Buying a saddle isn’t easy – the choice of saddles for horses is huge and it can be quite confusing too.
So, before you buy a new saddle take a bit of time to consider exactly what it is you want.
Ultimately it won’t be until you actually ride in the saddle that you’ll know whether it’s the one, but here we have some useful advice that should put you on the right path towards your perfect saddle.
Before you continue we strongly recommend that you set your budget now, then stick to it – it’s so easy to get carried away in the moment and end up spending far more than you want to.
Budget decided, you then need to decide what type of saddle you’d like. Here’s a run through of what’s available.
General purpose saddles
General purpose are designed so you can do most disciplines in them from hacking to jumping.
Most leisure riders will go for this option, you only need one saddle, but if you compete regularly you may be better looking at a discipline specific saddle to give you the support and security you need.
As the name suggests these are designed for dressage and flatwork.
The saddle flap is longer and straighter encouraging you to ride with a long leg position and the seat tends to be deeper to help you maintain a correct position.
There’s the option of having large fixed knee blocks through to smaller moveable blocks so you can find the most comfortable position for you.
To allow you to have a closer leg contact the girth straps are long and you use a short girth to remove any bulk under your leg so there are no buckles under your leg.
These are more forward cut so you can ride with shorter stirrups.
They’ll normally have knee and thigh blocks are positioned to help you stay secure and supported when you’re jumping.
Often they have a flatter seat allowing you a little more freedom if you’re riding cross-country.
These are designed to complement your horse’s conformation. They tend to be straight cut and basic in design so they allow total freedom of movement and show your horse off at his best.