The Life of a Saddle
The Life of a Saddle

A saddles life like many other lives can go in so many different directions, some saddles are polished and packed away after ever use only pulled out on special occasions and some are used every day and in all sorts of conditions and stored in a barn when not in use. 

When choosing a saddle for one's horse many factors need to be considered before choosing. Around the world there are many different styles of saddles coming in all different shapes sizes and colors, some are made in leather and other materials as well.  

 

 

Saddles can be split up into disciples to give your main choices and the number of options is too many to list.  Dressage Saddles, Jumping Saddles, Endurance Saddles, Western Saddles, Roping Saddles, Barrel Saddles, Stock Saddles just to name a few, but you can break this into two main disciplines English and Western.

 

 

The saddle is a very important piece of tack crucial to most equestrian lovers but the wrong saddle can create many issues.  One of the biggest causes of back pain in horses is due to incorrectly fitted tack mainly saddles.  The saddle is looked at in a few different aspects in regards to sizing a saddle for yourself and your horse.  

 

 

There is the Seat size normally referred to in inches(inner seat and outer seat/skirt) and gullet size gullet referring to the distance between the two points on the saddle sitting across the withers normally referred to in inches as well.

Then there is also the channel size, bars or no bars, round or square skirt, point length and some saddles even come with an adjustable gullet so one saddle can be fitted to several different size horses.

 

 

Most tack including saddles will often come in black or brown especially in leather saddles but colors do vary with different materials.  Some devoted equestrian lovers will buy all gear and tack in matching colors for particular horses and my family is a great example.  We have 3 permanent horses with their colors and a fourth color that is my favorite (Purple) which I use on my project horses.  

Once you've found a saddle that you like and fits your requirements the next big factor is comfort, some only ride lightly here and there and others ride most days for long periods.  The saddle not only has to fit both rider and horse but also has to be comfortable for both as well.

 

 

One of my most used and loved saddles is a beautiful Synthetic Western Saddle i purchased from Payless Saddlery quite some time ago and it is amazing.  It's mostly synthetic with leather parts and is mostly black with some lovely creamy beige colors.  

I ordered the saddle in a 15in seat with 6in gullet for my mother's palomino filly Indiana.  The saddle was at a very affordable price with quality postal service and arrived in the regular postal time.  The saddle came mounted and we also purchased a matching cream leather western bridle with reins and breastplate which all looked and fit amazingly, it was also very light thanks to its synthetic materials.

The saddle was thrown into use as soon as it arrived, firstly on Indiana and was one of the first saddles she worked in when she was started under saddle by myself with some help here and there.  Not only was the saddle a great fit and so light it was also very comfortable.  

Indi is quite tall now almost 16'3h having a nice light saddle is a major bonus when you're not quite tall yourself.  My mother is even shorter and can still take her up with no issues.  Although we are both different seat sizes we both can manage the 15-inch seat so its great for both of us to use.  The saddle was then also used on a paint mare I got green broken, she had her bad moments in the early training days and the saddle never let me down.  

 

I've also used the saddle of a few other project horses over the years, I also got to ride in it on a beautiful Friesian mare on a great ride along a private beach.

Even with the Friesian typical rocking horse canter and high movement, the saddle was great and the ride was amazing, being a synthetic saddle I could ride threw sand and saltwater and be able to completely hose off the saddle at the end of the ride.  Easy to use, easy to store and easy to clean.

Some saddles especially cheap nasty saddles often break early or cannot handle such a ruff life but this saddle still looks as good today as it did brand new and remains one of the families' most favorite saddles to this day.  This saddle is just one of the many great products my family has purchased threw paylesssaddlery.

Author Name - Neisha Cater

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