Horseback riding is a fun and exciting activity – but for you to do it comfortably without hurting your horse, you need to find the right saddle. With the many different types, brands and sizes of saddles in the market, choosing the perfect saddle for you and your horse can be a complicated and time-consuming process.

If you do not know where to start when selecting a saddle, do not stress, we can help. We have a wealth of experience when it comes to helping horseback riding enthusiasts choose the most ideal saddles for horseback riding and we have compiled some of our top tips to get you started.


Key Things to Keep In Mind When Choosing a Saddle


1.      The Size of the Saddle Seat Matters!

The size of your seat saddle will have a great impact on your riding experience as well as the comfort of your horse. Saddle seat sizes typically tend to range between 15” to 19”. Based on our extensive experience helping jockeys and horseback riding enthusiasts choose saddles, we know that most people usually require saddles with either a 17” or 18” seat size. To determine the most ideal saddle size for you and your horse, there are several factors that you should consider including your height, weight and the primary use that the saddle will be put to.

If you are looking for the easiest and most efficient way to pick a saddle seat size that suits you perfectly, we recommend that you consult a seasoned saddle fitter of high repute to assist you in the process.

2.      For The Best Riding Experience You Need To Choose The Right Tree Size

When helping you to choose a saddle, your saddle fitter will measure the width (tree size) and length of the saddle from the head nail badge to the cantle to determine the size of the saddle in inches. Note that the width and length of the saddle need to equate in order for your horse to comfortably fit into the saddle.

For example, if your horse has a rib cage that measures 17” in length, they will not be able to fit into a saddle that measures 18” at all. During the fitting process, your fitter will also test the saddle on the horse to gauge if there will be any discomfort to the animal as you ride.

There are a variety of saddle tree sizes available in the market today including; narrow, narrow-medium, medium, medium-wide, wide and extra wide. The most ideal saddle tree size for you will be dictated by the width/rib cage size of your horse.

3.      Saddles Come In Different Styles

After identifying the most ideal saddle seat and saddle tree size for your horse, you can now move ahead and select your preferred saddle style.

Our most popular saddle styles include:

  • Dressage Saddles – Planning on competing in dressage events, riding to school or riding in predominantly flat grounds? If so, then a dressage saddle will be perfect for you. However, if you are planning on taking part in more vigorous activities, there are other options to explore as you will see below. Dressage saddles are usually specifically designed to position the horse rider in the best riding position – which is what makes them ideal for flat work and dressage competitions
  • GP Saddles – If you are the kind of rider who enjoys riding on flat grounds, schooling, jumping and other vigorous activities on horseback, a GP saddle will work perfectly for you. These saddles typically tend to have deeper seats and shorter flaps which give a rider better balance and coordination while at the same time allowing more flexible movement for both the rider and horse
  • Jump Saddles – These saddles usually come with flatter seats allowing the rider to come into close contact (but with minimal interference) to the horse. These saddles also come fitted with a small thigh and/or knee block that allows the rider to stay properly positioned during jumps

Written by Xavier James

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