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Finding the right saddle isn’t easy. There are so many saddles on the market - each with their own unique features - and the buying process can be very confusing. Getting the right advice is crucial, and we are here to help with our expert knowledge and support.
We’ve made it our business to stock the best brands because we know that our customers want quality equipment that will go the distance. We have a wide range of horse saddles to suit all sports, horses and styles, with brands like Ascot, Tekna, Thorowgood, Prestige and Pessoa.
When choosing a saddle, your first priority is to ensure a good fit for your horse. Each horse should have it’s own saddle, which will adapt to the shape of the horse over time. A poorly fitted saddle will make your horse uncomfortable and can cause injury and distress. It can also restrict the horse’s movement or alter its gait, evenness and balance.
GETTING THE RIGHT FIT FOR THE RIDER
Horse riding is a team sport, a partnership between the rider and the animal. As such, it is important that both are comfortable and well-suited to the saddle. Riding in the wrong size saddle can cause health problems, back pain, joint pain and muscle soreness. It also increases the chance of riders losing balance and falling, so the right fit is crucial to health and safety.
There are a number of different types of saddles, and the one that you choose will largely depend on its primary intended use. You can choose from the following saddles:
Designed to cope with a variety of different sports, general purpose saddles are sturdy and have flaps that are cut forward. They can accommodate the rider for basic jumping, dressage and everyday riding. Riders balance well on these saddles, and there are no pads at the front of the saddle for the knee. They are ideal for the beginner and intermediate riders.
Dressage saddles are for advanced riders and competitors. The saddles enhance the traditional straight-legged and upright torso dressage position, and they have a deeper seat which provides better balance for the rider. Dressage saddles have a straight-cut flap that is much longer than a jumping saddle and the pommel provides the rider with closer leg contact for precision moves.
Jump saddles push the rider slightly forward into the two-point jumping position required for going over fences and obstacles. Jump saddles have a flatter seat which looks like a soft C-shaped curve from the side. The saddle flaps are much bigger, giving the leg more support, and padding at the front of the flaps provides stability and protection for the lower leg during jumps.
The stock saddle is a popular choice for any rider who spends long days in the saddle. A stock saddle has a deep seat and high pommel, often with a horn and extra padding around the knees. Sometimes they have webbing and padding under the saddle for extra support and an over girth that runs over the saddle, allowing the rider to sit comfortably and safely for extended periods.
The best way to find a well-fitted saddle is to speak with a qualified saddler before making a purchase. EQ Saddleworld offers a saddle-fitting service at all store locations. Our expert team will help find the right saddle for you and your horse, taking all the guesswork out of a very important investment