Buying a perfect jumping saddle is no cakewalk. This little accessory can also cost you riches. Of course, you can’t tell that the saddle is a perfect fit unless you ride on it. Unfortunately, that’s not an option. Cherry on top - there are so many saddles available, choosing the one for you is a hard-won task.
Let’s share some tips to help you narrow down your search.
- Think hard and know what exactly are you looking for
- Set a budget and stick to it
Little do you realize, with umpteen options of saddles on display, it is easy to get carried away. Well, if you are not keen on burning some giant hole in your wallet, you might want to consider the above-mentioned tips.
What is a jumping saddle anyway?
Okay, so if you are a stickler for horses or horse shows are your gig, you do know about a jumping saddle. There are many names you might have picked up in these years. Some call it a ‘Forward Seat,’ and some ‘Close Contact Saddles.’ The truth is - for a layman, these are just synonyms for a jumping saddle.
If you use a horse for hunting or show-jumping, getting hands on the right jumping saddle is a need of the hour.
Exclusive features of a jumping saddle:
- Deep and gaping seat
- Supportive and cushioned knee rolls
- Forward-cut flaps
What are the perks of these exclusively designed jumping saddles?
. Seats - As you are already aware, the seats are flat and deep to ensure optimum comfort to a rider. These seats allow riders to adjust and adapt to different seating positions.
. Knee rolls - When a horse leaps, it casts an impact on a rider's seating position. The knee rolls work wonders in providing the rider a supportive block while the equestrian jumps.
. Flap cuts - Riding a horse is quite a tedious and laborious job. It is a hard nut to crack. Hence, all those years of training! Well, flap cuts help control the horse and accomplish close contact. The shorter the flap, the better the contact.
Did you know that there are jumping saddles with added features like stirrup bars? Well, Count Toptani came up with the idea to allow the riders to achieve their desired forward seat.
Let’s cut to the chase and understand what to look for when buying a jumping saddle.
Pointers to tick off your checklist:
1. Opt for seasoned saddle fitters. Who could guide you better, than an experienced fitter? Especially, when you are a newbie at buying a saddle.
2. Don’t be thrilled when the saddle is done and delivered. Always keep your fitter’s number on speed dial. Ask the professional to pay you a visit and ensure that the saddle fits you faultlessly.
3. Leather or synthetic - do not override your brain over this. Certainly, a jumping saddle is a big investment. But, cutting corners and settling for cheap options will leave you spending a lot more in the long run. So, say yes to leather saddles.
4. Keep an eye on the features. If your saddle is crafted with interchangeable features, nothing could be more wonderful. The jumping saddle should offer the right amount of security and support to the rider. Your horse is no less important. The saddle should inevitably be comfortable for the horse too.
5. Don’t be carried away with the looks of a saddle. Remember, ‘all that glitters is not gold.’ So, instead of investing in a fancy looking saddle, choose the one that helps you establish comfort and balance with your horse. After all, the idea is to enhance the horse’s performance and your showmanship, right?
6. Say ‘NO’ to saddles that are overly stuffed. It puts unwanted pressure on the equestrian, and causes painful sores. As a safe bet, use finest-in-class, pure wool as the saddle stuffing.
Show jumping or hunting, the riders on the hot seat have to be athletic and incredibly flexible. Wondering why? Well, keeping up with balancing is key. When a horse leaps or bolts off, losing balance is easier done than thought. So, when a rider knows how to balance, there’s less chance of injuries.
A worthy piece of advice - a single flap jumping saddle is mostly favored by show-jumping horses. The rider enjoys a close feel with the horse.