Gaited horses require a special kind of saddle for their unique movements. Gaited horses move each leg independently, which means that one foot is always in contact with the ground.
This helps them to conserve energy and makes them exceptional at endurance and long rides.
They require more space for their backs and shoulders to move freely during their movements and need a saddle that can accommodate this.
In this article, we review the best saddles for gaited horses. We also provide you with a helpful buyer’s guide on how to choose the correct saddle for your gaited horse.
Best Saddle For Gaited Horses (Our Review)
Circle Y Alabama Flex2 Trail Gaiter Saddle (Best Overall)
Circle Y’s 1581 Alabama Flex2 is one of the best gaited horse saddles that you can get and is our best overall choice on this list. The signature Flex2® comfort features are what make this saddle so popular.
The Flex2® tree technology allows for the saddle tree to be flexible and conform to the shape of your horse’s back. Additionally, there is a 3-way adjustable in-skirt rigging that allows you to adjust the rigging to fit your horse individually.
The saddle provides all-day comfort. Flex2® skirts are created to provide shock absorption, making it a more comfortable ride for both the rider and the horse.
The design of the seat jockey and the fender, which work with ErgoBalance stirrups. These help to minimize ankle and knee strain that is placed on the rider and promote balanced riding.
- Conforms to the shape of your horse’s back
- Less strain on knees and ankles
- Enhanced comfort through shock absorption
- Not the best looking saddle around
Acerugs Gaited Horse Saddles Western Trail Endurance Saddle (Best Trail)
- 100% Premium Cowhide Leather
- Saddles Will Come With A Signature Required For Delivery
- Headstall, Reins, & Breast Collar Included
- Ties For Accessory Attachment
- Double Reinforced Wood & Fiberglass Tree
This AceRugs gaited western trail saddle is the best trail saddle for a gaited horse. It is made from 100% cowhide, high-quality leather. It is available in four different colors – chestnut, black, brown, and tan.
This trail saddle has a deeper seat that provides enhanced comfort for long hours spent on the trail. There is also an extremely well-padded underskirt that provides your horse with extra comfort on the trails.
This saddle is designed with a wider flared tree, which allows for more space by the shoulder area and proper shoulder movement when your horse is performing its gaits. It also has a rounded skirt which is advantageous for short-backed horses.
There is an element of the class created with this saddle and the hand-carved designs it boasts. There are also numerous rings and ties for saddlebags and any accessories you’d like to bring with you on your trail ride.
This saddle also has in-skirt rigging and leather cinch straps that are reinforced by nylon. This makes the saddle even more safe and secure for those bumpy trail rides.
- Good saddle for the trail
- Secure and safe
- Quite heavy
Acerugs New Comfy Gaited Western Pleasure Trail Show Horse Saddle (Best Lightweight)
- Silver Conchos
- Double Silver Corner Plates
- Soft padded seat
- Adjustable padded Stirrups
- Strong double reinforced fiber glass tree.
The Acerugs Gaited Trail Show Horse Saddle is a synthetic saddle for gaited horses. Because of this, it is exceptionally lightweight, weighing only a mere 17 pounds.
On top of this, the saddle is water-resistant and can be cleaned with a wipe of a damp cloth.
The edges of the saddle are bound with nylon so that they don’t tear, and the saddle boasts silver accents and silver conchos that give it a classic flair.
The saddle is also equipped with memory foam for enhanced comfort on those days when you have to spend hours in the saddle.
- Easy to clean
- Classic look
- It is synthetic, which may make it not last as long as leather
Big Horn Gaited Cordura Saddle (Best Budget)
The Big Horn Gaited Cordura Saddle is one of the best budget gaited saddles that you can get, and can be found between $700 and $830.
It has a soft padded seat made out of suede material, and is available in either 16 or 17”. It is also very lightweight, weighing only 15 pounds, and is great for trail riding.
The tree of the saddle is a 13” Ralide saddle tree. Ralide saddle trees are made out of synthetic material, but they are extremely strong and durable and is the best option out of the synthetic materials.
The stirrups are also Ralide stirrups and have a cushioned foot pad for extra comfort.
This Cordura gaited saddle is all black, sleek, and very aesthetically pleasing. It comes at an extremely good price for what you get and is definitely worth the purchase.
- Looks appealing
- It may not be the best for long rides due to minimal padding
EquiRoyal®Liberty Lane Fox Smooth Seat Saddle (Best Show Saddle)
The EquiRoyal®Liberty Lane Fox Smooth Seat Saddle is one of the best show ring gaited saddles. It is an English saddle and comes at a good price.
This saddle has a unique panel design that allows for a proper fit on gaited horses. It consists of a smooth leather seat, as well as a cutback tree head of 4”.
The two other elements that make it perfect for shows are the girth billet straps that are reinforced by leather, and the recessed safety stirrup bars.
- Good show saddle
- Sleek design
- Not good for trail riding or endurance riding
TN Saddlery Plantation Pleasure Gaited Light Weight Western Leather Saddle (Best Endurance)
The Plantation Pleasure Saddle is designed for comfort, for both you and your horse. They contain a leather seat that is padded with high-density foam, and a neoprene foam underskirt that provides comfort and padding for your horse, too.
These gaited saddles have been designed for long, all-day rides where you’re required to spend hours in the saddle. This is what makes them the best endurance saddle for a gaited horse.
It has a 6 ¾” flared gullet that has been designed for gaited horses particularly. It also has a tree that has been reinforced with both fiberglass and wood, making it extremely strong.
- Very comfortable for the rider and the horse
- Great for endurance
- Only available in one color
Gaited Horse Saddle Buyer’s Guide
Most gaited saddles are made out of either genuine leather or are synthetic.
Synthetic leather looks very similar to leather, but it isn’t nearly as durable. The advantages of having synthetic leather are that it is usually lighter, easier to clean, and comes in a variety of different colors.
Leather saddles are the most common. They are extremely durable, good quality saddles, and will last a decent amount of years.
Some manufacturers like to combine leather with other materials to increase durability. So, if you are after 100% leather, make sure you double-check this.
Flexibility is an important element when buying a gaited saddle. If a saddle is flexible, you can use it to your advantage, as you can twist and turn with it whilst riding. Rigid saddles can be unpleasant and uncomfortable to ride with.
Gaited horses need saddles, and thus saddle bars, that are shorter than other saddles. This is important as it gives your gaited horse freedom and enough space to move.
Most gaited saddles have a western design, and are extremely comfy to ride in, and are made for longer trail rides.
English saddles for gaited horses do also exist but are mostly used for show horses.
Gaited saddles also need to be shorter at the back since gaited horses have shorter backs. It is also recommended that your saddle has an A frame shaped gullet.
The skirt should also be shorter to allow your gaited horse to move without being restrained.
The last thing to note is that your panel needs to be steeper so that the rider’s weight can be distributed evenly on the horse’s back.