The most expensive item of equipment you will likely purchase after buying your horse is a saddle. It can be a bit complicated when it comes to saddles and saddle fitting, especially for new horse owners or riders. There are other factors to take into account, like your body type, the type of riding you practice, your budget, your horse’s build, and many others. Continue reading to know how to pick a horse saddle.
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What Kind Of Saddle To Buy?
When purchasing your first saddle, one of the first things to think about is the kind of saddle to purchase. You should be aware of the basic distinctions between the saddles according to their intended purpose.
The jumping saddle’s design gives the rider a good leg position that enables dynamic lifts during leaps. Shorter flaps allow for a correct knee bend that is much greater than in other sports.
Provides for comfortable sitting or prolonged standing in the stirrups. They are often lightweight and built in a minimalistic style. They offer the maximum level of comfort for the rider and the horse.
All Purpose Saddle
combines the uses of a jumping saddle and a dressage saddle. When riding, they offer a ton of comfort. They don’t use their shapes to compel a particular position. They permit a free rider to ride along. With adaptable saddles, you can show jump and execute dressage maneuvers.
The dressage rider sits upright in the saddle, which may be considered the opposite position from the jumping rider’s. The rider’s knee bend is significantly reduced in this position.
Leather Saddle or Synthetic?
Synthetic saddles are incredibly light and simple to maintain. They are offered in a variety of Western and English styles.
The typical material used to create saddles is leather. Consider the finish, the stitching, and any fittings, such as billet straps, when choosing leather. Always opt for high-quality leather. If you purchase the highest quality you can afford and take good care of it, it will last for many years.
Right Saddle For Your Horse
If your horse is uneasy in the saddle, he may refuse to move out naturally and easily, become feeble in his work, start to require more and stronger aids from the rider, balk or stop at fences, or refuse to collect on the light rein and seat aids.
The withers of all horses are not created equal; some, like the Thoroughbred, have prominent withers, while others, like the Arabian and Quarter Horse, have rounded, mutton withers. Your withers will be pushed if the saddle you select has a gullet that is too broad. The saddle will pinch if the gullet is too small.
Ruffled hair under the saddle, the horse perspiring more profusely in front of the saddle than in the back, or the opposite, and swelling around the saddle points are further warning signs.
Right Saddle For The Rider
A saddle that is too small will be uncomfortable since every step will result in contact with the pommel. You will be swirling around in a saddle that is too big while you attempt to retain your position. When seated at the lowest portion of the seat, you should be able to put your flat hand between you and the cantle.
It is vital to have a knowledgeable instructor on the ground as well as a skilled saddle fitter. They can observe the effects the saddle has on your posture and provide information about whether the saddle is working for or against you.
Conclusion On How To Pick A Horse Saddle
The ability to test a saddle before buying one provides assurance that the decision was made correctly, or at the very least, provides protection from doing so. A saddle fitter, instructor, or reputable saddle merchant is a valuable resource. Ensure that the shop you choose has a history of selling saddles. To keep you both operating at your peak for years to come, remember to have routine saddle checks as part of your horse’s maintenance regimen.