Posted on

How to Pick a Perfect Saddle for You and Your Horse

external content.duckduckgo 50

Riding your horse can be nothing short of a wonderful experience. The way you bond with your horse over the years, the journeys you take together, the feeling of freedom yet togetherness. All of these things make horseback riding one of the most popular pastimes in the western world. Making those rides comfortable for both you and your horse is far more important than many realize. So, one of the key things you must do is make sure you’ve picked the perfect saddle for both you and your horse. Whether that’s something you’ve never done before or you just need a few refresher tips, read on to find out more!

Sizing It Up

It may seem obvious, but of course, size matters when it comes to picking the perfect saddle. Seat sizes can vary by quite a few inches, so picking the right one can make such a huge difference to your comfort. It varies based on your height, weight, and size, so it’s important to get measured by a professional. You can click here to link up with some experts who can help you with sizing your saddle measurements. There is also the size of the horse to consider. Some call this ‘Tree size’. Horses come in different sizes, much like us! So, if you have a narrower horse or a horse with a wider rib cage, you’ll need different saddles for each. Again, a professional can help you measure your horse and ensure you’ve got the right width saddle. Combine all of these tips to be certain that you have the correct saddle for both you and your horse’s comfort.

Choosing Your Style

This one’s more for you – the saddle style! Saddle style is partly down to how you’d like it to look, and partly down to what kind of riding you plan on doing with your horse. The majority of saddles are made of leather. Leather is durable and strong and will last a long time with proper care. They require frequent cleaning, especially if they have gotten wet, but this proper care will lead to them lasting a lifetime. Synthetic saddles – often made to look like leather – require less care and are often cheaper, but may not last as long as leather saddles. 

There are also three main styles of the saddle to choose from. They are dressage, GP, and jump saddles. Dressage saddles are more geared towards the rider and help you hold a good position whilst riding on flat land or at a slower pace. GP saddles are a little deeper and longer, making for a good all-round saddle. They can handle faster riding on the flats as well as some jumping and racing. Finally, the jump saddle. Jump saddles are designed for professional or amateur racers. They have a much lower profile, allowing for close-contact riding, racing, and high-speed jumping.

Test on Flat Land

This is a tip we have heard from many professionals in the equestrian field. Test your saddle out on flat land, at a gentle pace, if possible before committing to buy. This is for the benefit of both you and your horse. Test your saddle on a well lit day with plenty of space to slowly and gently test the saddle. This way you will be able to assess both your and the horse’s comfort without pushing too hard, making any adjustments necessary as you go. If you are testing a jump saddle for planned racing, still start slow and gradually build up the pace before testing any jumps or fences with your horse.

Listen To Your Body

On a similar note, it is important to listen to your own body whilst testing a new horse riding saddle. During the first day or days, be sure to feel for any aches, pains, or new sensations in your body. You may feel your lower back or core is working too hard, meaning the saddle may be incorrectly sized or in need of adjustment. It should be comfortable through your bottom, which should be sat nicely in the lowest part of the saddle and not be feeling any hard edges. With a professional, you should also assess the angles in your ankles, knees, and shoulders to ensure your position is correct. 

With all of this in mind, you will be able to start finding the most comfortable – and stylish – a saddle for yourself and your equestrian friend. We do recommend, if you are inexperienced, doing this with the help of professionals to be certain you’ve got everything right. After that, you’ll be trotting around the countryside in no time enjoying the comfortable ride.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *