Purchasing a saddle? It can seem to be such a daunting challenge to go through especially when it is your first saddle. Saddles are the most expensive equipment that you need for your horse, therefore, getting to know your saddles and deciding which one to buy is very crucial.
Let us first discuss the 2 types of saddles:
English saddles are used to ride horses with english riding disciplines. The style of this saddle is used in all Olympic and International Equestrian Competitions. It is meant for jumping, hunting and the like. It is the saddle of choice for general or all-purpose use. It also offers a closer contact to the back of the horse. It is usually built on either a laminated wooden tree reinforced with steel or a synthetic tree covered with either leather or synthetic.
Western Saddle or Stock Saddle
Western saddle or stock saddles are used mainly in the United States. It is used mainly on working horses on cattle ranches around the country. It is also popularly known as cowboy saddles or seen used in rodeos. It is usually used for long rides, gaming or ranch work. This type of saddle is designed to provide security and comfort to the rider since it is used in long rides, or traveling on rugged trails. This type of saddle does not have padding between the tree and the external leather and fleece skirting hence, it must be padded with a saddle blanket. Western saddles are heavily decorated with carved leatherwork and carved silver cronchos.
Once you have chosen what type of saddle you need. You can now consider what material it should be made of whether leather or synthetic. The size of the saddle, make sure that it fits not only your horse but also you or the rider.
Last but not least is whether it is brand new or used. For beginners, it is more practical to find used saddles for sale in local tack shops or online stores. Purchasing a used but finely restored saddle gets rid of the break-in time and it is not as costly as the brand new ones.