for your horse. The fleece-lined is easy to care for while also giving your horse excellent support. Thanks to the adjustable position in-skirt rigging, there is less bulk under your legs making for a more stable seat.
The new wood trees provide an optimal fit while still keeping it light. Nylon tie straps are featured on both sides along with sturdy rust-resistant brass rings.
3. Cashel Western Trail Saddle
This western saddle is lightweight at just 24 pounds without sacrificing any quality. The soft, supple leather is sturdy and lasting.
For ultimate comfort, the seat is double padded, providing you with all-day-long support. The AXIS tree provides full contact with your horse while evenly distributing your weight. The 3-position D-rig lets you choose the cinch placement based on your horse’s individual conformation.
For rider stability and security, the stirrup fenders are positioned to give you a comfortable leg angle. Elegant stitching, long strings, and conchos give it a classic western look.
4. King Trekker Synthetic Endurance Saddle
Coming in at about 22 pounds, this light saddle is ideal for endurance and even trail riding. Its synthetic construction holds up in all weather conditions while also being easy to maintain.
This saddle features abrasion-resistant nylon and neoprene fenders and skirts with leather jockeys, providing hours of support. The soft seat will keep you comfortable your entire ride, with shock-absorbing stirrups for additional support. Quick change buckles are featured on the stirrups to relieve your knees and feet.
For your horse’s comfort, the underside features a soft, plush fleece. A flexible fiberglass-reinforced tree evenly distributes pressure across your horse’s back.
5. Big Horn Synthetic Suede Full QH Trail Saddle
At only 15 pounds, this ultra-light western saddle is ideal for training and trail riding. Built to last, it is made from hardy suede.
The rough-out suede leather seat provides top-notch grip and all-day support. The jockeys, Cordura fenders, and skirts are quilted for comfort. With a soft fleece underside, your horse will be comfortable the entire ride.