Choosing The Right Saddle
Choosing the right saddle is important and it doesn't matter whether you have just purchased a new horse or already have a horse that has grown out of its current saddle.. A well-fitting saddle will prevent back problems and is safe to use.
The first step in choosing the right saddle is to determine what kind of horse riding you will be doing. If you are mainly doing dressage or showjumping, you should select a saddle that is specifically designed for these purposes.
Most people who do a bit of everything often choose a general purpose saddle. These saddles have some knee support and thus can be used for jumping but provide enough contact with the horse for normal flat work.
Some people who take part in western riding competitions opt for a western saddle. Many recreational riders also like these saddles as they are very comfortable. However, there are restrictions on their use in shows and some competitions.
Although most saddles are still made out of leather, there are a wide range of synthetic saddles on the market. They are often lighter in weight, less expensive and some of the fittings can sometimes be washed in a washing machine.
Once you have chosen the right saddle for you it is time to determine the size. First of all, it is essential to determine what width to pick. Thoroughbreds and other slim horse often go for a narrow saddle where as stockier horses will need a wider fitting.
As well as being suitable for your horse, choosing the right saddle involoved fitting it to your seat. Most adults go for a saddle with a 16 to 17 and a half inch length and children’s saddle sizes usually vary between 14 and 15 and a half inches.
If you are not sure if a saddle is a good fit, there are companies and saddle makers who can measure your horse for you. Some of these people also sell second hand saddles which can be a great purchase as the leather has been worn in but be careful not to buy one with a broken tree.
A good saddle enables the horse to move in a natural way and is comfortable to sit on. Although people often use saddle pads to make saddles fit better, you should always attempt to choose the right saddle to fit your horse.
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