Getting Started with Saddles

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Most people have heard about western and English saddles. There are also endurance, treeless and Australian stock saddles to learn about.

  • Western saddle – The western saddle is what most people think of when they hear the term “saddle.” It has a large horn and can be used for riding on flat ground or over rugged terrain.
  • English saddle – An English saddle is similar to the western with its deep seat, high cantle and high pommel, but it also features a straight gullet channel that runs down the middle of the tree between two permanent panels of leather; this allows for more flexibility in leg placement. Because of this design, many people find comfort in an English-style saddle because it doesn’t put pressure on sensitive areas like many other types do.
  • Endurance/treeless saddles – Endurance/treeless saddles share much in common with both Western and English styles while specifically being designed for endurance riding where there are large distances between competitors but limited access to water stops or bathrooms along route courses through deserts or mountainsides without trees nearby (hence “treeless”). These saddles tend not only toward having longer seats than average due to their need for support over long periods of time without rest spots available nearby, but also tend toward being lighter weight overall so as not increase fatigue levels during competition events which could lead to serious injury if sustained over long distances without breaks being taken at all (elevation changes may also cause riders’ hearts rate rates–which causes increased oxygen consumption–to rise quickly).

Once you’ve decided what type of saddle you want, the seat size is probably the most important aspect to consider.

Once you’ve decided what type of saddle you want, the seat size is probably the most important aspect to consider. We’ll be discussing comfort, posture, and balance later in this article but let’s start with what exactly seat size is. Seat size is determined by measuring the distance between the two front points of your saddle (the “saddlebags”), then multiplying by two because there are two sides to a saddlebag and dividing that by ten so it can go on a ten-point scale. Seat sizes usually range from 13″ to 19″, although some women may need something smaller or larger than that depending on their body shape or riding style. Smaller seats are typically recommended for riders who will spend most of their time in flat areas like open fields where balance isn’t an issue; larger seats are generally used when more challenging terrain is expected such as mountainsides and rocky trails where a rider will have more trouble balancing herself while riding at speed

You’ll need to decide if you want the weight of your saddle to be evenly distributed over a larger area or if you want less pressure concentrated on a smaller area.

Now that you know what the different types of saddles are, it’s time to think about how much weight you want in your saddle.

There is a tradeoff between how evenly distributed the weight of your saddle will be over your horse and how much pressure there will be from each part of the saddle on certain parts of your horse’s body. For example, if you have a wide back on a draft horse or an Arabian with a large shoulder blade and thicker skin (like most Arabians), then you might want to consider getting something like an English saddle. This type of saddle spreads out over more area and distributes its weight more evenly than other styles such as jumping saddles or Western saddles that have high cantle bones which put more pressure on one part of the horse’s back instead of spreading it out across multiple points.

If this sounds like something that would bother your equine friend, keep reading!

Think about how often you’ll be using the saddle, where you’ll be riding and if you can keep it clean.

Of course, you will want to consider how frequently you plan to ride, where you plan to ride and how easy it is for you to keep the saddle clean.

If you are going on long rides multiple times a week and/or in dusty conditions, then look for a synthetic saddle with an anti-bacterial treatment. If not, then leather might be more suited for your needs. Also keep in mind that if there is one thing more difficult than finding the perfect saddle it’s cleaning it!

When choosing a seat check the width of your current seat (if applicable) against the width of another one that catches your eye so that when they come up with similar numbers they should feel about the same width between thigh and hip bones.

A properly fitting saddle will help both you and your horse stay comfortable.

A properly fitting saddle will help both you and your horse stay comfortable. It can also improve performance and make training more effective.

Try to find a saddle that fits the width of your horse’s back, as well as the length. This will prevent pinching or rubbing, which both cause skin irritation and discomfort for your horse. A saddle pad can be used under the saddle to help ensure a better fit.

You may want to consider using a fitting tool when trying before buying a new saddle; this will allow you to get an accurate measurement of your horse’s back size by placing it on top of it (the tool).

If possible, try before you buy—this way, if there are any issues with comfort or fit while riding on different terrains or with different types of saddles such as English saddles versus Western saddles, they’ll become apparent right away instead of after purchasing one!

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