First, let me say thank you for visiting
my web site. I tried to anticipate the different aspects
people want to know about the Sensation models as they
are considering these saddles. The explanations below
will be changed as needed.
Usually customers will look over this
site and then pick up the phone to ask questions that
were not addressed somewhere in the web site. When
they call I like to have a thorough conversation with
my customers that helps me to determine which saddle
and options will best match their riding style and
Please note that the treeless foundation
is the same in all the models.
If you have any comments or suggestions
for other topics you feel would be helpful here please
let me know. I would love to hear from you. The first
question or topic is probably the most frequent. So
let’s get started!
These saddle models offered by Nickers
Saddlery Ltd. are the G3 English
Trail, G3 Dressage (non-trail),
G3 Dressage Trail, G3
Hybrid, G4 Western
Sport Trail and the formal G4 Dressage
Show saddle. The G represents 'generation',
and 3 is the version.
All the models except the Western are
about 19” to 20”
long on the underside, from front to back,
which is the footprint of the saddle. The Western
is about 3 inches longer. The rear skirting, which
is soft and flexible extends out from the cantle about
three inches. This will not interfere with your horses
loins or interfere with the hips in any way.
The flap of the English, Dressage and
Hybrid saddle is the large piece of leather that your
leg is against. All the Sensation models have flaps
except for the Western model. The length of the flaps
is just about the same on all models except the G4
Dressage Show saddle.
Trail, seat size 17” to 17 ½"
(English measuring) - The flap is a more
forward seat flap that bows gently outward as with
many multi-purpose or forward seat English saddles.
Riders with longer hip to knee length and those who
wish to ride with a shorter stirrup may be better
served with the forward flap of the English Trail
saddle. The thigh length can be measured from the
bend of your hip to the bend of your knee.
Trail, seat size 17” to 17 ½”
(English measuring) - The saddle is built
straighter at the front of the flap in comparison
to the English Trail saddle. This is what you might
expect on a dressage saddle.
G3 Dressage, seat size 17” to 17 ½”
(English measuring) - Identical to the Dressage
trail. The ONLY difference is that it has no rear
O rings for saddle bags.
Show, seat size 17” to 17 ½”
(English measuring) - The flap is two inches
longer. The bottom of the flap is styled for a more
traditional look for the show ring.
G3 Hybrid, seat size 15” (Western
measuring) - Built on the dressage flap.
Sport Trail, seat size 15” or
16” (Western measuring)-
Comes in either size (will be referred to in the rest
of this document as simply the western model). It
has fenders, not flaps. Click on the "3 Billet Rigging" tab from the "Saddles
& Pricing" section to see pictures of
how the fenders can be adjusted for your needs.
You can request the flaps on the English
models and the Hybrid to be made one inch to two inches
shorter for $40.00 extra and one to two inches longer
for $50.00 extra.
Your leg length and inseam largely determines
the need for these options. For example, if you have
an inseam of 28” or shorter you will be best
suited to a shorter flap. The hard use stirrup strap
mode is the recommended way to ride the Sensation
saddles. If you are short legged you will not have
enough swing in the stirrups in the hard use mode
which will feel restrictive. Getting a saddle with
the flap 2” shorter will be more comfortable
and provides more swing in the stirrups. If you are
have an inseam of 32” or more and/or ride with
a long leg position you may want a longer flap.
The G3 English Trail, the G3 Dressage
Trail and non-trail, and the Hybrid saddles all have
the "Hard Use"
buckle at the end of the flap. This optimally distributes
the load from the weight applied in the stirrups over
the horses back. And it is the recommend way to use
these saddles. For lightweight and very small riders,
these saddles also offer the use for "Free
Swing" rigging which uses traditional English
leather stirrup straps that attaches to the strap
ring under the saddle seat. Otherwise the 'Hard Use'
rigging is the recommended way to ride in the saddles.
Click on the "Features"
tab for more information on the hard use and free
swing modes and their uses.
The three billet rigging system (still
Hard Use) is used on the Western and G4 Dressage models.
See “3 Billet Rigging” for the Western and the G4 Dressage
three billet system. This rigging allows you to set
the stirrups where you want them, or set the girth
position where it's best for your horse. If you are
short legged, Nickers has stirrup strap & fenders
that work for shorter-legged people.
You can order the three billet system,
for an extra $25.00 on any of the models that normally
do not come with them, IE., the English Trail, G3
Dressage & the Hybrid.
Note to Endurance Riders: Nickers
highly recommends (they would make it a law if
they could) that you use the “Endurance
straps” that hang only on the Hard Use
buckle. The use of the Hard Use strap which goes
across the saddle under the seat is eliminated.
This setup places 100% of the load from the rider’s
weight in the stirrups which gets optimally distributed
up into the flap. Price is $38.00.
The relative heights and shapes of these
pieces will, in part, determine the degree of seat
Trail - The pommel is the lowest of
all the models. It is angled so it slopes away from
the rider, which will give the rider a roomier feel
in the saddle in comparison to the dressage pommel.
The cantle on the English trail is the lowest of the
models at about 2 ½”. The choice of foam,
½”, ¾” or the new firm yet
cushy poron foam will also determine in part how deep
the seat will feel. The ½” will allow
for a deeper seat whereas the ¾” will
be less so.
trail and non trail - This pommel
is just slightly taller than the English trail and
has a steeper more upright angle. This offers more
seat security compared to the English trail. The cantle
is just a little bit higher than the English trail
model, approximately 2 ¾”. The difference
in depth of the seat between the two models is minimal.
- The pommel (swell) is taller and wider (what one
might call an endurance styled pommel). It tends to
tilt back more toward the rider in comparison to the
western pommel (swell). The cantle is taller than
the English trail and the Dressage trail and is a
bit “scoopier” around the rider’s
backside. This seat offers more seat security than
the English or the Dressage saddle. It is meant to
fit the rider in a more snug fashion. Riders who are
a bit on the bigger side may find this saddle a little
too snug compared to the English and Dressage saddle.
I would say this is a saddle that will fit women who
wear a pant size of 13/14 and under. Most average
size men over 185 lbs will find this one too snug.
But this depends on how each person carriers their
- The pommel (swell) on this one is just a little
higher and more upright than on the Hybrid, although
it is hard to see from the pictures. The cantle is
a little taller and a little more scoopy around the
rider’s backside, or 'Bum' as the Canadians
like to call it.
Dressage – The cantle is a bit
higher and the overall feel is that this saddle has
a deep seat, a bit more than the G3 Dressage saddle.
In order from the least secure to the
most secure :
In comparing each model’s level
of seat security, the Western & Hybrid are very
close to each other in this respect. The Hybrid’s
knee roll provides seat security in addition to the
high pommel and cantle. The Dressage and English saddles
are again very similar with the Dressage Trail model
offering just a little deeper seat then the English
Trail saddle. Riders just getting started learning
to ride or riders training and riding young horses
will appreciate a more secure seat.
That being said, if you like the English
trail saddle, for example, but wanted a more secure
seat, the western cantle can be ordered on it. You
can even request the Western or Hybrid pommel (swell)
on it too. There is no extra charge to do this.
I have ridden in all the models now
for some time. I happen to ride gaited horses which
in part influences my own perspective. The thing I
notice most is how each saddle positions me. All of
the models except the Western set me nice and upright.
This is a good thing and is a very correct riding
position. It is very easy to post or two point in
this position. The Western saddle allows me to sit
back into the cantle with a bit more ease as the seat
is flatter and a little more lengthy. This seems to
suit my own riding style well. I really like being
able to choose which billet to place the stirrup straps
on as well. I personally select the most forward billet
for gaited horse riding. I think those wanting to
ride in a more western trail style would also appreciate
All models, even the western, need a
dressage girth. If you supply the heart-girth measurement
of your horse then the girth size can be determined.
The heart-girth is the circumference of your horse’s
barrel in the area where the girth would rest. Place
the tape measure there and go all the way around the
horse’s barrel. Make sure the tape is at the
bottom or base of the wither not on it. An average
size horse will be around a 70” to 74”
or NuBuck for maximum seat security
- The seat tops, knee and thigh rolls and the
flaps on the English models can be made with either
suede or Nubuck leather. NuBuck is very finely sanded
full grain leather. Unlike suede it still has the
skin of the leather intact - meaning it is more durable
than suede - but it will wear smooth in time. NuBuck
has a similar feel to that of micro fiber used to
cover furniture. Some people find regular suede to
be too grippy or that it causes chaffing to one’s
backside. NuBuck is a comfortable alternative and
still has a fair amount of grip. Both suede and NuBuck
will show wear spots in time where there is the most
friction on the saddle. You can purchase replacement
seat tops as a separate purchase for $75.00 as of
2/08. In most cases you can order a suede seat top
for an all leather saddle at no extra charge. The
following section explains the relative grip of “smooth”
- Leather comes in varying degrees of grip, with the
grippiest being “oily” leather (the leather
has a non-glossy appearance and is used for the saddle
flap, but not usually the seat) and the least grippy
“finished” leather having a glossy finish.
Ask what is available at the time you order and you
can be matched up with the leather for the flap that
best suites your riding needs and style best. Suede
seat tops are often requested with an otherwise all
Rings - This is not exactly in the
right section but I wanted you to know that You can
request extra O rings on any of the saddles. The most
requested position is for O rings on the back of the
flap for Stowaway bags. Stowaway rings are standard
on the Hybrid. Rings are also requested on the front
flap, about 8 to 10” down from the knee roll,
to anchor water bottle carriers.
fun!! And it is very important
in the selection and value of the saddle for each
customer. There are so many color options here
it can make your head swim. Go to the Saddles
& Pricing page and then scroll all the way
down to see the options. Suffice it to say that actual
colors such as red, green, purple, blue, pink, etc.
are choices for the seat tops and knee and thigh rolls.
If Nickers has these colors already in stock you can
choose a color at no extra charge. If the hide has
to be special ordered the fee is $100.00 extra for
Cruppers, and Bridles are offered by Nickers
in many different colors of Beta & Biothane to
match your new saddle. I hope to have pictures of
them on the web site soon.
#1 - If you are a larger rider and want
to get a Western made as large as possible here is
what you can do. Get it half an inch longer and get
the smallest cantle put on it which is the English
trail cantle. It is lower and less scoopy which will
open up the seat creating a roomier fit. Keep in mind
that all the Sensation saddles will fit a little roomier
with use. The reason is that all the materials will
stretch out a bit to a certain degree. Also, you can
remove some of the stuffing from the cantle and decrease
the bulk from behind you. Before you do this call
#2 - Make a Hybrid bigger: order it ½”
larger, and put the western pommel (swell) on it.
This pommel tilts more forward opening the seat up
for you a bit more than the standard pommel which
tilts back toward you. You can also opt for one of
the shorter cantles such as the dressage cantle.
#3 - You like the Hybrid or Dressage but
have a long hip to knee length. Simple, order it with
the English flap. Since the flap bows forward a bit
you will have more room for your longer thigh. You
can also opt for a longer seat size too.
#4 - You are 5’0” and want
one of the English models or the Hybrid. Best thing
to do here is to order the saddle two inches shorter.
If you order a Western model you can choose shorter
fenders and stirrups straps.
#5 - You are a petite gal, wearing a size
4 to 6 pant size. Pommel and cantle seat bolsters
placed under the seat will create a smaller seat.
You can use the bolsters on any of the models. Bolsters
are $20.00 each. See the "Features"
section for more information.
Any feature on one saddle can be built
on another model with some limitations. For example,
you can have an English saddle with Dressage flaps,
or, you can have a Western saddle with a Dressage
cantle. The three billet system that is offered on
the Western and the G4 Dressage is available on the
other models for an extra $25.00. Also, the G4 seat
top can be added to your English trail or the G3 Dressage
saddle in place of the regular one for an extra $25.00.