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Horse Saddle Reviews

Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle On Sale Now

The Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle is made for hard-to-fit horses. What kinds of horses are those you ask? Well, it’s time to talk about gaited horses and what these breeds need in a saddle. Then we’ll talk about the Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle (broken down below).

What’s a Gaited Horse?

A gaited horse moves a little differently than other horses. That’s because no matter their stride, one hoof is always on the ground. This style of movement allows the horse to conserve energy while trotting. Gaited breeds were bred for traveling since their distinct gaits gave them more stamina and endurance.

Typically, a gaited horse will have a four-beat gait where its hooves follow a pattern if observed closely (right hind, right front, left hind, left front). When watching a gaited horse walk from the side, you’ll also likely notice that the legs on one side move together forward and back.

This movement is popular because it eliminates the sometimes jarring movement of a regular horse’s trot.

Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle…
Does my gaited horse really need a special saddle?

Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle

Some will say that a gaited saddle is just a fancy way of getting money out of your pocket. However, anyone who has invested in a gaited horse should also know that a saddle’s fit goes a long way to making your horse comfortable. Many suggest going with a treeless saddle, and while that may work for some riders, it probably won’t be comfortable for a shorter rider on a wide horse.

Regular horse vs. gaited horse saddle

Think of it like this: you wouldn’t stick a saddle made for Quarter Horses on a Shetland Pony. Certain conformations need special consideration. Gaited horse breeds are built differently, and their movement makes it difficult to find an appropriate saddle that isn’t made for gaited horses.

Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle

This is why it’s important information to know all aspects of the horse and its tack before purchasing either. If you purchase a gaited horse and only have a saddle made for a narrow horse, you’ll likely need a new saddle as they’re usually built wider than most horse breeds.

The Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle…
What’s to a gaited saddle?

This is a new phenomenon. Before around 1996, all saddle trees were designed to fit Quarter Horses. When research showed the benefits of saddle fit, gaited riders took notice and began looking for saddles that helped (rather than hindered) their horses’ movement.

Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle

The main difference between a gaited saddle and a typical western saddle is the shape of the tree. Now, a gaited saddle can be English or Western, but that tree design is made so the gaited horse’s shoulders and back are free to move in their specialized gaits. Gaited horses also carry their heads higher to assist in their gaits. Because of this, the gullet height is higher.

Got a gaited saddle recommendation?

14″ to 17″ Circle Y Alabama Flex2 Trail Gaiter Saddle 1581 w/Free Pad

Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle

List Price: $2,365
Our Price: $2,150

Skirt Size: 15″ seat = 25″, 16″ seat = 26″, 17″ seat = 27″
Weight: Approximately 25 lbs.
Tree: Trail Gaiter Flex2 Regular and Wide

My Circle Y Alabama Flex2 Trail Gaiter Saddle Conclusion

A special horse with special movement deserves the Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle. This saddle is customizable to fit a wide range of gaited breeds and their riders.

Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle

Not only that, but your horse will have a greater range of motion thanks to the NeoShock skirt with its shorter, rounded design. The leather is Circle Y’s Softee leather, which means the saddle is ready to go and is pretty much already broken in straight out of the box.

The Ergo-Balance stirrups are designed to help relieve the fatigue felt by the knees and ankles on rides.

Odds are that you’ve bought a gaited horse for its comfortable stride. Why wouldn’t you get a saddle that ensures both of you are comfortable? Was my Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle Review helpful?

If you’d like to read more trail saddle reviews, read my Circle Y Omaha Flex2 Trail Saddle Review.


  • Milionária says:

    I love reading your articles! I’ve learned so much about different breed of horses and the accessories needed to ride one. Horses are not all the same so it does make sense having a gaiter saddle that fits the sort of breed you have and the Circle Y Alabama Fex2 Trail Gaiter looks gorgeous.

    Thank you

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi there. Thanks for your feedback. I’m really glad you’re enjoying my articles. Yes, no two horses are the same. So it’s important to understand what kind of horse you have, high withered, flat back, etc. before you buy a saddle. If you try to fit saddles on the horse that are ill-fitted, both you and your horse will suffer. The Alabama Flex2 Trail Gaiter is gorgeous. If there’s anything else I can do for you, please email me at info@horsesaddlecomparison.com

  • Ceci says:

    Hi Shalisha,
    I love the comfortable stride of a gaited horse precisely because it does not have the uneven and jarring movement experienced ridaing a regular horse. It is oftentimes difficult to find the right gaiter saddle fit. I definitely like the Circle Y Alabama Flex 2 Trail Gaiter Saddle because it is customizable.


    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Ceci. Thanks for your input. Yes, it makes sense that a gaited horse would make one feel from steady because of the predictability of the horse’s gait. You’re absolutely right. It’s hard to find the right gaiter saddle. And most people don’t know that they need a saddle specific to the gaited horse, which ends up hurting the horse. So glad you found this article informative. Please stop by again.

  • Dan says:

    Thanks for this great review and explanation of the trail gaiter saddle. my daughter rides every week and is obsessed with horses and riding – she is currently learning dressage – would this saddle be suitable for this? She desperately wants to own a horse and I often hear her talking about cWD saddles which I guess are also a well respected brand. If we ever manage to buy her a horse I will definitely keep your site bookmarked for future reference.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Dan. Thanks for your question.  I’m so happy for your daughter and her love of horseback riding. As for my answer to your question: 

      Western Dressage can be practiced in any saddle or style of riding – this is one of the best things Western Dressage. However, in order to compete, the saddle must meet certain requirements: WDAA Saddle Rules It must be recognizable as a standard, working, native or Australian stock saddle, or a Western Side Saddle. I don’t know if this Circle Y saddle meets the WDAA saddle rules. 

      I hope my answer is helpful. 

  • Aly says:

    Thanks for the details on the Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter Saddle. I know that horse owners want to make sure that their horse is comfortable and easily able to move around for the full length of the day. For that reason, it’s smart to find specialized gear like a gaiter saddle for horses that are bred for this to make sure they can keep a comfortable stride.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Aly. A lot of horse owners don’t understand the importance of saddle fit. They’re more concerned with their own comfort and don’t take into account the horse’s comfort. Unfortunately, the horse suffers. That’s why I’m so glad that Circle Y focuses on comfort for both rider and horse. And this Circle Y Alabama Trail Gaiter saddle fits the bill. Please stop by again.

  • chinthaka says:

    I’m not familiar with this niche. But I found this article interesting. I got to learn about various saddle types from your post. So, it’s new info for me to learn about gaited breeds and the specific saddles that are needed to fit these type horses. Thanks so much for this information. 

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, there are so many different type saddles for different events/functions. And horses come in many different types and sizes. So they too need to be fitted specifically for saddles in order for the rider and the horse to ride comfortably. I’m glad my post was helpful to you.

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