Last updated: August 22, 2021

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Welcome to our big jumping saddle test 2021. Here we present all the jumping saddles we have tested. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best jumping saddle for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a jumping saddle.




Summary

  • Jumping saddles are designed for the special needs of jumping. Depending on your own preferences and skills, you can choose between a low or flat seat.
  • When buying a jumping saddle, you must pay attention to the correct seat size (in inches), otherwise you will either be too restricted or will not find any support.
  • The choice of the right saddle also depends on the gullet width. This indicates the angle of the saddle and is decisive for the fit.

The Best Jumping Saddle: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a jumping saddle

What is a jumping saddle and when do I need it?

The different equestrian disciplines require different equipment for you and your horse. You should buy a jumping saddle if you want to jump over obstacles with your horse on a regular basis.

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If you regularly jump obstacles with your horse, you should buy a suitable jumping saddle. (Image source: unsplash.com / Melanie Hartshorn)

There are different types of saddles: Dressage saddles support you in a long and straight legged seat. These have long saddle flaps and a deep seat. Versatility saddles, on the other hand, are a combination of jumping and dressage saddles and allow you to do both dressage and jumping. Jumping saddles, on the other hand, are designed for the special needs of jumping. In the next section you will find out what exactly makes a jumping saddle and how it is constructed.

How is a jumping saddle constructed?

Jumping saddles are characterised by a wide forward cut, short saddle flaps and a longer seat with flat panels. The knee rolls and calf blocks on the saddle flaps are designed to give you optimum support and hold with a short stirrup length.

The front, high arched part of the saddle is called the saddle flap and supports the saddle above the withers. The lateral, round leather panels are called saddle flaps, which are fitted with pommels, i.e. panels. The pommel is a part of the saddle that surrounds the horse's back and is designed to relieve its muscles.

Which jumping saddle is right for you and your horse?

Horses, with their different builds, make different demands on a saddle. You should choose your jumping saddle very carefully, as an ill-fitting model can make communication between you and your horse difficult.

A badly fitted jumping saddle can also lead to saddle pressure, i.e. bruising of the skin. In this case, you are absolutely forbidden to ride and must take it easy on your favourite's back until the wound heals.

To find the right jumping saddle, we recommend a personal consultation, as the correct gullet width can only be determined on the horse's back itself. In doing so, the pure inner construction of the saddle is compared. However, not only the horse, but also you yourself must feel comfortable in your new saddle. In this case, too, we recommend a personal consultation where you can try on the saddle. Make sure that the seat is big enough and that the legs are in a comfortable position.

Is there an alternative to a jumping saddle?

You can also use eventing saddles that focus on jumping for your training. They have forward-cut, half-length saddle flaps and a comfortable seat, which makes them suitable for jumping. If you are really skilled and you know your horse well, you can also jump bareback in the sense of "free riding". However, you need a lot of experience, trust and a well-trained horse.

Decision: What types of jumping saddles are there and which is the right one for you?

There are three different types of jumping saddles:

  • Jumping saddle with deep seat
  • Flat seat jumping saddle
  • Medium deep jumping saddle

The types mentioned have different effects on your seat and your freedom of movement during the jump. In the following we will explain the main advantages and disadvantages of each type. Nevertheless, you should try out all types, as the choice of the right saddle also depends on your personal comfort.

What distinguishes a jumping saddle with a deep seat and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The deep seat is quite a popular model among riders because its deep seat allows for a lot of support and security. It also has large pommels that strongly support the optimal position of the leg.

Advantages
  • One sits firmly in the saddle
  • The optimal position of the legs is supported
  • Pommels also provide support above the jump
Disadvantages
  • Freedom of movement is restricted
  • The leg is not free to move
  • The horse's back is loaded selectively

However, advanced riders in particular tend to feel trapped by the large pommels and restricted in their freedom of movement. In addition, deep seat saddles are usually fitted with wedge-shaped panels, which place a high punctual load on the horse's lumbar muscles.

What distinguishes a flat seat jumping saddle and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The flat seat and smaller pommels of the flat seat saddle allow a lot of freedom of movement. However, if you choose this model, you should be able to balance yourself well. This jumping saddle offers you the possibility to move much more freely over the jump, which is especially important for high jumps. Jumps that do not run optimally can also be better balanced with this saddle.

Advantages
  • Lots of freedom of movement
  • Bad jumps can be compensated for
  • Better adaptation to the movement of your horse
  • The legs are not trapped by pommels
Disadvantages
  • Inexperienced riders feel insecure with it
  • Due to the lack of pommels you have less support
  • Not optimally suited for inexperienced riders

In general, the flat seat allows you to adapt better to your horse's movement. Due to the less pronounced pommels, your leg is not jammed and can rest more calmly when landing.

What are the characteristics of a medium depth jumping saddle and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The medium depth saddle is a compromise between the low and flat seat. In general, it provides support through the knee and calf blocks and is also characterised by a slightly deeper seat than the flat seat.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate jumping saddles

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate jumping saddles. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain product is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Seat size
  • Gullet width
  • Interchangeable gullet plate
  • Material
  • Colours

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Seat size

When buying a jumping saddle you must make sure that you find the right size for you. The size is measured between the front and rear pommel and is given in inches. If you sit in a saddle that is too small, you will shift your centre of gravity too far back and the horse will not be able to arch its back properly. In addition, if the saddle is too small, you will not be able to move with the horse.

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In order to have a loose seat in the saddle, the jumping saddle must be the right size. (Image source: pixabay.com / Neel Shakilov)

In a saddle that is too big, on the other hand, you will have the feeling that you are "swimming". You might try to find support with your thighs and be too cramped. Below we have included a small guide to the measurements in inches. Keep in mind, however, that the size specifications can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. We therefore recommend that you always try them on.

Indication in inches indication in centimetres contact surface on the horse's back recommended dress size
15 inch 38 cm 40 cm 34
16 inch 40 cm 43 cm 36
17 inch 43 cm 47 cm 38-42
18 inch 46 cm 49 cm from 44

Chamber width

The gullet width is the distance between the ends of the gullet plate and provides information about the angle of the saddle. To find out the right gullet width for your horse, you can either have the saddle maker measure it or you can make the right tool yourself. For example, you can use a soft wire to take the shape of the withers and the rump and transfer it to a piece of paper.

You can then hold the template against the saddle and find out if it will fit. Generally there are sizes between 26 cm and 36 cm. However, there are also saddles with interchangeable gullet blocks where the gullet width can be changed.

Exchangeable gullet plate

Horse backs change over time to a greater or lesser extent due to training, illness or age. Therefore, we recommend that you buy a saddle that you can easily adapt to your horse's needs, as this will save you money.

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Horse pressures change over time. Accordingly, the jumping saddle needs to be adjusted each time. (Image source: pixabay.com / pixelia)

Synthetic saddle trees often offer you the possibility of changing the angle of the saddle yourself by means of exchangeable gullets. It is advisable to have the saddle padding adjusted by a saddler after a change. A basic distinction is made between V-shaped and U-shaped gullets. Below we have included a table with the characteristics of each shape.

Shape of gullet plate Properties
V-shaped Suitable for narrow backs and high withers. Provides good stability.
U-shaped Suitable for broad and round shoulders. Provides enough space for the muscles and fits well.

Material

The saddle tree, i.e. the stable inner construction of the saddle, can be made of different materials, including wood, steel or plastic. Below we have included a table with the respective properties of the saddle tree material.

Saddle tree material Properties
Wood This material is not flexible in movement and is also difficult to change. The chamber width can only be adjusted by sanding.
Steel Steel is flexible in movement and durable, but it is difficult to change the chamber width.
Plastic Here, changing the chamber width is very easy, but it can easily bend under high heat and heavy load.

When choosing the material of the saddle tree, one should consider the age of the horse. For a young horse, a saddle with easily changeable chamber width is recommended, otherwise you will be forced to buy a new saddle after every growth spurt of your horse.

The seat of the saddle can be made of leather, synthetic leather or plastic. Leather saddles require special care as they need to be greased regularly. Synthetic saddles, on the other hand, are easier to care for, but they are not as durable as saddles made of higher quality materials.

Colours

As a natural product, leather offers a few colour shades, including black, dark brown, light brown, cognac and many more. Depending on the texture of the leather, i.e. smooth leather, suede, nappa leather or waxed leather, there are different shades. These can even be blue, red or green.

Facts worth knowing about jumping saddles

Does a saddle cloth fit under the jumping saddle?

Unlike the usual saddle cloth, the saddle cloth is larger and rectangular in shape and can feature lettering, patterns and the like. They can also be used for show jumping. Especially at competitions, saddle cloths are used together with jumping saddles, because it looks visually nicer.

Which girth goes with a jumping saddle?

As jumping saddles have a shorter saddle flap with short girth straps, a long girth is recommended. Choosing the right girth is very important because it is part of the equipment, just like the saddle, and should fit the horse. The wrong girth not only fixes the saddle badly, but can also lead to pain or disturbed blood circulation.

What can I do if the jumping saddle slips forward?

There can be several reasons for the saddle slipping. When this happens, the horse's freedom of movement is restricted or it no longer reacts well to your aids. The following tips can help against a slipping saddle:

  • Avoid thick saddlecloths and saddle pads
  • A girth gives the saddle a better hold
  • Use an anti-slip pad

To be on the safe side, we recommend that you make an appointment with a saddler, as the saddle may need to be adjusted.

What can I do if the jumping saddle slips backwards?

The following measures can prevent the saddle from sliding backwards:

  • Adjust the girth strap
  • The saddle needs a different gullet width (too strong muscles)
  • Saddle correctly and do not place the saddle too far forward

To be on the safe side, we recommend that you make an appointment with a saddler, as the saddle may need to be adjusted.

Can I have a jumping saddle fitted?

You have the option of having your saddle fitted by a saddler or in a specialist equestrian shop. The possibilities of adjustment depend on the material of the saddle tree, as we have already explained in the section on buying criteria/material.

Can I also use the jumping saddle for riding out?

It depends on what kind of ride you are planning. For a wild ride with many obstacles, a jumping or eventing saddle is certainly better than for long, leisurely trail rides.

Image source: unsplash.com / Gene Devine

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