Set your budget.,
Research fair prices.,
Purchase from a reputable retailer.,
Read up on saddle types.,
Determine what the saddle’s main use will be.,
Choose leather or synthetic.,
Maintain adequate space between pommel.,
Measure saddletree size and shape on Western saddles.,
Check for tightness on English saddle.,
Gauge appropriate saddle size.,
Buy a saddle that fits your horse’s build.,
Observe your horse’s response to the saddle.
Make sure you know how much money you can comfortably spend on the saddle. While some saddles are quite expensive, others can be found in a more reasonable price range. Affordable, quality saddles can be purchased for $500 to $1000. Higher end saddles are in the $1000 to $2000 range and up.
Whatever your budget, talk to your saddle shop openly, and ask them to help you find a quality saddle that you can afford. Say something like, “I want to find a saddle for trail riding that is less $1000. Can you recommend something of good quality in that price range?”
If you cannot afford to pay large amounts of money for a saddle, consider purchasing a used product. Used saddles are often available from riding stables, tack stores, and even from fellow riders. Before purchasing a used saddle, make sure it fits your horse well. An ill-fitting saddle can lead to injury for the horse or rider.
Keep in mind that many saddles do not come with cinches, stirrups, and girths, so these will be an additional expense.;
, A good salesman can convince you you’re getting the deal of a lifetime regardless of how much you’re paying. That’s why it’s important to do your research before hand. A simple way to find current pricing is to do an online search for the type of saddle you wish to purchase. You can also visit several different saddle retailers and compare prices. Talk to other horse owners or riders about where they buy quality saddles at the best prices., There are several indicators that you’re dealing with a trustworthy retailer. First, the shop should allow you a trial period with your saddle to ensure it fits both you and your horse. A reputable saddle shop will also have a reasonable return or exchange policy, if your saddle does not work out.
Do not purchase saddles from a retailer who refuses to allow you to try out the saddle, or who is unwilling or unable to provide details about the saddle’s materials and design., English and Western are the two basic kinds of saddle, but there are actually countless variations of the two. English saddles are smaller, lighter, and allow you to be closer to the horse. Western saddles are larger, and they require padding between the horse and saddle. The most noticeable difference between the two is the horn on the Western saddle.
English saddles are available in a variety of styles for different uses. For instance, deeper seated saddles are used for dressage, stylized horse riding competition.
Western saddles come in many styles, and they are often decorated with artistic flourishes in the leather., Your riding style will play a crucial part in determining what type of saddle is best. Individuals who wish to participate in dressage, polo, or even horse racing will require an English saddle. In contrast, those who wish to ride on trails or work on ranches or farms may prefer a Western saddle.
If you plan to use the saddle for a variety of activities, it’s usually best to select a saddle for the activity you will engage in most often.
If more than one rider will be using the saddle, make sure each rider has input on the purchase and is able to try the saddle., Saddles are made from wood or metal that has been carefully shaped and is then covered with leather or a synthetic material. When purchasing a saddle, make sure to ask about the materials and how they impact the lifespan of the saddle. Purchasing a saddle made from synthetic materials is a viable way to save money.
Be aware that saddles made from synthetic materials typically do not last as long as those made from leather., On both English and western saddles, you’ll need to make sure there is enough space between the arched front portion of the saddle, pommel, and the withers. With someone in the saddle, place three fingers vertically between the saddle and withers. If you can do this comfortably, the saddle fits well. If it’s a tight squeeze or your fingers don’t fit at all, the saddle is too tight.
For the English saddle, have a helper move the horse’s foreleg while your fingers remain between the withers and pommel to ensure the saddle isn’t impeding shoulder movement., This is the underlying support that determines the basic shape of the saddle. If you have a very large or very small horse, you may struggle to find a saddletree that fits just right, but checking for it is simple. With a rider in the saddle, place three fingers horizontally between the horses’ shoulder and the saddle on both sides. Just like with the pommel, this is a quick and easy way to gauge whether or not the saddle size and shape fits your horse., Stand at the back of your horse, and look at the saddle without a rider seated. With the horse’s head down, you should be able to see light. If you can’t see light, the saddle is too tight. This light check lets you know your horse’s saddle is snug but not tight., It’s important to make sure you fit in your saddle. The shape and length of the saddle should accommodate you comfortably. Otherwise, you may not want to ride as often. In English saddles you should have four inches of saddle in front and behind your body. Western saddles have four inches in front with your backside rested against the cantle, raised back portion at the back of saddle. You shouldn’t feel pressed against the cantle to achieve the four inches of space in the front of the saddle.Ensure western saddles fit with your saddle pad by trying it on your horse. Western saddles need to have about an inch of padding between saddle and horse. In many cases, you may need to purchase an extended cinch to accommodate the added padding., Saddles are often selected with a particular horse in mind. If your horse is relatively small or young, you will want to look for a lighter, smaller saddle. By contrast, larger horses can handle heavier saddles with greater ease. If you plan to use your saddle on a number of horses, you can choose a saddle to accommodate your largest horse and use additional padding when necessary., For the first few rides after purchasing a new saddle, you’ll need to closely watch the way your horse behaves. If you notice a change in their posture, behavior, or ability to run or jump, your saddle may not be a good fit for the horse. For this very reason, most reputable saddle retailers have a return policy that allows for a trial period.