A horse saddle is the most crucial piece of equipment when owning a loving horse, for the right one will make you and your horse happy. But it's confusing to choose a comfortable saddle. No doubt you will find the ideal one eventually but you may waste a lot of time with trial and error. Therefore, before you decide to buy, you'd better listen to the advice of saddle experts who can put you on the right path towards your perfect saddle in a short time.
It's essential to think about the style of horse saddle you need as it needs to suit the sport, like dressage, show jumping, western pleasure and saddle-seat classes require very distinctive styles.
The most two popular horse saddles are the English saddle and Western trail saddle. The Western saddle was designed for cowboys who spent long days riding the range, driving and working cattle and the English saddles are used to ride horses in English riding disciplines throughout the world, and each of these two types contain other specific categorize, such as the flowing saddles.
1. General Purpose Saddle (English Saddle): These are ideal for the beginner and intermediate rider who has just bought their first horse and enjoys various types of riding.
2. Dressage Saddle (English Saddle): Dressage saddles are designed for advanced riders who are regularly competing in the competitions.
3. Reining Saddle (Western Saddle): Reining Saddles are designed for the sport of reining, a competitive event that involves meticulous patterns of circles, spins, and sliding stops.
4. Roping Saddle (Western Saddle): A roping saddle has double rigging and a large diameter and well-anchored horn, and it is designed for demanding use and maximum freedom of movement for the rider.
You don't need to have all the saddles for every activity where you are going to participate, and you just buy one that is fit for you in the most usual activities.
Leather Saddles: That is the traditional material from which saddles are made and most people's first choice, but some leather turns out to be made of the poor quality that is not worthy the money. Traditionally most English saddles are made in Walsall where they have the expertise and skills to produce the world's best quality handmade English saddles.
Synthetic Saddles: Synthetic Saddles are cheaper and tend to be lighter and much easier to clean especially now the technique has improved massively in recent years, some have become good enough to be mistaken as leather. If your budget is not sufficient, they deserve a look.
A saddle should both fit for the horse and for the rider. The width of the gullet is a main factor to dictate whether it will fit your horse, as all horse's backs are not created equal. If the gullet is too wide, the saddle will press down on the withers; if the gullet is too narrow, the saddle will pinch. Other considerations include pommel and cantle level, in other words, if a saddle tips backwards or forwards, it makes it difficult for you to maintain your position.
What's more, to choose a suitable size is not only concerned about your height and weight for the two people of the same height and weight with different waist and thigh measurements could need different seat sizes but the information of height and weight can help finding a starting point. Here's a guide table that can be reference. Make sure to sit on your saddle and test the size before you ride in it.
|Youth||10" to 12"||12" to 13"||13"|
|Roping||12"||12" to 13"||13" to 15"||14" to 16"||15"+|
|Pleasure / Trail||10" to 12"||12" to 13"||13" to 15"||14" to 16"||15"+|
|Barrel||10" to 12"||12" to 13"||13" to 14"||14" to 15"||15"+|
|Rancher||12"||12" to 13"||13" to 15"||15" to 16"||15.5"+|
|Cutter||14" to 15.5"||15.5" to 16"||16"+|
|Reiner||13" to 15"||14" to 16"||15"+|
It's easy to saddle your horse but you still need to know the right procedure. These instructions apply to both an English and Western saddle, and the only difference lies in doing up the cinch, here we use an English saddle as an example.
• Preparing Your Horse: Grooming your horse with a soft brush to ensure that your horse's hair is clean.
• Check Your Gear: To avoid any foreign objects that could cause irritation to your horse.
• Set The Saddle Pad On Your Horse And Position The Blanket Or Pad: To make the fold go to the front when the blanket is on the horse. The western saddle pad doesn't require folding. For an English saddle pad, there are tabs and ties that should be on the top side, not against the horse.
• Lift The Saddle On: Be careful not to injure yourself and find assistance if you have difficulty in lifting the saddle.
• Check Both Sides Of The Saddle: To remove wrinkles beneath the saddle on both sides.
• Fasten Cinch Or Girth
• Check The Girth Buckles Or Cinch Straps: Make the horse step forward, wait a moment for it to exhale and tighten the girth gently again.
• Help The Saddle Settle And Remove Wrinkles