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Don West, a professional horseman, nationally acclaimed clinician, gaited horse guru, and author of the award winning book “Have Saddle- Will Travel Low Impact Trail Riding and Horse Camping” designed and field tested the HS-WT product line. Don first started breeding, training, and showing gaited horses in 1980 when he switched breeds from Appaloosas to Peruvian Pasos. He soon realized that ordinary “Western” saddles just didn’t work on gaited horses. So, he set out to design a saddle that would be comfortable for the horse, comfortable and secure for the rider, and be something to be proud to own and ride. The first Don West Saddles were offered to the gaited horse public in 1987 under the banner Have Saddle-Will Travel. Don West Gaited Trail Saddles were the first saddles developed in North America specifically for the gaited trail horse market.

Don West says, "I consider myself to be very fortunate to have been able to do what I love doing for a living. My satisfaction comes from knowing that HS-WT provides top quality saddles and tack to today’s discriminating trail riders. If you’re riding a gaited, paso, or short backed horse, I feel confident that we can provide you with the best training and trail riding saddle in the market today. That’s why I hope that you will take the time to review the attached article with the goal of helping you understand the importance of a proper saddle fit. In the twenty years I've been designing and producing saddles, its always been, and will always be my mission to make your investment provide you and your horse with many years of comfort, and pleasure".

Each Don West Saddle is built on a Don West designed tree for ultimate fit, comfort, and security for both horse and rider. This tree puts the rider in the correct position for training, trail riding, and naturally gaited horse "sit-down equitation". The forward hung, free swinging stirrup leathers and our in-skirt, bulk-less rigging enhances rider closeness. All Don West Saddles feature top quality materials and the finest Made in the U.S.A workmanship...at a sensible price. Don't you and your horse deserve the best? Why Settle for less??

Naturally gaited horses, paso horses, and short backed horses all benefit from a close-fitting, short-barred tree that makes even contact with the horse's back between the pommel and cantle. Don West Saddles effectively spread the rider's weight over the largest area of the horse's back, without interfering with the horse's shoulder action. A rider's weight change must be transmitted immediately and accurately to the horse without causing pain or discomfort. Consequently, devices that dull the communications between rider and horse are neither required nor desired.
All Don West Saddles feature padded and stitched rough-out seats, western fenders with blevins buckles, latigos and latigo keepers on both sides, crupper and breast collar d-rings, and footmen's loops (metal brackets) with rings for attaching the long leather strings.

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