Has anyone used a Cashel Soft Saddle?

Last post 12-10-2011 10:26 AM by Jako. 7 replies.
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  • 08-26-2009 9:20 PM

    Has anyone used a Cashel Soft Saddle?

    I'm thinking about getting a Cashel Soft Saddle.  I've seen them in catalogs but don't want to spend the money if I won't like it because it feels too slippery or not secure enough, etc.  My mare is a 27 yr old TB and my Western saddle no longer fits as well as it once did.  I've noticed her back is sensitive after a ride, which may be saddle fit or weak, tired muscles, or both.  I like the idea of the soft saddle for more security than bareback (thought I do enjoy that) without the stiffness of a conventional English or Western saddle.  I only ride once or twice a week, mostly walk/trot with some canter when she's up for it.  Any experiences with this type of saddle?

  • 08-27-2009 5:15 AM In reply to

    Re: Has anyone used a Cashel Soft Saddle?

    Here's a link to a review I read.. Although I personally do not have experience with this saddle.



  • 08-27-2009 7:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Has anyone used a Cashel Soft Saddle?

    Yes.  They are awful.

    The poor design means it put you in a chair seat immediately, so if you want to ride in a balanced and correct fashion, you have to constantly fight the thing.  Plus, I am just wholly against putting stirrups on what is essentially a bareback pad, it can be quite dangerous in a spook or fall.

    Add to that your horse already is backsore -- which means riding with less weight distribution/shock absorption (i.e. bareback or essentially so) may be a bad idea for her.  A well fitted English saddle will distribute your weight much better across a horse's back than just plopping on there bareback, especially if the horse is already sore.

    Solaris -- 16 hh Appendix Quarter Horse = MY DREAM COME TRUE!
    We Are Flying Solo
  • 08-27-2009 9:05 AM In reply to

    Re: Has anyone used a Cashel Soft Saddle?

    I have to agree with Solaris, though I don't have any experience on that saddle. I think that "soft" saddles are not good for the horse in general, regardless of brand. The saddle tree is made to protect the horse's back from the rider, and with no tree that protection is gone. A well-fitting saddle is better for the horse AND the rider, and keeps the rider where they should be. To help your aged mare, have a saddle fitter look at her, tell the fitter what kind of budget you have, and follow the fitter's advice. If the mare's back muscles are weak and prone to soreness, the last thing you want to do is flop around on them in a soft "anything". She needs the suppport of a WELL-fitting saddle. 

    And yes, an English saddle is lighter and shorter than a Western saddle, easier on the back. Even if you don't ride English, do it for her.


    "The horse you get off is not the horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better."


  • 11-09-2011 8:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Has anyone used a Cashel Soft Saddle?

     I know this post is a few years old but I love my Cashel - I have a gaited horse and I use to it everyday while doing arena work. The stirrups are placed back so they don't pull on the withers and it's great to feel the horse's movement as you ride. It has really helped me feel the horse better and I recommend it to anyone. While maybe using a big bulky saddle with a tree is better for long rides I think riders will feel a much better connection with their horse using a Cashel. It's really great for giving lessons too - fits most people and molds to most horses. 

  • 11-20-2011 7:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Has anyone used a Cashel Soft Saddle?

     I knew one lady who got one for Christmas and loved it for a while.  She didn't have the stirrups, and all was fine until she was out riding in the snow and the seat got slippery, her horse spooked at something and she fell and broke her back.  Personally I won't get one.

  • 11-20-2011 3:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Has anyone used a Cashel Soft Saddle?

     Sorry to hear about your friend. I've ridden mine in the rain and the seat is made of a thick rubber so instead of getting slippery it actually absorbs the water and just makes your butt wet. I think most people being critical of the Cashel need to realize it's a really good tool to have in your arsenal of horse tack. I still have my regular saddles that I use for trail riding but the Cashel is so easy to use and comfortable for the horse and rider that it makes daily exercising fun. I recommend the Cashel as a spare saddle that gives you more security than a bareback pad and allows riders to feel the horse. I am not suggesting to buy a Cashel and no other saddle, most trainers I deal with have one for lessons and training. 

  • 12-10-2011 10:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Has anyone used a Cashel Soft Saddle?

    I love mine.  The only feature I wish it had is a ring for a crupper as it tends to slide forward going down steep trails, and yes I ride mind everywhere.  My horse didn't like steep trails until I got mine and I didn't like having a sore ***, either.  Now we're both happy.  I noticed that they no longer make them, but if you can find one, you should get it.   They are great.  Have fun and be safe.

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