Saddles have been around for centuries and the history of these pieces of equipment is rich. The first saddles that humans used were simple and made from cloths and a surcingle. Later, a saddle tree was made from leather and a wooden frame that provided support to the rider. As time passed, the saddle’s shape changed, and it began to look more refined. Stirrups became a necessity. Saddles with more elaborate designs were developed, but they still had the same purpose. The subsequent saddle models were further adjusted to the needs of modern horseback riders.
Types of English and other saddles
The western saddle is perhaps the most popular type of saddle. It was developed by Spanish Conquistadors in America. There are other types, like the English saddle and Australian stock saddle. Asia also has its own saddle styles. Western saddles allows you to ride in a chair-like position, offering the rider a secure and comfortable seat.
There are a few different types of English saddles. In general, we distinguish between a jumping saddle, a dressage saddle, an all purpose saddle and a trekking (or endurance) saddle.
Beginner and intermediate riders should start with a beginner saddle. These saddles are sturdy and can handle basic jumping and dressage. A beginner saddle does not have knee pads and is perfect for learning the basics of horseback riding. These saddles are often used at riding schools, especially by young riders. However, they can become uncomfortable over time. Nevertheless, beginners can benefit from such a saddle. And for those riders who are more experienced, you should invest in a more advanced saddle, adjusted to the riding discipline of your interest.
Parts of the saddle
Saddle is an essential piece of the horse tack. Unless you’re a fan of bareback riding, you won’t be able to ride your horse without one. The saddle consists of a number of elements that allow the rider to communicate with the horse and maintain close contact between the two. Additionally, a well fitted saddle should offer complete freedom of movement.
The base element of the saddle is the saddle tree. Pommel constitutes the highest part of the front of the saddle. Another element is the seat, which varies among different saddles. For example, dressage saddles offer deeper seat. Panel, which can be found on the bottom of the saddle, is filled with synthetic materials. The choice of knee blocks is up to the rider’s experience and individual preferences.
Choosing the saddle
The most important factor when it comes to choosing the saddle is how it fits both the rider and the horse. A proper and comfortable fit of the saddle is essential. While some types of saddles are made for specific disciplines, others are made to accommodate different body types. Rider’s weight should also be taken into consideration while making the decision.
Depending on the style of riding you do, you may want to consider how long your saddle will be. A narrow saddle can be uncomfortable, and too long or short can interfere with the position of your legs. A saddle must be comfortable, and should be wide enough to support the rider’s seat bones, but not so wide that they interfere with the rider’s balance.
It is important to test the fit of the saddle before buying it. Once you’ve found the saddle you like, the next step is to try it out on the horse. There, you may use some assistance from an experienced saddle fitter.