If you are in the market for a new horse saddle, there are many to choose from. Some people assume that all saddles are shaped like the ones cowboys use in western movies, but there are actually several different varieties. In an effort to help you choose which saddle will best suit you and your needs, here are a few of the most popular, their characteristics, and what types of riding will use them most efficiently.
Racing saddles are slim, lightweight, and narrow. They have very short stirrup straps, designed for jockeys who ride on their haunches. If you are going to be sitting in a racing saddle, you will not likely have much padding or comfort since they are meant for quick trips.
Dressage saddles have a deep seat, with a high back lip to help riders sit up straight and tall. Dressage riders must keep their legs straight, in order to keep good form. These saddles can be quite expensive, but for dressage riders who become skilled at the sport, the price will be worth it.
Jumping saddles have a wider stirrup flap, allowing the rider to have a little more support. Jumpers must sit forward in their saddles, allowing them a bit more control during the jump. This forward position is called a two-point position and is crucial for a good jump.
Western saddles are designed to be comfortable for people who spend most of the day in them. They usually have at least one horn in order to tie off cattle or ropes. There are many different types of western saddles nowadays, all specially designed for different disciplines of western riding. For example, cowboys who are cattle driving will use a different saddle than those who will be cutting herds or barrel racing.
Hunting saddles are designed to allow riders the flexibility of galloping or jumping since fox hunting will likely lead you through the woods with many hurdles along the way. These saddles are usually quite comfortable since hunts can last for several hours. They are usually all leather, designed to match the rider who is appropriately dressed for the hunt.
In conclusion, the type of saddle you choose will really determine how effective you will be. Choosing the wrong saddle pretty much sets you up for failure, so make sure to do your research before making any purchases.
To learn more, contact a resource like The Tack Shack.