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Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles – On Sale Now

Western trail saddles. They’re designed to keep you and your horse comfortable over miles on the trail.  So how do you choose one?  Looking for the best lightweight Western trail saddles on the market can sometimes be difficult.

What should you look for? What kind of material should they be made from?

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles

I’ve decided to make the task a little easier for you by listing a few of (in my humble opinion) some of the best lightweight Western trail saddles on the market, and what you should look for in a trail saddle.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles – Why Is Fit So Important?

Initially, you’ll look for the quality of materials in a trail saddle. You’ll also focus on design in your initial considerations. Once you’ve zeroed in on a few models, you’ll focus on fit.

Fit is important because the more time you spend in a saddle, the more good fit becomes a critical factor. How so?

Here’s how.

While a minor imperfection in an arena saddle may have zero (or very minor) consequences because you’re only going to be sitting in the saddle for an hour, that same imperfection can cause significant soreness for both you and your horse after riding all day on a trail over various terrain.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles – So What’s The Solution?

Fortunately, quite a few saddleries have and continue to cater to the needs of trail riders.  Horse saddle manufacturers such as Abetta, Cashel and Circle Y (and a whole host of other manufacturers) are stepping up to the plate, offering many options for lightweight Western trail saddles.

That being said, I have to say when looking for some of the best lightweight Western saddles, “lightweight” is relative.

Considering some Western saddles can weigh up to 60 pounds, a saddle that weighs between 17 and 25 pounds is definitely considered lightweight.

So let’s start with one of my favorites – Abetta Saddles.Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles – Abetta Sublime Super Cushion Trail Saddle 20500

Abetta uses Ralide tree in this particular trail saddle. Ralide is a mold-injected polyethylene.  Polyethylene is a tough, light, flexible synthetic resin. It’s used for making food containers, plastic bags and other kinds of packaging that require durability.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles – Is a Molded Tree Good?

What’s great about using a molded tree is that each saddle comes out perfectly. And when you sew the parts on to cover the mold, it fits like a glove – always.

Abetta makes trees to shape many breeds, including draft and gaited horses.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles – What Materials Are Used?

The outer shell of the Abetta Sublime Super Cushion Trail Saddle 20500 is made with tough, scratch resistant, 1000-denier nylon, which is laminated to shock absorbing Super Cushion Memory Foam for a comfortable seat.

The foam and denier nylon are water resistant.

Special Features

Shock absorbing foam for a comfortable ride. Built on Ralide Tree (which makes it super lightweight), with 7/8 position, leather reinforced half-breed rigging stainless steel hardware.

Weight: 17 pounds

Price: $517.95

Let’s take a look at my next pick for a lightweight Western saddle trail, which is a bit more expensive.

Now keep in mind, just as cheap doesn’t always mean poor quality, expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a good fit for you and your horse.

But I think The Cashel Lite Trail Saddle CLT is an exception.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles – Cashel Lite Trail Saddle CLT

If you’re searching for the perfect mix of efficiency and ease, you’ll find it in the Cashel Lite Trail Saddle CLT.   This Lite Trail saddle gives the perfect blend of tactical riding features without breaking yours (or your horse’s) back with excessive weight.

What Materials Are Used?

The trees used at Cashel are wooden and handmade, one by one – not mass produced. The saddles are then carefully dried to avoid warping. Then fiberglass is used to finish the saddle for extra strength to prevent future warping.

As wood is heavier than plastic, that means it’s slightly heavier.

Special Features:

As you know, riding trails vary. If you’re riding over rocky terrain, the rough-out seat jockey and fenders provide extra grip for this sort of advanced trail riding.

And the cantle keeps you locked on the correct, as well as comfortable, riding position.

This light saddle comes with lots of strings for all your trail riding needs. The breast collar and flank strap are included. Cashel exclusively offers a cool skirt padding design as well.

Weight: 19-20 pounds

Price: $1,088.99

Lastly, we have the Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665, which is chock full of benefits for the horse and the rider (but especially the horse) so I’m super excited about this saddle.

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles – Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665

This saddle has lots of beneficial features for both rider and horse. First, there’s comfort for the rider. The saddle has an impact foam seat, known for one of the best seats you can find in the industry, which your butt will be thankful for after a long trail ride.

This saddle also has a close contact cut skirt, which makes for a great arena/trail saddle combo for all-around type pleasure work.

Ergonomic Stirrups

The stirrups are EBS stirrups. That means the cone bar helps tip the stirrup so it’s in a more ergonomic position for your foot, which you’ll notice that at the end of a long ride.

Now, what about comfort for the horse?

This saddle has a Neo Shock Skirt filler in which they take neoprene and fill the skirts underneath the leather, so it reduces shock on impact.

In addition to the neo shock feature, the horse has tunnel skirting.

A lot of saddles are closed off in the back. But with this saddle, you can look in the front of the saddle straight to the back. This feature allows more airflow and keeps your horse cooler.

Fits All Horse Sizes

This awesome saddle comes with a shorter skirt and comes in medium wide and extra wide flex2 tree, so you can get a fit for any horse. That means that if you have a high withered horse, mutton withered horse, or short back horse, this saddle will fit them.

What Materials Are Used?

This Circly Y saddle tree is coated with DURAhide to ensure that it stays strong and resistant to the elements.

Special Features

This saddle features Circle Y’s latest technology of high density and low-density bars. This ensures that the saddle conforms to your horse’s back, even while in motion.

Another special feature of this saddle is the Neo Shockprene, which reduces shock on impact, and tunnel skirting.

How does it work?

Here’s how it works. There are 2 layers. The high-density portion above gives support under the rider’s seat, while the low-density bar, which is next the horse’s back, is more flexible.

The tree in the middle is rigid, but its outer edges flex whenever the horse moves.

ErgoBalance Stirrups

The stirrups are EBS (ErgoBalance Stirrups), which means the stirrups give a more ergonomic position for your foot.

Softee leathers ready to go out the box (which are 2 softer pieces of leather that have been stitched together. It comes in sizes that fit all horses.

Weight: 25 pounds

Price: $1,875.00

Best Lightweight Western Trail Saddles – And The Winner Is…

So, which are the best lightweight Western trail saddles?

Well, out of all of the saddles I featured in this article, I think the best lightweight Western saddle is the Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665


While the other 2 lightweight trail saddles I mentioned weigh in at 17 and 18 pounds, the Circle Y Pioneer Flex2 Trail Saddle 1665, even though it weighs in at 25 pounds, has a lot more features that are comfortable for both rider and horse.

The fact that Circle Y places emphasis on the horse’s comfort in this saddle is what sold me on this saddle.

I definitely wouldn’t mind 8 more pounds on a saddle if I had the reassurance that the saddle can:

• Fit any horse type
• Assure me that my feet wouldn’t be sore
• Allow the horse’s back to breathe
• Conform to the horse’s back when moving
• Resist to all elements

I hope you enjoyed my take on the best lightweight Western saddles.

Was this post was helpful to you?  Do you have any questions about lightweight saddles? Or, maybe you’re on a budget and want to try used saddles?  Please leave your questions and comments below!


  • Anita says:

    Thank you for that concise review of saddles. I love my 35 pound saddle but continue to look for something a little more light weight as I and my horse age.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi there Anita. Thanks for your comment. I agree with you. As horses age, they’re not able to carry as much weight as they could when they were younger. I’m just wondering, what kind of riding do you do? Are you a rancher? Do you just do trail riding? If you just do trail riding, I highly recommend buying one of our lighter saddles by Circle Y. If the cost is too high, you can trade your 35 pound saddle in and buy a used or new saddle at the Horse Saddle Shop. At the Horse Saddle Shop, you’re guaranteed money back if your saddle doesn’t fit. They have a consignment program too.

  • Carla Valente says:

    I’ve always been an English writer but I have now acquired a horse that I have to ride western. This saddle that you speak of I was wondering would it be good for ring work and like ranch riding if I was showing? Right now we’re doing a lot of ring work. I really need some thing light weight because these other saddles I pick up or so heavy and I feel bad for the horse.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Carla. Thanks for your question. Always remember, there are different types of saddles for different specific uses.

      Show saddles are specifically for showing in the ring. They’re designed to look beautiful. They’re also designed so that the horse can feel the rider’s cues easily. Trail saddles are for pleasure riding on the trail – as opposed to ranch saddles. Ranch saddles are to do work on the farm. Then there are saddles specifically for western sports – like barrel racing, roping, cutting.

      My suggestion to you is to first, figure out what specifically you want to do with the horse. Once you know what you want to do, then you can decide what type of saddle you’ll need. Every type of saddle has lighter weight versions. I hope this helps.

  • Linda Mitts says:

    First thanks for an informative article. I am looking for a very light weight saddle I’m 78 and have had bilateral shoulder issues, but I most of all want my horses to be comfortable. Will the Circle Y saddle fit different horses. I have 4 horses, 2 that I may ride and they are built quite differently. One is Arabian/Mustang cross the other is a rather large Appaloosa.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Linda. Thanks for your question. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t advise you what type of saddle you should get with respect to your shoulder injury. As for saddles for your horses, it really depends on the type of horse you have and the size of their backs. If their backs widely differ in size, you’ll have to get different saddles. However, if you contact The Horse Saddle Shop, via their chat button and talk to them about your horses, the types you have and their back shape, they will be better able to advise you as to whether you can use one type of saddle for all of your horses.

  • Tom says:


    This is a great article for me because my niece goes horse riding a lot and her parents struggle with the saddles. I totally believe that they will learn a lot from you and your articles. I have forwarded this article on to them and I have advised them to get in touch. At the moment they are not riding due to the pandemic here in the UK and we are going back into full lockdown. But, it will be good for them to make the choice of saddle now, so they are ready when they go back to riding.

    I will let you know their thoughts on the saddles and what they choose.

    Stay safe and well.


    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Tom. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I always appreciate when people share my content with others. I’m also glad my content is helpful to others.

  • Tara says:

    Thanks for the information. I’m starting to do research to replace a cutting saddle with a trail saddle. I have only rediscovered riding for about a year, and trail riding is the kind of riding I do most of the time. I don’t have much knowledge about saddles, so I am spending time researching, and your article is helping me get started.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Tara! Thanks for stopping by. Always remember, when picking a saddle, you have to know what the intended purpose is of that saddle. A reining saddle is designed with the movements of reining in mind, circles, spins, speed, and sliding stops. The saddle seat sits low on the horse’s back so that the rider is able to roll their pelvis back when performing the sliding stop. The skirts are close contact to allow for a better horse to rider communication.

      Trail saddles are made to be lightweight. They are for going up and down trails. They are not designed for roping, heavy ranch work, quick maneuvers, or quick start and stop like the reining saddle. What is it that you intend to do with this saddle? What kind of riding do you have in mind?

  • Wendi says:

    Hi there. This was a very in-depth review of a few different types of saddles. I like the Circle Y saddle mainly because their focus was also on the safety and comfort of the horse.
    All the best.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Wendi. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and comment on it. I agree with you. Any saddle company that specifically (or equally) focuses on the horse’s comfort, is a favorite of mine as well.

  • The article was very informative and gave me good advice if I would buy a saddle for my horse. I have to admit that I know very little about horse riding but now I know a lot about what makes a good saddle 🙂

    Thank you!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Thank you for your comment Geir! I’m glad this information was helpful to you if you decide to start riding horses. Yes, it’s so important to buy the right saddle for your horse.

  • Andrew says:

    Another great article, as usual. I have learned a few new things about saddles today!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Thank you Andrew. What specifically did you learn?

  • Tim says:

    I like the looks of you sublime super cushion trail saddle 20500. The saddle looks so comfortable. The details you have on each of these saddles is great with the materials used and all. Thank you for this great article.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Tim. Thanks for your comment. I thought it was important to let the reader know in detail what the saddle material is made from so that they can decide how easy the saddle is to clean. That plays a significant factor (saddle care) in whether people want to buy a particular saddle.

  • Walt says:

    So thorough, clear and easy to read. I liked how you considered horse and rider keeping in mind overall value. Very helpful!
    Thank you

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Thank you Walt. The horse really has to be the priority as they can’t do anything to communicate to us when they’re in pain.

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