A horse and rider team can only be successful if using the proper equipment. The right saddle is crucial if you plan to excel in your equestrian sport.
Eventing and Pleasure
English all-purpose saddles are used for eventing. This less expensive saddle option is also used by mature or pleasure riders. On fences or flat ground, an eventing or pleasure saddle provides plenty of support.
Show Jumping, Hunt Seat, Foxhunting and Show Hunter
A jumping saddle or close contact saddle is used with jumping horses. The saddle with its rounder, shorter flaps, gives the rider closer contact to the horse for smooth jumps.
A dressage saddle helps a rider stay in proper position by applying precise cues during competition. The pommel is higher than most saddles, and the seat is deeper to allow the rider more leg reach.
The design and extra padding of an endurance saddle makes is perfect for long distance riding. The saddle's main purpose is to provide comfort for both the rider and the horse over long distances and on rough terrain. The saddle often has rings to attach saddlebags and other items.
A roping saddle is a sturdy saddle design that helps a roper stay in place but still allows for rapid dismount. The horn is thick and forward to secure the lasso.
Cutting requires a horse to make quick stops and sharp turns. A cutting saddle is heavy and designed with a deep seat that helps hold the rider in place. The swells of the saddle are often thicker and the horn is higher than normal.
Like the cutting saddle, a reining saddle has a deep seat for holding the rider in place. The fenders of the reining saddle move freely and give the rider ample us of their legs.
A barrel racing saddle has a high cantle to help keep the rider balanced. The saddle is often short to allow the horse to have quicker bursts of speed and sharper turns.
A western show saddle often resembles the build of a roping or cutting saddle. Show saddles, however, have lots of silver and leather detail to catch the judge’s eye.
Trail or Pleasure Saddle
Like an endurance saddle, a trail riding saddle provides comfort for horse and rider. The seat of a trail saddle is often longer to provide the horse with balance at slow gaits. These saddles frequently have strings or rings to hold trail gear.