There is a range of reasons as to why horse riders use saddles. The primary reason is that saddles provide good anchor and stirrups. Stirrups enhance balancing, especially when the horse changes direction or position rapidly. Besides, saddles distribute the rider’s weight from the pelvis to the bones. Well-fitted saddles allow the horse bare or carry more weight for a long time comfortably. As well, it makes the rider more comfortable staying at the right shape and more natural. Saddles ensure that the riders’ legs are always clean.
There are different types of saddles used for different types of riding; however; it is possible to have a ride without using a saddle. Here are some types of horse saddles.
These are good for beginners and intermediate riders enjoying the various types of riding having bought a horse. These saddles have flaps cut forward to accommodate the riders well for basic jumping, dressage, and hacks. Riders balance well on general-purpose saddles. These saddles are ideal to be used in schools where we have many riders with varied abilities and sizes.
Dressage saddles are designed for pro riders who regularly compete in flatwork competitions. They enhance traditional straight-legged and upright torso dressage position. Dressage saddles have deeper seats with a U-shaped curve, especially when viewed from straight flaps. Dressage saddles are light as they are made from thin and lightweight material. They provide the rider with a close leg contact good for precision moving.
Jumping saddles are made to push the rider forward to a two-point jumping position. They are good, especially when going over the fences. This is achieved through a flatter seat compared to dressage saddles that have a mellow C-like curve when viewed from aside. Jumping saddles are bigger; therefore, give legs enhanced support. They have the pads that provide stability and protection for lower leg jumping.
Hunting saddle is made for regular riders going for foxhunting in Britain. Foxhunting involves higher jumps over large hedges with steep drops on the other sides. As such, these saddles are shaped to push rider’s weight back and the feet forward. For this reason, the rider remains safer as he/she leans backward when landing from the fences. They have low cantle, making jumps ever comfortable. Hunting saddles are made from durable leather, ensuring they properly match the traditional hunting attire.
In summary, there are different saddles designed for specific riding as well designed for pro riders and beginners of different ages and experience.