he Trail Boss Series from Saddle Barn Inc.
Is popular with trail and pleasure riders.
The seat is available in padded, rough or smooth.
Www.saddlebarn.com 12 Tack ’n Togs Merchandising By Kelly Drobac , Associate Editor W ith saddle trends moving toward people investing in trail saddles, it might be time to reexamine your inventory.
Trail saddles are made with new technology that makes riders and horses comfortable when hitting the trails, making it possible to spend hours upon hours in the saddle.
Rest assured, all those hours are far from wasted from your customer’s point of view. “People are recreational weekend riding,” said Anne Fordyce, marketing media director for Tucker Saddles and Circle Y. “And saddles are being designed for trail riding.” Why trail saddles? The popularity of trail saddles is being seen more and more within the saddle making industry.
It seems more riders want to relax and take a leisurely ride on the trails, compared to competing in the ring.
An aging population of riders (“The Baby Boomers”) are helping create this market for trail saddles.
These riders have more time on their hands to ride for pleasure and at their own pace.
Empty nesters, whose children have grown up and moved out of the house, are finding more time and money to spend on the activities they enjoy.
These people don’t necessarily want to jump and compete anymore, and they’re looking for an all-purpose, comfortable, more secure type of saddle.
The trail saddle is what they’re turning to and demanding. “We have an aging population, and this group often wants to engage less in competition and more in pleasure and trail riding,” said Nancy Temple of Duett Wide Saddles. R einsman’s Elite Trail saddles have a hand- tooled border, grain out seat, engraved silver slotted conchos and easy-to-adjust fenders.
Www.reinsman.com Technology and comfort Comfort is what trail saddles are known for.
Many trail saddles have extra padding on the seat that makes the rider comfortable when sitting in the saddle.
Some manufacturers take comfort to a new level with the technology they put into the seat.
Big Horn’s Infinity Trail Saddle features Sil-Cush.
Sil-Cush is an ultra-durable, anti-microbial silicone foam that is put into the seat of the company’s trail saddles.
The Sil-Cush technology benefits the horse as well, by managing heat and moisture levels on the animal’s body and molding itself to the horse’s shape for a better fit.
Reinsman provides comfort for the horse with the use of their Equi-Fit Evolution Flex tree.
This technology slowly gives pressure allowing the saddle to settle and conform to the horse’s back. > CONTINUED T his Gen II “South Pass” saddle from Tucker Saddles has Gel-Cush and V-Foam padding for extra comfort.
The new golden color is available on all Tucker saddles.
Www.tuckersaddles.com March 2008 13 Western and English Trail Saddlery Tucker Saddles have Gel-Cush, V-Foam, and MicroCell Ventilating leather that provides their saddles with more comfort.
Tucker puts Gel-Cush in the seat of all their saddles.
V-Foam padding covered with MicroCell Ventilating leather is available on the GEN II styles. “Tucker first introduced Gel-Cush about 10 years ago,” said Fordyce. “That really made it possible for weekend trail riders to be comfortable.
They wouldn’t be getting in and out of the saddle as often as in shows; instead they would be in the saddle for hours.” The Gen II saddle from Tucker has its comfort features built in layers.
The gel is built into layers of padding.
A V-Foam (conforming foam) padding on top of the GelCush on the seat is topped with a layer of breathable leather.
It’s not only the trail rider who knows the comfort of a trail saddle, either.
Duett has sold its line of trail saddles to both Park Rangers and Mounted Police in Boston, and to the Mounted Patrol in Atlanta, all of whom spend a great deal of time atop their horses. T he Tango from Duett Wide Saddles is a hybrid trail/dressage model.
A padded seat, broad panels and dressage flaps are featured on this saddle.
Www.duettsaddles.com Variety of styles Because trail saddles are so popular with a lot of riders, they come in many styles.
The beauty of trail saddles is that no special tack or gear is really required.
In most circumstances, the saddle will do.
The trail saddle can be as basic, or as high-tech, as desired.
They come in so many varieties that it makes it easy for riders to find the right one for their needs.
Duett Saddles has been modifying their models to respond to the needs of their customers.
Temple began with the Companion Trail model, with extra padded seat and broad, wool panels with a wide channel—this saddle was modified to produce a second model in the line, the Companion Foxhunter, with a more conservative look.
Duett now offers a third version of the saddle, the Tango, with the padded seat and broad panels of the Companion Trail, but with dressage flaps. P restige’s Trekker, distributed by La Selleria Italia, features big front blocks and a floating seat with a large bearing surface.
This saddle can be completely taken apart by hand if desired.
Www.laselleria.com Trail saddle design A trail saddle is designed specifically for trail use to enhance the enjoyment of riding.
The basic trail saddle has a broad, padded seat supported by foam, gel or webbing.
The stirrups are hung more forward for the rider’s security and comfort.
The design of the trail saddle utilizes a close-contact saddle with cutout skirts, with the tree tapered in the center to improve the rider’s comfort and contact with the horse.
To make it easier for riders to maneuver over tricky terrain, the trail saddle is designed to keep them in the center of the saddle.
The horse also benefits from this center placement by feeling balanced and less fatigued during the ride.
Fenders are placed underneath the saddle and wider stirrups let the rider distribute their weight more evenly.
Tack ’n Togs Merchandising
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