Trail saddles, also often referred to as pleasure saddles, are designed with the comfort of the rider in mind. These saddles are intended for riders who spend long hours on the trail each day, but many riders use pleasure saddles for most or all of their everyday riding.
Trail saddles come with a variety of different features. Most trail saddles are lightweight, which benefits the horse who wears the saddle for long periods of time. Trail saddles tend to have round skirts which allow the horse full movement of his body. Saddles usually have double rigging which helps to keep them secure on rough trails or steep inclines. Many riders use breast collars to further stabilize their saddles.
Trail saddles usually feature padded seats for improved rider comfort. The cantle is usually a medium height so that you can still easily mount and dismount, but you also have the support of the cantle behind you. The saddle horn is usually thin so that you can hold onto it, and the stirrups tend to be wide to provide you a more comfortable base.
You may find some trail saddles are synthetic; this material further reduces the weight of the saddle while also minimizing the cost and maintenance required.
When choosing a trail saddle, it’s a good idea to make a list of the features that you’re looking for. Make sure that you’re completely comfortable in your trail saddle, since you’ll be spending many hours in it.