Here at Prime Stables, we know that as far as horse-equipment goes, it is important to get the right saddle. Purchasing the right saddle will ensure the best possible comfort and performances for you and your horse. We would recommend taking an experienced horse-person with you when shopping as they know what to look out for and will likely be familiar with the various brands. However, if you are new to saddles and you feel like you need to educate yourself on the basics, this article is for you! Read on to find out the varying types of horse saddles.
1. General-Purpose Saddle
The general-purpose saddle is ideal for the beginner or intermediate rider. It can be used for various types of riding and is a saddle often used in riding schools due to its functionality to fit so many riders of different abilities and sizes. The general-purpose saddle is a very sturdy saddle that is good for basic jumping, hunts and dressage. These saddles are easy for riders to balance on because there are no pads at the front of the saddle for the knee so they are ideal if you are new to horse riding.
2. Kids Saddle
If you are buying a saddle for a child, be sure to find them a kid saddle that fits their pony comfortably, instead of sitting them in an adult-sized saddle that was not made to fit them. Kids saddles are ideal for children as they are very lightweight and can be used for children who are learning to ride on small ponies. Kids saddles are shaped specifically to allow children more balance in the seat and they are made from synthetic materials, such as cotton, for ultimate comfort. These saddles tend to fit a wide range of ponies and are ideal for ensuring your child’s safety while they learn to ride.
3. Western Saddles
Western Saddles tend to be known for their prominent roles in Hollywood depictions of the Western Cowboy. However, these saddles don’t only exist in the movies. In fact, they are an extremely popular make of saddle. Initially made for men who had to be on horseback for long periods of time, these saddles offer the ultimate comfort and stability.
4. Dressage Saddle
The Dressage Saddle is designed especially for advanced riders who regularly compete in competitions. Dressage Saddles are famed for their deep seats that are intended to provide better balance for the rider. Dressage saddles enhance the riders posture and are made from lightweight, thin material providing the rider with closer leg contact for precision moves with their horse.
5. Jumping Saddle
The Jumping Saddle is a follow-on from the dressage saddle except it is designed to push the rider slightly forward into the jumping position for when they are going over fences. The saddle flaps are conveniently much bigger which gives the leg more support and there is padding at the front which provides stability and protection for the lower leg during jumps.
6. Racing Saddles
Racing saddles are very small and lightweight – most commonly used by professional jockeys. You should only be purchasing this saddle if you are a seasoned horse rider with a lot of experience. The seat is flatter than other saddles because the rider is expected to hover over it while crouching in the stirrups as this allows for better control of the horse. If you are a seasoned rider, this is the saddle for you.
7. Treeless Saddles
Treeless saddles lie somewhere between bareback riding and riding a horse with a full saddle. Treeless saddles provide closer contact with the horse and allow more body freedom but they are not as secure as a general-purpose saddle. Horses that have backs which are difficult to fit saddles to could benefit from a treeless saddle, as could riders who feel uncomfortable with their position in a full saddle.
8. Australian Stock Saddle
The Australian Stock Saddle is popular around the world for many reasons. This saddle is ideal for anybody who need to spend long hours on horse-back, such as cattle ranchers, endurance riders or trail riders. The Australian Stock Saddle has a much deeper seat than the English Saddle and extra padding, particularly around the knees for enhanced protection.
We hope you have found this article useful and that it has answered any questions you may have had about saddle varieties. For information on how to check the fit of a saddle, read our article here. If you are searching for a saddle, there are myriads of styles, brands and fits to choose from so you are bound to find something that suits you. If you would like to find out more, or ask us any questions you may have, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us today – we would be more than happy to help.