Saddles are an indispensable part of the equestrian and equine’s life. It is where you sit on your horse’s back, and most of your other accessories are attached or stored to it. But with the different kinds of horse species present all around the world, and the many other factors to be considered like the purpose, the age of the horse, and other personal preferences, it is very hard to pick the perfect saddle for you. Here are some tips that you can make good use of so you’ll have a very pleasant ride with your equine friend.
The Type of Saddle
Saddles are classified into different types, and they are categorised according to their purpose, origin, and functionality. One such example is the Stock, or Western saddle. These were originally used in the US by cowboys in tending to their cattle. These saddles have some perks which others do not. For example, it has a horn, in which the equestrian can put his hand, while his other hand remains in control of the rein. Originally though, the horn functions as dally for the lariat when the cowboy is attempting to control a cattle that may be stubborn. Other countries like Australia have devised their own stock saddles that do not have a horn, but exhibit many other similarities.
Another famous type is the English saddle. If the former is mainly used for hard labour, then the latter is for play and showmanship. As a matter of fact, all equestrian-related sports in the Olympics require the English saddle. These seem more elegant and flatter compared with the other, but they are also both sturdy and comfortable.
Most of the other types fall into these two categories. However, it is interesting to note that it was the Chinese who invented the saddle in the first place. The Japanese and the Chinese have their own customised version, although they’re not as widely circulated as the Western and the English saddle.
The Right Fit
It is very important that the saddle that you will buy is the right fit for your equine friend’s back for many reasons. First, it is easier to secure the saddle to your horse. Another reason is for comfort for both the rider and his horse’s end. Third, is that it provides stability especially if you’re going to have a long and tedious ride.
One thing you have to make sure is that the saddle’s gullet should be able to clear the withers of your horse, but should never be too narrow that your horse’s back seems to get pinched. Also, it must be properly positioned so that it doesn’t hamper the movement of your equine buddy’s shoulder. Another thing that you have to take careful consideration is where the seat of the saddle will be placed. Remember that you will be sitting there, and you have to make certain that you will be at the horse’s centre of balance when you do.
When it comes to fitting the saddle to your horse, balance is the key – not too tight but not loose; positioned at the centre and perfectly fitted to your horse’s back and size.
Just like a shoe, there’s no saddle that can fit every horse’s back. Neither can you expect one saddle to fit to your horse’s back forever. There’s no such thing. That is why it is very important that you check on the fit every once in a while.
Tags: Horse Saddles