You’ve chosen your horse, and now it’s time to purchase a saddle
that fits both you and your equine companion. Since a horse saddle
is the most expensive piece of equipment you’ll buy after the cost
of your horse, you’ll need to decide which type of saddle to use
for the style of riding you prefer.
of the most widely used saddles are:
saddles: roping saddle, endurance saddle, barrel racing saddle
saddles: dressage saddle, polo saddle, jumping saddle
Sidesaddles: includes both the English sidesaddle and the Western
you know that the Western saddle began with the Spanish vaqueros
(va�que�ros), better known as “cowboys”? With the addition of the
saddle horn, the Western saddle became a very functional piece of
equipment for roping and controlling cattle. There are a few differences
between the Western and English saddle
Western saddle has no padding of its own. A saddle pad or blanket
is used to provide a comfortable fit for the horse
stirrups are roomy and sturdy so that boot-heeled shoes can hold
your feet in place to prevent slipping through the stirrup.
Western girth (also called a “cinch”) is tied on with a leather
strap, compared to that of an English girth, which buckles on.
saddles are fairly plain on the outside and contain inner padding
to protect and provide comfort to the horse. Other distinctions
of an English saddle are:
English saddle does not have of a saddle horn.
English saddles are sold without the “fittings” of stirrup leathers,
stirrup irons, and a girth.
saddles are equipped with a “flap” on both sides, which protect
the horse from being pinched by the stirrup leather.
Dressage is known as the training of horses in obedience and personal
conduct. The word “dressage” is derived from the French word “dresser”
(to set up, arrange) and is now acknowledged as: the guiding of
a horse through a series of complex maneuvers by slight movements
of the rider’s hands, legs, and weight. Facts about the dressage
dressage saddle is one type of an English saddle.
seat has a deeper cut than any other English saddle to show off
the horse to the best advantage.
dressage saddle is built to keep the rider in an upright manner
and provide stability.
The sidesaddle is built for the rider to sit aside rather than astride
the horse, and it is making a prominent return to the art of riding.
A few sidesaddle notations are:
sidesaddle was designed for women, emphasizing the grace and beauty
of a female rider.
two main sidesaddles are Western and English.
sidesaddle has a flat seat, which improves the rider’s balance.
is the traditional material for a saddle, but synthetic leather
and suede have become increasingly popular because they are lightweight
and easy to clean. If you choose a leather horse saddle, make sure
the leather is of good quality, which is much more important than
a bargain price. Many selections of saddles are available and range
from general-purpose to specialized equipment for a variety of activities.
Patience is essential when choosing a horse saddle. Consider your
interests in riding and take a horse-care professional shopping
with you. The benefits of a proper saddle are the rewards of pleasure
and good health for both you and your horse.