The next most expensive piece of equipment that you will buy after your horse is its new saddle. So, why do you need to buy a saddle? Is it that important? Well, the answers to those questions are all yes. And even more, you need to find the perfect fit for your horse, because you wouldn’t want it falling off right away especially if you’re joining a competition or is part of Pegasus world cup entries.
A properly fitting saddle is a tremendous help to your horse’s performance and comfort, not to mention that it also benefits you when riding on your horse. Just think of buying new shoes, you wouldn’t want them to be uncomfortable, right? surely you would want to fit it rightly. Thus, shows the importance of selecting the right saddle for your horse. Want to give the best equipment to your horse? Here’s what you need to know.
The General Purpose Saddles
Ideal for the beginner and intermediate rider who has just bought their first horse, the general-purpose saddles are designed so that you will be able to discipline your horse and enjoy different types of riding.
This saddle has a slightly rounded saddle flap which has no knee pads that allow the rider to change one’s position from dressage to a jumping position without any restriction since you only need to adjust the stirrup leathers.
This type of saddle remains a popular choice for today which makes one enjoy hacking and leisure activities. However, if you ought to compete regularly, then you should go look for a better-looking discipline-specific saddle to give you the security and support you need during the competition.
The Jumping Saddles
This type of saddle normally has knee and thigh blocks which are positioned strategically and is designed to push the rider slightly forward into the two-point jumping position to help the rider stay supported and secured during the jumping. This is done by having a than the dressage saddles that look more like a mellow C-shaped curve when viewed from the side.
Its saddle flaps are much bigger, which gives the horse more leg support; a padding at the front of the flaps which gives the protection and stability for the lower leg during the jumps.
The Racing Saddles
Small and lightweight, the racing saddles are used specifically for jockeys who are jumping and galloping fences on Thoroughbred horses. This saddle only has one girth strap and its stirrups are shorter than the others. Also, the racing saddle’s seat is flatter than the other saddles since this type of saddle is not intended for a rider to sit in but rather, it is for them to hover over while crouching in the stirrups.
The Dressage Saddles
As what the name suggests, the dressage saddles are designed for dressage and flatwork. This type of saddle is for the advanced riders that are regularly competing in flatwork competitions. Dressage saddles enhance the traditional straight-legged and upright torso position. Also, this saddle has deeper seat that looks more like a U-shaped curve when viewed from the side which provides better balance for the rider.
Lastly, it is composed of straight flaps and is made from thin lightweight material to provide the rider closer leg contact for precision moves while running.
The Australian Stock Saddle
The Australian Stock Saddle is popular across the globe with any rider who needs to spend long hours on horseback riding. The activities that require long hours of horseback riding include trail riding, cattle ranchers, polocrosse, and endurance riding.
This saddle was adapted for the Australian stock handlers which are from the general purpose English saddle, the difference is having a higher pommel with a much deeper seat and extra padding particularly around the knees. Additionally, there might be a padding and webbing under the saddle for extra support and an over girth for even more security.
The features of this saddle give the rider a more balanced and secured seat which allows the individual to be more comfortable after long periods of riding.
For the sake of both of you and your horse’s comfortability, the right saddle should be one of your top priorities in taking good care of your horse’s equipment. In this way, you can assure yourself that your horse is not being uncomfortable in the saddle that you will be buying, which would, of course, also affect you. This is also especially for those people that are taking an interest in the world of the noble sport of horse racing.
Saddles can be an important asset in your victory just as how athletes of track and field treasure their running shoes and think of it thoroughly when choosing what shoes to use for a comfortable race.