You can find a range of horse saddles to accommodate a variety of different horse sizes and shapes. One of the most important pieces of equipment a rider will buy for their horse, buying a horse saddle isn't easy as there is such a lot of choice, so ensure you know what you want before you buy one.
Types of Saddle
There are specific horse saddles depending on the type of activity a rider is undertaking.
Western saddles were originally designed for cowboys who spent long days in the saddle driving cattle. The weight of the saddle is spread over a larger area of the horse, making it less tiring for it. English saddles are much lighter providing a closer contact with the horse's back. Both come in different designs, each suited to a different activity.
Dressage horse saddles are designed for more advanced riders, assisting them to sit up straight into a dressage position and are lightweight allowing for greater control with the legs to enable precision moves. Jumping horse saddles push the rider slightly forward to handling higher jumps and provide good stability and protection for the legs when jumping.
For riders that like both dressage and jumping, a general-purpose saddle is a good choice. These horse saddles are also ideal for beginners and intermediate riders as they allow them to balance well to enable them to undertake basic jumping.
Kids saddles are nice and light and usually used for children riding ponies. Being much smaller, the saddle shape allows for better balance.
Leather is the traditional choice for horse saddles, but it is important to look for good quality leather and pay attention to the finish, stitching and fittings. Synthetic saddles nowadays look very similar to leather ones, with the added advantage that they are lightweight and easier to clean. Both come in a choice of styles, although with synthetic ones you can get a range of colours to choose from.