Our Saddles for Mongolian Trail Horses
At Stone Horse, we pay much attention to quality field gear, and obviously the right saddles for expedition riding in Mongolia are essential to enhance safety and comfort for horse and rider on our extended wilderness treks.
Lightweight and Robust Trail Riding Saddles
Stone Horse Saddles, from our own saddlery workshop, are lightweight and robust Western trail riding saddles. Years of expeditions have proven they are well suited for back country travel in rough terrain and in all seasons in Mongolia, from summer heat to subzero temperatures.
An important feature of our saddles for expedition riding in Mongolia is their good fit for Mongolian horses. The bars of the tree of our saddles are at a fitting angle for the smaller Mongolian horses, a bit steeper than for a larger horse. This angle, and the shape of the fork of the saddle tree make Stone Horse Saddles very well suited for the Mongolian horses that are typically rather high withered and of narrower built. The bars of the tree, the inner frame of the saddles, are shaped to fit the horses back. They are not a straight board, but they are shaped so as to naturally sit in the right place, in the pocket below the horse’s withers and on the horses back, but clear off the withers and the spine of the horse. The added sheepskin, and the standard double saddle blanket we use, provide a comfortable saddle fit for our trail horses
High Quality Materials
Stone Horse Saddles are hand made from the finest raw materials, namely top grade saddlery leather from the USA. This leather is crafted from steer hide, the thickest and strongest material, and vegetable tanned to create its excellent properties for saddlery. The hardware, – buckles, rings and snaps -, are also high quality, brass or stainless steel. Natural shearling (sheepskin) provides a thick layer on the inside of the bars.
Stone Horse Saddles have a seat that is built for comfort and balance. They typically have a high cantle that give the rider a secure seat even during long hours of trail riding in challenging back country.
Other important features of our expedition saddles are a crupper and breastplate to keep the saddle from sliding forward or backward on steep descents and ascents. A Mongolian horse new to our herd and their expedition job may at first object to a crupper, but on the first steep slope we ride down, they will understand the function, and most horses aid that function by pinching the crupper with their tail.
Our saddles are fitted with endurance stir-ups, that have a large and padded tread to counteract pain or fatigue of the foot on long rides.
Probably the most important safety feature of our guest saddles is the safety cage of the stir-up to prevent a rider’s foot from ever getting caught in a stir-up while getting on or off the horse, or in the event of a fall.
While our saddles are one important element of our overall approach to optimizing safety, the other aspects of course are our horses, and the skills, knowledge and attitude of our team running the expeditions.
Our horses, owned and cared for year-round by us, are another important safety factor. We know each individual and can match a horse to the riding experience of our guests. Our horses are a herd and know each other, and their jobs. When on the trail with more than twenty pack and saddle horses, this makes a big difference, compared to trekking with rented horses.
It is also very enjoyable and ads a lot of fun to see the interactions and antics of our equine team members on the trail. Our riding guests always enjoy getting to know and bonding with their trail horse. Learn more..
Safety is the highest priority on our adventures, and our riding guests appreciate the quality, comfort and safety features of our saddles, and other riding equipment. Learn more..
The Story of Stone Horse Saddles
The story of Stone Horse Saddles is embedded in that of Stone Horse Expeditions. Our wilderness horse treks originate from our own early horseback explorations in Gorkhi Terelj National Park and into the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area. While we worked with National Parks in various parts of Mongolia, we spent summers riding in the Khentii mountains, exploring the trails that were to become our expedition routes.
Our own Saddlery Workshop
Sabine’s interest in saddle making had grown over these early years of riding in Mongolia’s wilderness. Finally in 2007, she attended Sierra Saddlery School in New Mexico, USA, to learn the craft of saddle making. Having trained to make classic Western saddles, she designed and built a prototype “Stone Horse Saddle” soon after her own workshop was up, and our light weight, robust saddles for expedition riding in Mongolia were born. We have made slight changes and keep innovating to maximize benefits for back country trekking.