Horseback riding is a beautiful activity where you get to bond with an intelligent animal, be a free-spirited rider, and enjoy the euphoric feeling of going for a ride. With that being said, to enjoy a safe and comfortable ride, proper equipment is needed, with saddles being one of the most important tools that should be on your list. Choosing the right saddle is paramount to have a smooth ride with your horse. On that note, read the following tips to learn more about the proper steps behind choosing the right saddle. But in terms of the quality and price, we highly recommend lemieux saddlepad.
1. Set Up A Budget
The first thing you need to do before buying a saddle is to determine your budget and do proper research on the pricing. Horse riding equipment can add up to an astronomical amount if not adequately planned, so setting up a limited budget for your saddle will help you a lot. However, you still need to make sure that you can buy a good quality saddle as this involves your safety.
2. Find the Right Retailer
Saddles are not just your run-on-the-mill equipment, and you can’t just buy them from any random retailer. While buying your pet’s toys from unknown online shops can work in your favor and land you some good deals, buying specific equipment like saddles should not be bought carelessly. You need to search for reputable retailers who specialize in horse equipment. Moreover, dealing with a trustworthy retailer will offer you some much-needed perks. Reputable retailers allow riders to test the saddle for a trial period and have a reasonable exchange policy, which is important when you opt for quality items or pricey equipment.
3. Research Different Types of Saddles
There are many different types of saddles, each with its own specialized usage. Saddles are a part of your horse riding safety wear, so it’s important to understand what the different types of saddles have to offer to ensure the safety and comfort of both you and your horse. The two most basic saddles are English and Western. English saddles allow the rider to be closer to the horse and are smaller and lighter in size and weight. On the other hand, Western saddles are larger and padded, with a horn-like protrusion at the front, which separates the rider from the horse. These two saddles come in a variety of styles, all with different uses and each suitable for a different activity, so in-depth research is much needed.
4. Determine the Saddle’s Main Use
Following up on the previous point, you need to determine the saddle’s main use before purchasing one. Horseback riding is not a simple activity; there are many different types of sports and occupations that require riding a horse, and each has its own set of rules and its own riding style. The riding style of the rider depends heavily on the type of saddle needed, and it plays a key role in which type of saddle is best. For example, sports such as horse racing and polo require an English saddle, while individuals who use horses for farm work or to ride on trails will need a Western saddle. It’s always best to choose the best saddle for the activity you want to use it for.
5. Choose Between Leather Or Synthetic
Choosing the material of the saddle comes down to the preference of the riders themselves. Saddles are made of metal or wood and are usually covered with leather or synthetic fabric. There is no right or wrong answer when choosing between a leather or synthetic saddle, the only difference is their price and their lifespan. Leather is more expensive and therefore lasts longer, while synthetic saddles are cheaper and have a shorter lifespan than the former.
6. Fit the Saddle to You and Your Horse
This is an important step you must take before sticking with a saddle. A good design does not equate to it being useful or suitable for your horse. There are many things you need to consider when fitting a saddle to your horse. Firstly, you need to ensure that it maintains sufficient space between it and the horse’s pommel and withers. It should fit perfectly on the horse’s back. Secondly, if you opt for a Western saddle, you need to measure the shape and size to properly secure it on the horse. If you opt for an English saddle, then focus on its tightness; it shouldn’t be too tight on the horse. Once you’ve determined the perfect size and fit for the horse, take the saddle for a spin to make sure that your horse is comfortable with the arrangement.
Saddles form an important part of any horse riding equipment. They are the base that allows both the rider and the horse to do their activities. Taking the proper steps to choose the right saddle is crucial and will ensure the comfort and safety of both parties involved.