What Is the Difference Between a Gaited Horse Saddle & a Western Saddle?

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Horses must have properly fitting saddles in order carry a rider comfortably. If your gaited horse's saddle does not fit him correctly, he may be uncomfortable or develop back problems when you ride him. Key to proper fit are a saddle's "trees," specially designed inner structures whose shapes determines what type of horse the saddle will fit.

Saddle Design

Gaited horse saddles do not appear any different than regular saddles. Gaited saddles can be English or Western. The difference between a gaited Western saddle and a normal Western saddle is the shape of the tree. Gaited horses move differently than their non-gaited peers. Because of their unique movements, gaited horses require saddles with trees that are shaped differently than saddles for normal horses. The tree of a gaited horse saddle has been specially designed to allow for the gaited horse's unique movements, freeing the shoulders and back to move freely in his specialized gaits.

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    Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.