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How to Break in New English Saddle?

How to Break in New English Saddle?

Do you know there are many types of horse riding equipment and most of them require proper fitting? So, the first step towards potential riding is to align your tools and equipment in an appropriate manner. On the contrary, getting into a new English saddle can be a challenging task. Thus, you must learn valuable things for settling into your new saddle.

See Also: The Importance of Proper Horse Saddle Fit for your Equine Partner

Breaking into a new English saddle can be an exciting but daunting task, especially if you are a new rider. A brand-new saddle is stiff and rigid, and it can take some time to become comfortable and flexible. In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to break into your new English saddle and make it comfortable for you and your horse.

Steps to How to Break in New English Saddle

Apart from buying the most suitable saddle for your horse, it’s essential that you fit in it comfortably. Likewise, it will only be possible when both the horse and the rider are in suitable form. Accordingly, you can follow these steps on how to break into a new English saddle before going for the ride.

Step 1: Clean and Condition Your Saddle

New leather saddles can be stiff and uncomfortable. Before you begin the process of breaking in your new English saddle, it is essential to clean and condition it properly. Use a soft cloth and mild saddle soap to clean the leather thoroughly. Make sure you remove all dirt, sweat, and other debris from the saddle’s surface. After cleaning, apply a leather conditioner or oil recommended by the manufacturer to the saddle to keep the leather supple and prevent cracking. Follow the product instructions, ensuring that you evenly coat the entire saddle. Let the conditioner sit for the recommended time, allowing it to penetrate and soften the leather fibers.

Step 2: Preparing the Saddle

Before attempting to ride in your new saddle, it’s essential to prepare it properly. Begin by inspecting the saddle for any defects or loose stitching. Check that the billets, girth straps, and stirrup leathers are securely attached. If you notice any issues, contact the manufacturer or a professional saddle fitter for assistance.

Read Also: How to Measure Yourself for an English Saddle?

Step 3: Initial Groundwork

Before riding in your new saddle, familiarize your horse with it by conducting groundwork exercises. Begin by placing the saddle on a saddle stand or blanket and allow your horse to sniff and inspect it. Gradually introduce the saddle to your horse’s back, ensuring they remain calm and comfortable throughout the process. Use positive reinforcement and rewards to create a positive association with the saddle.

Step 4: Wear Your Saddle

One of the best ways to break in your new English saddle is to wear it simply. This means sitting in your saddle for an extended period, such as watching TV or reading a book while in the saddle. The more time you spend in your saddle, the more it will mold to your body, making it more comfortable.

Step 5: Gradual Introduction

Once your horse is comfortable with the saddle on the ground, it’s time for the initial rides. Start with shorter sessions, gradually increasing the duration over several rides. This allows both you and your horse to adjust to the new saddle slowly. Pay close attention to your horse’s body language and behavior during these sessions. Ensure they move freely and show no signs of discomfort or resistance.

Step 6: Proper Saddle Fit

During the break-in period, it’s crucial to monitor the saddle’s fit on your horse’s back. Keep in mind that a new saddle may require adjustments as it molds to your horse’s shape. If you notice any pressure points, uneven contact, or signs of discomfort, consult a professional saddle fitter to assess the fit and make necessary adjustments.

Step 7: Ride Your Horse in the Saddle

Once you feel comfortable wearing your new English saddle, it’s time to ride your horse in it. Start with short rides, and gradually increase the length and intensity of your rides. This will allow your saddle to adjust to your horse’s movements and riding style.

Step 8: Apply Oil to the Saddle

Another way to soften and break in your new English saddle is to apply oil to it. Use a high-quality saddle oil to condition the leather and make it more flexible. Apply a small amount of oil to the saddle, and then use a soft cloth to rub it into the leather.

Read More: How to Clean a Saddle Pad?

Step 9: Use a Saddle Pad

Using a saddle pad can also help break in your new English horse saddle. A saddle pad can help reduce pressure points and friction between the saddle and your horse’s back. It can also absorb sweat and other moisture, preventing the leather from becoming stiff.

Step 10: Be Patient

Breaking into a new English saddle takes time, and it’s essential to be patient. Don’t rush the process or force your saddle to mold to your body or your horse’s back. Take your time and allow your saddle to adjust naturally. Remember, the more time you spend in your saddle, the more comfortable it will become.

Step 11: Consistent Care and Maintenance

To ensure the longevity of your new horse saddle, establish a regular cleaning and maintenance routine. Clean the saddle with a suitable leather cleaner and conditioner, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Additionally, check the saddle’s stitching, billets, and girth straps regularly for any signs of wear and tear. Proper care and maintenance will help preserve the comfort and functionality of your saddle.

Bottom Line

Likely, Breaking in a new English saddle is essential for both rider and horse comfort. we know that breaking into a new English saddle can be a time-consuming process. At the same time, it’s essential to ensure both you and your horse are comfortable during rides.

Furthermore, by following these steps and being patient, and observing your horse’s reactions, you can break into your new English saddle and enjoy riding in comfort. Also, if there’s any confusion, you can undoubtedly take help from an expert to achieve excellence in your task. With time and care, your new saddle will become a comfortable and reliable companion on your riding adventures.

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Written by

Thanks for dropping by! Sara is our blog writing expert and trained herself in endurance riding. Through her articles, she is trying to inform others more about equine life and its related terms.

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