Going around and shopping for a saddle can be a very exciting feeling. However, choosing from the seemingly endless number of options can be extremely difficult. This is especially true if you aren’t entirely certain what you should be aiming for when picking one.
Here at TDS Saddlers, we know exactly what it takes to find the right saddle. We also know how to find the perfect one. We’ve put together some easy-to-follow tips that you can use to find the right saddle.
1. Size Is Everything
A lot of people might try to tell you that size doesn’t matter. However, that’s not the case at all. Your saddle size matters considerably. You will find seat sizes ranging between 15 and 19 inches. In our experience, a lot of riders will need a seat that sits anywhere between 17 and 18 inches specifically. Your ideal saddle size will vary based on your height, weight, and the purpose of the saddle.
One of the easiest ways to identify the right size would be to get someone that has the experience to assist.
2. Tree Size
Any experienced saddle fitter will do even more to right-fit you. They will be measuring the area from the cantle to the head nail badge. This is done to determine the overall size of the saddle in terms of length and width. The purpose is to figure out what size of saddle your horse can fit. For instance, if you have a horse with a rib cage length that only measures 17 inches, they aren’t going to be able to properly fit a saddle that’s a total of 18 inches no matter what. The saddle fitter will also look to see how the saddle is fitting your horse while you are riding.
You will find tree sizes typically come in different sizes. This includes narrow, narrow-medium, medium, medium-wide, wide, and even extra-wide. All of this is going to be chosen based on the total width of your horse and what best accommodates them.
You will find a lot of different styles. As soon as you have figured out what size of saddle your horse requires, you will need to choose the style. We have a lot of different types including jump, dressage, and even GP saddles.
These saddles are specifically designed for a riding style that is close contact. They have much more flat seats which help you get a better feel for your horse while you are riding. Also, they typically come with smaller knee blocks that allow you to maintain your position while you are jumping.
Dressage Saddles: These are the types of saddles that are usually some of the most popular. If you are looking to ride on a completely flat surface or compete, you are going to want to opt for this type. However, if you are going to be doing a lot of jumping, you wouldn’t want to go with this one. Dressage saddles are specially designed for positioning the rider in the right way, especially for flat surfaces.
GP Saddles: These are the saddles that you will find that are meant for riders that are going to be doing a lot of different things with their horses. They are typically the most versatile saddle as they tend to be good for jumping, schooling, and all other types of activities. They are usually made with much deeper seats and shorter flaps. They offer you better balance, better coordination, and better movement for both the rider and the horse.