The Saddlery, your horse, is ridden in can contribute to your safety, security, comfort, and control; if inappropriate or poorly maintained, it can compromise all of these and instead make an accident more likely to happen. The saddle is a critical piece of equipment and an essential requirement for riding. There are different types of saddle in various sizes, shapes, and designs.
The saddle should be suitable for the activity undertaken. For example, a dressage saddle is not designed for jumping. The saddle must fit both rider and horse correctly. The discomfort caused by an ill-fitting saddle can cause undesirable behavior in the horse and affect rider stability and general position.
Types of Saddle: Selection of Saddle
The selection of a saddle must meet these four essential criteria:
- It must be fit for the horse.
- It should not interfere with the horse’s performance or ability to perform.
- It must fit the job or the activities desired.
- It should fit the rider physically.
Principles of Saddle Fitting
As there is more to saddle fitting than simply checking that the front arch clears the withers when the rider is mounted, it’s worth the expense involved in engaging the services of a qualified saddle fitter. Most will be happy to visit your horse with a selection of different saddles for you to try out.
Bear in mind that the suffering in the panels can become compressed with use and that your horse’s shape can change with age, work, and between summer and winter. Therefore, regular checks should be made to maintain a good fit.
Most Common Types of Saddle
You will find more than 100 types of saddles in different locations or countries. The saddles are designed and prepared based on the purpose, size of the horse, geographical locations, the year’s season, and materials availability. My article will discuss the most common and widely available horse saddles.
1. Dressage Saddle
The dressage saddle is an English-type saddle used for the dressage event. The dressage saddle is used on flat ground and also used during jumping.
2. Jumping Saddle
The jumping saddle is a particular type of horse saddle used for jumping. Jumping saddles are English-type horse saddles.
3. Side Saddle
The stirrups identify the side saddles. The side saddles are made by Owen, Methew, and Champion & Wilson. The pommels are found in different sizes as they are made for.
4. Types of Saddle: Racing Saddle
The racing saddles are small and specially made for the racers or jockeys. The flaps are usually flat and fit as per the size of the jockey and the ability of the horse’s weight-bearing capability.
5. Endurance Saddle
The endurance saddles are comfortable for the horses to ride long distances. The endurance saddles are larger, distributing the rider’s weight over a large area.
6. Types of Saddle: Polo Saddle
Saddle polo is specially designed for equestrian sports polo. The saddle has a long seat and reasonably long flaps. This saddle design enables the rider to more extended leg movement that helps speedy turns throughout the game.
7. Western Saddle or Stock Saddle
The Western saddle is the most crucial piece of equipment for the cowboy. The saddle is designed to ride long-range, driving, and working. The saddle is heavier than the English saddle and has a flat flap for a comfortable ride.
8. Types of Saddle: Hunting Saddle
The hunting saddle is designed to push the rider’s weight forward for jumping and keeping the rider safe. The saddle is made of the finest quality leather.
9. Roping Saddle for Horse
The roping saddle is extremely heavy, featuring, and has a strong and thick horn. The saddle is designed to give maximum freedom of movement to the rider to chase, dally or rope a cow.
10. Types of Saddle: Ranch Saddle
The ranch saddle is heavy, rapped, and has a thick, wrapped horn. The saddle is designed to work the whole day for racing and cow hunting. The seat of the saddle is deep and cantle.
11. Australian Stock Saddle
The Australian Stock saddle is designed in both combinations of English and Western saddle. The saddle has a deep seat, extra pommel, and wrapped horn, giving the rider and horse comfort.
12. English Saddle
The English Saddles are the most widely used saddles used throughout the world. The most common English saddles are the Dressage saddle, eventing saddle, and jumping saddle. The English saddles are mainly used in English Equestrian events.
Check the Stirrup Bars Each Time You Ride
If a small catch is present on the end of the stirrup bars, ensure this is pushed into the ‘down’ position so that it lies horizontally, in line with the bar. Should you fall off and a foot gets trapped in a stirrup, the leather will then be able to slide more easily off the stirrup bar.
Check the Quality and Fit of the stirrup irons.
For strength, the irons should be manufactured from high-quality stainless steel. Should you lose a stirrup, the heavier type will move around less and be easier to locate again with a toe; adding rubber stirrup treads can also help make the stirrup iron less slippery and thus easier to keep your feet in the correct place.
The tread of the irons should be lined ( 2.5 cm ) wider than the broadest part of your boots to avoid the risk of the feet becoming trapped; if they are too wide, the foot risks sliding right through. All the buckles on stirrup leathers, girths, and bridles should be of stainless steel for strength and safety.
Maintenance of Horse Saddle
The saddle should be maintained daily with proper care. The process of saddle maintenance you can follow are:
- Buy only quality products.
- Replace or repair items before they reach a critical state.
- Clean your Saddlery regularly.
- Check back frequently for signs of wear or damage.
Safety Checks of Saddle
You must check the saddle before and after every ride. The critical points of saddle checks are as follows:
- Check your Saddlery from both sides before mounting.
- Take all your Saddlery apart at least once a week.
- When inspecting your tack, check.
- All leatherwork should feel firm and greasy.
- Saddle trees can break.
Concluding Remarks on Types of Saddle
The saddle is one of the most vital horse tacks. The saddle is designed for the comfort of the horse as well as the rider. The saddle types vary depending on the materials’ purpose and availability. The types of saddles I have mentioned in my article are a few basic ideas. There are many more types and varieties of horse saddles in different parts of the world.
I think this article will enhance your knowledge of a horse saddle. The horse is a susceptible animal. If the horse is comfortable, the rider is also comfortable. A well-set saddle is essential for excellent riding. If you love my article, please follow my website and invite your friends. Thank you for happy reading.