Last updated: August 12, 2021

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If you are a practitioner of this beautiful discipline called horse riding, you will understand that it is not just you, but your horse as well, and as a team you both must have a high level of comfort, only then can you both perform at your best during practice or tournaments. This is achieved with a saddle that is suitable for both of you.

Unless you have been riding for a long time, it may sound atypical to think about buying one. But don't worry, through this article you will learn everything you need to know about saddles, so that both you and your horse friend are in top condition.




The Best Saddle: Our Picks

Buying Guide

After you have seen the main models on the market, you can get an idea of what level of quality saddles are available, and which one might be a good choice. However, it is important that you look further into the subject before you buy your saddle.

Equine comfort is of vital importance when choosing a saddle. (Photo: elljay / pixabay.com)

What are sunglasses and what are their advantages?

Saddles are a tool that facilitates the practice of horse riding, as they allow the rider to keep more balance on the equine. This brings out the best potential of both at the time of a race.

Among the main advantages are the safety, balance and comfort it provides. They are designed so that the rider is safer when riding, avoiding frequent falls and helping to maintain control of the equine. In addition, the seat is more comfortable than the animal's back.

It is important that you know both sides of the product, the positive and the negative, so that you are aware of what you are really buying, so you should analyse the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages
  • They allow more balance
  • They make it easier to control the equine
  • Their seat is comfortable
Disadvantages
  • They can be heavy for the equine
  • If they are too tight, they can hurt the animal
  • They are expensive

Simple saddles, dressage saddles or cowboy saddles - what should you look out for?

There are three types of saddle that have endured over the years, and each has different aspects to consider, depending on the need you hope to satisfy with the product, you will need to choose between them.

Simple saddles. These have the fewest accessories, are not heavy and do not give too much control over the equine, but make your work easier due to their lightness. They are comfortable, some of them are padded. They are not used much for sport.

Dressage saddles. This is the saddle with which the first contact with the equine is made, when you are in the process of training. Before using a professional saddle, this saddle should be used to get used to it. They are light, soft to the touch, which means that the horse does not reject them.

Cowboy saddles. These are professional saddles for riding, they can be heavy for the animal, but allow the rider more comfort and control, which facilitates the practice of riding. They usually have all the necessary accessories to keep the horse under control, allowing it to follow the rider's directions.

Simple saddles Dressage saddles Cowboy saddles Safety Do not fit tightly, rider may fall off Fits only as tight as necessary Perfect fit for riding Weight Lightweight Light, weight increases progressively Heavy for the horse Comfort Comfortable for rider and horse Comfortable for rider, partially for horse Comfortable for rider, may be uncomfortable for horse

How much does a saddle cost?

Depending on the finish of the saddle, the price can be higher; however, the product is expensive, as it is very elaborately made and often handmade, which increases the cost but improves the durability.

Hard-wearing leather saddles, such as crocodile, can be between MXN 10,000 and MXN 14,000, depending on the brand and quality offered. Full saddles, which are usually Mexican, are between MXN 20,000 and MXN 24,000.

Single saddle models, widely used in England, can cost between MXN 3,000 and MXN 4,000, although some more modern and comfortable models for both can be found between MXN 1,500 and MXN 3,000.

Where to buy a saddle?

Finding a saddle shop is not very easy, but if you are looking for quality and variety, the Alpha Saddles shop is perfect for you, as they offer a variety of saddles, even allowing for customisation. Plus everything is handmade, and 100% leather.

If you want more comfort, through Amazon Mexico and Mercado Libre Mexico you can make your purchases online, you will find saddle models that can fit what you are looking for.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of saddles

Finally, there are a few things to consider before you buy. Depending on these factors, you will be able to compare saddle models and choose the right one for you and your horse.

  • Horn
  • Weight
  • Softness
  • Size

Horn

One of the most important parts of the saddle is the horn, although it is not essential, as there are models (simple saddles) that do not have this part. However, there is a reason for its existence, and to choose between a model that has it and one that does not, you need to understand why it is there.

Chairs with horn. They are of greater handling and control, perfect for professional riders who are looking to get the maximum potential out of the horse and themselves as riders.

The horn allows directional control from the saddle, holding it with both hands. It also allows for greater balance when the horse is running or trotting at speed, making it less likely for the rider to fall off.

Hornless saddles. These are simpler saddles, without much grip, they can be called English saddles. They are comfortable for both equine and rider, and allow moderate handling of the animal. The rider must have very good balance to avoid any kind of fall.

Hornless saddles are simpler and can be more comfortable for both horse and rider. (Photo: ceskyfreund36 / pixabay.com)

Weight

The weight of the saddle can vary according to the model, with simple saddles being lighter and cowboy saddles heavier. This is due to the structure they handle. You must keep in mind that it is a weight added to your body weight, and that is what the equine will have to support, that is why heavy saddles are not recommended.

A simple, English type saddle, without horn and padded, can weigh up to 5 KG, depending on the model and design, as the most modern versions can weigh less, reaching up to 1 KG of weight.

Cowboy saddles, however, can weigh up to 12 KG, some weighing approximately 8 KG. The more accessories and adjustments present, the heavier it will weigh.

Softness

There are extra soft seats, which make the rider's comfort greater, and even models that are soft to the touch on the horse's back. This allows for a more pleasant experience for both parties. Normally the finishes are padded, foam filled.

If you are looking for something where strength and control is the main thing, leather saddles are comfortable, but not too comfortable. They allow you more security, and while they are not extra soft, they will make the ride more comfortable than if you didn't have one.

If you care too much about the comfort of the equine, the internal padding should be there, so that it doesn't hurt the back, and you don't feel discomfort that can end up hurting or upsetting the equine.

Size

Believe it or not, there are saddle sizes, which are measured according to the weight of the rider, so that the saddle helps to support the rider. Not all saddles are going to be able to carry someone of any weight, because they can give way or even worse, hurt the equine, as they would press hard on the back.

40 kg to 59 kg. These saddles have the smallest size, they are for slim people, which are very light for the horse. The corresponding size for riders of this weight is 15 inches.

60 kg to 85 kg. Medium saddles are for people with a medium heavy, but not exaggerated, build. Although still not difficult for the horse, a larger size is needed for comfort. The size is 16 inches.

86 kg to 110 kg. At this point, the weight is greater, they are people with a lot of muscle mass, who are naturally heavy. If this is your case, the saddle size is 17 inches

110 kg or more. The largest size available is for people who are very heavy, and to help the equine, you need a saddle that will support that weight. In this case the size is 18 inches.

(Featured image photo: Eleonora Vatel / 123rf.com)

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