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Category: English Saddle

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About English Saddle

When using an English saddle, know that they are commonly popular for English horse riding disciplines. Many people may think that an English saddle will be limited to horse riding only in the United Kingdom and other English countries. However, English riding disciplines have become popular in the Olympics and other games.

The specific design of English saddles is to allow the horse free movement during different English horse riding disciplines. Whether it was jumping, running, moving quickly or going over the broken fences, it is all possible with the help of English riding disciplines. The big difference between English and Western riding discipline is that, unlike Western, one English Saddle does not have a horn in front.

How are English saddles different from Western saddles?

The word “English Saddle” is a collective term for similar saddles that are useful in different horse riding disciplines. You’ll mostly come across English saddles being practised in English countries such as the United Kingdom. Also, it’s common to see people using it for – show jumping, hunting seats, dressage, horse racing, polo and other horse riding activities.

Following are the feature of an English horse saddle –

  • An English horse saddle comes along with panels. They come in pairs and have pads attached to the underside of their seat.
  • Though there can be new advancements in making English saddles, they are still constructed on the framework of a tree. Likewise, it sits under the actual design of the Saddle.
  • In addition, English saddles also have leather flaps on each side of the Saddle. Likewise, these flaps function to keep the horse safe from getting pinched with the stirrup.

If anyone new to these horse saddles can easily distinguish between the two as – English saddles that do not have a horn at the front, which is common in Western saddles. Some of the Western saddles that are used in rodeo are highly in demand for endurance riding for their horn feature.

Various Styles of English Saddles

As you look through the variety of English Horse saddles, you’ll know how significant each of them can be for different riding disciplines. Most importantly, they each have distinctions as per their – location, the balance of the seat and flap length & shape.

Here is the list of famous English Saddles –

  1. All Purpose Saddle – These saddles are commonly helpful in eventing as they give a proper command. That’s the reason they are termed as “all-purpose saddle” or general-purpose saddles. Its standard features include – a deep seat and long & forward flaps. Usually, they have padding underneath for proper support and comfort while jumping.
    Many of you may not know, but “all-purpose” is the term that defines saddles that are useful for beginners or amateur riders. On the other hand, eventing saddles are the ones that are a little more expensive than the former ones.
  2. Jumping Saddle – These saddles are more on the “close contact” side as their seat is a little forward. A jumping saddle is specially design for – show jumping, fox hunting, hunt seat equitation and other forms of eventing.
    If you look closely, the most distinctive feature is the forward-cut flap that allows a shorter length of the stirrup. Furthermore, the whole structure of a jumping saddle will not interfere with the rider’s position or the horse.
  3. Dressage Saddle – Unlike jumping saddles, a dressage saddle has a straight-cut flap that is quite long. They are usually per the rider’s leg position as they do not have to perform any jump or similar acts. More so, the pommel on a dressage saddle is a bit higher, and the deepest point is when the seat moves forward. Hence, you can easily place your leg in a relaxed position.
  4. Endurance Saddle – An endurance saddle originated from the military or police saddle. Basically, they are helpful in long-distance competitions for endurance horse riding. Henceforth, the purpose of this Saddle is to provide comfort and balance to the rider for several hours. In addition, you can also use such a saddle for riding your horse if you are travelling somewhere for a couple of days.
  5. Side Saddle – The usefulness of a side saddle was primarily for women in the 19th century as it was not modest for them to sit on a standard horse saddle. Thus, using a side saddle helped them sit sideways on a horse saddle and participate in parades, shows and other horse riding exhibitions. Moreover, riders who have an injury can also usefully take consideration to use of a side saddle as the best option.

The fit of the Saddle

No matter what saddle you prefer, it’s most important to check the Saddle’s fit before riding on the horse’s back. You can even compare with finding the correct shoe size for yourself. Just like that, finding the right fit of the Saddle for your horse’s back and yourself is really significant.

We must accept that not every Saddle will fit our bodies. So, you must ensure the straps and their size in order to confirm the length of the flaps and other things. Henceforth, it will protect you and the horse from accidental falls and other injuries during horse riding.