best saddle for endurance horse riding

#8. “One never knows what one’s horse is going to do over the years, and having a saddle that can be converted to adapt to changing shapes, or even fit a different horse down the road, is a wonderful thing.”. No matter which type your horse has, be sure there’s no pressure there either before or after you ride. This is great for horses with high withers, as it can be flocked to lift up the front, eliminating pressure on the withers. 5 Best Treeless saddles Comparison Chart: 5 Best Treeless saddles Reviews. Horse saddles are much more than items placed on the horse for the comfort of the rider or aesthetic purposes. In a Western saddle, look for a wide bar spread throughout, a substantial bar width (to offer better weight distribution) and a flatter bar angle. The company sends out nine saddle forms, and the customer photographs and videos the horse wearing the forms, both standing and in motion. If you’re unsure what tree is in the saddle, ask the retailer or manufacturer. This added luxury gives the feel of riding on an all leather saddle, whilst keeping the saddle light weight. A narrow saddle on this kind of horse will probably cause pain. Many Thoroughbreds and their crosses have prominent withers. His front and back conformation don’t seem to belong to the same horse. Finding saddles for the hard-to-fit horse can be a challenge. For these horses, you’re probably going to be looking for a V-shaped tree, especially if your horse is angular, but don’t rule out the hoop-shaped tree if he’s broad in his back. DESERT LIGHT is a very lightweight and comfortable endurance saddle made of a special, non-absorbing moisture, material. The saddle you use will depend a great deal on your style of riding. A better understanding of how to achieve a perfect fit will pay off in a quiet and focused ride. Whether your horse is the full-figured type like a lot of Haflingers and Fjords or angular and athletic like many Thoroughbreds, or even if he’s one of those in-between horses who’s either still growing or has conformation that doesn’t fit the mold of the average horse—there’s a saddle out there to fit him. But it will be challenging to find the best treeless saddles. That does not fit right! It can become a little confusing about which one to buy. Endurance Riding is one of our specialties! Now that I live in Montana instead of the flatland (errr, I mean Heartland), I’m lucky enough to be invited on trail rides to some pretty majestic places.I know better than to head up a mountain without ensuring my equipment is up for the rough and tough demands of trail riding. It’s *free*! Go to On an initial inspection you may assess the withers of a horse and immediately consider a narrow saddle but this is generally a misconception. Drop panels in a saddle offer more surface area which would sit in the hollow behind the wither on high wither horses. A saddle that pinches a horse’s shoulders or presses on his withers can have all sorts of negative effects. If the tree fits the contours of your horse’s back, everything else will fall into place. Bar crowns that fill in gaps or hollow pockets, bar flares for beefy shoulders or high croups, and a substantial sweep or rock for the dippy-backed horse work well. • Bars (rails on an English saddle) are the two strips that run parallel to your horse’s spine and are connected in front by the fork or pommel and in the back by the cantle. Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on controlled long-distance races. The saddles are made in the U.S.A., priced from the $500s to $1,000. “A more angular horse with hollows behind the shoulder does better in a tree with a longer point,” says Anderson. Opinions vary in the saddle-fitting community over whether it’s advisable to buy an extra-wide saddle and add padding at the withers to make it fit. Ride to finish! There are 10 main saddle types for you to choose from: General purpose saddle: This saddle type is a good option for beginners to consider. Here are a few suggestions for high-withered horses: • Black Country Saddles specializes in custom-built saddles for a number of English disciplines, including dressage, endurance, jumping, polo and hunters as well as Icelandic and general purpose. “It’s easy to assume a horse who walks away from the mounting block, can’t stand still or is excessively spooky is just that kind of horse,” says Anderson. • Bar rock or sweep refers to the amount of curve in the bars from front to back. You have to ride with longer stirrups in an endurance saddle. Custom saddles endurance riders prefer include those made by Kanavy Endurance Saddles, the ReactorPanel Saddle Company, Sharon Saare Saddles, Specialized Saddles, SR Saddle Company, and Synergist Saddles, Endurance riding demands a high level of fitness of horse and rider. Here’s how to choose the right saddle for three equine body types that are especially hard to fit. Ideally, the bar angle when viewed from the front of the horse will match the slope of the area just behind the horse’s shoulder known as the “saddle pocket.”. Too narrow and it could bridge, creating pressure points. • Bates Saddles offers high-quality leather dressage, jumping, stock, Icelandic and all-purpose saddles outfitted with both the Easy-Change Gullet System, with interchangeable metal gullets, and the Easy-Change Riser System, which allows you to switch the pads in the saddle panel as needed to adjust the fit as the horse’s conformation changes. It’s just as uncomfortable on the horse as a saddle that’s too narrow,” warns Anderson. This saddle is especially good for horses with an apex shaped back and is a good start up saddle for new riders. Just make sure you have all the gear and experience necessary to ride safely. Front gussets are an additional piece of leather stitched onto the front, which allows for more flocking in this area. The endurance saddle is very comfortable for both the horse and rider during long periods of riding. It has a round, 26″ length skirt. Pros. Circle Y Alabama Flex2 Trail Gaiter Saddle Their gait creates a smooth ride and allows them to carry an above average amount of weight for their size. Horses with broad backs and low withers often do best with saddles that have hoop-shaped trees. “I’m a big fan of adjustable saddles,” says Anderson. Kent and Masters have designed a high wither option for both their dressage saddles and GP saddles. (Compare carrying a sleeping child, to one that is awake.) “But sometimes ear pinning, tail swishing, teeth grinding, evasion of the bit, and even difficulty with upward and downward transitions can be linked to discomfort in the horse. High-withered horses will benefit from models with thicker gussets and trapezius or K panels, which fill in hollow areas behind the shoulders. Take one look at those withers and you might think narrow saddle. • Collegiate Saddles offers hand-crafted leather saddles for a variety of English disciplines---including dressage, eventing and jumping---all with the Easy-Change Gullet System, which allows you to select a gullet bar that best fits your horse. “You can be in a very wide Fidelio and be amazed at how comfortable it is.” Other ideas include suspending the tree slightly over the horse, but that can mean a loss of contact. Prices range from $430 to $1,450. Endurance rides can be any distance, though they are rarely over 160 km for a one-day competition. A narrow saddle on this kind of horse will probably cause pain. However, the endurance saddle is only suitable for endurance and long distance riding because the rider must ride long. A tired rider is harder for a horse to carry. Yes, there are all sorts of horses whose shapes make finding the right saddle difficult, and there’s a lot at stake. But if you take the time to analyze how your horse is put together and what a “good fit” means for him, you’re more likely to choose a saddle that will make you both happy. You can find many saddle for gaited horses and you might find it hard to choose as they all seem good and suitable. “Duett saddles are designed for difficult-to-fit horses,” says Temple, “especially those with wide backs.” Sizes range from a medium 32 cm wide to a super-sized 42 cm. (Neigh! Don't miss out! The AceRugs western leather horse saddle measures 12-18 inches in the seat and weighs about 26 pounds. 100% premium leather; Beautiful hand-carved floral and basketweave tooling; Well-padded seat; Numerous ties Adjustable Blevins Buckles; Cons The saddle is made in the United Kingdom but is available through U.S. dealers, priced around $695. The leather models feature short, rounded skirts for the short-backed horse. Minor imperfections in fit that may have little or no consequence during an hourof arena riding can cause significant soreness for both you and your horse after a day on the trail over varying terrain. Best Endurance Saddle. Not all Western saddles are as good as they seem. Endurance riding is gaining in popularity in the horse world but as Endurance GB says it isn’t for the faint hearted, and it isn’t for the rider who doesn’t actually enjoy being in the saddle for long stretches!. The endurance racing can be between 50 and 100 miles in a day. “The two- to three-finger rule isn’t an accurate measure.” Instead, Anderson suggests riding in the saddle for about 20 minutes. AceRugs All Natural Cowhide Western Leather Horse Saddle. It should be able to spread the weight of the rider evenly across the horse’s back, by encompassing a large and flat surface on which the rider can sit. The bar can be changed, as necessary, if your horse changes in size. When riding with a Western saddle, you will use your seat more. How To Choose A Good Saddle That Fits You, Your Horse And Your Style Of Riding - Part 1. If you are into equestrian riding and for a long time too, you have to focus on getting the comfort level. That’s where trail saddle shopping becomes more exacting---the more time you spend in a saddle, the more critical good fit becomes. Its function is simple—to provide stability and support, both to the saddle and the rider. All Rights Reserved, We are an online retailer in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, If you are interested in trialling a saddle to see if its suitable for your horse. Prices start around $2,300. But some broad-backed horses aren’t built like your typical Thelwell pony. He looks like a bulldog from the front, with a concave pocket behind his shoulders and a fairly average back. Your horse might be young and still growing or getting back into condition, like Cappy. “You would never want to put a flat tree on a horse with a bit of a sway in its back or vice versa. And sometimes saddle slips occur even after you’ve tried every­thing to prevent them: riding in a wide saddle, using a nonslip girth and pulling the cinch as tight as your core strength allows. • Barrel racing or gaited saddles, available from many makers, tend to offer ample clearance at the withers. Hoop-shaped trees, shaped like an upside-down U instead of the traditional V-shape, fit these burly types well. “Shoulder gussets and a dropped panel are a must to fill in the area behind the shoulder and lift the saddle enough in front to clear those withers.”. [Disclaimer: EQUUS may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our site. Here’s how to find one: Saddle fit starts in the tree. A broad-backed horse will probably take a wide saddle, but be aware that those with very wide twists can be uncomfortable for the rider, so be sure to look for saddle designs that fit you, too. For that reason, your saddle search begins with a solid under­standing of tree shape and how it relates to saddle fit. Luckily, they also track the breed of each horse which enabled me to help you find the best horse breeds for endurance riding. The use of front shims to lift the saddle balances the rider, while the extra width in the tree gives the horse great comfort and freedom of movement.”, If your horse is more angular, consider other options. The Western-style trail saddle weighs just 24.5 pounds and has a soft, double-padded seat for rider comfort; it sells for $1,695. It's made with a durable, scratch resistant material making it great for trail riding. And finally there are the in-betweens, like my Quarter Horse, Cappy. Take that off my back now, really.” There are things to take note of when putting a saddle on a horse, at the top of these things is how well the saddle fits onto the back of … Too wide and it could sit too low on your horse’s spine. Different types of horse riding will require different saddles. However, an English endurance saddle is also built for longer riding. Others have withers that taper off like a mountain range. • Bar twist refers to the change in bar angle from front to back as it follows the contours from just behind your horse’s shoulder toward his croup. Even wider trees can be special ordered. Although they are a strong endurance horse, most Missouri Fox Trotters are used for their trail-riding abilities. Obviously, long hours of preparation and training go into every event. Visit Many endurance riders choose saddles that are semi-custom; that is, they select the tree size that best fits their horse and the seat size that best fits them. Many Thoroughbreds and other athletic riding types sport high withers that make saddle fitting difficult. All are built on a tree designed to fit Haflingers and other wide-backed horses. “Some of my saddles, like the Fidelio dressage model, offer a more sloping pommel shape,” says Temple. All horses appreciate a good fit. Buy from a company that has a champion endurance riding legacy. There are a whole lot of different models out there, varying enormously in terms of comfort, support, size, and suitability for different riding conditions, and you might be missing out or even putting yourself or your horse in danger and discomfort by using the wrong one! This saddle has a short panel design which allows it to fit short-backed horses, a great saddle to try on those notoriously difficult to fit Arab types. Many of these horses have withers that taper into a broad, athletic back with a well-sprung rib cage. Guaranteed fit using the EQUImeasure Kit! ... riding in a wide saddle, ... which allows you to select a gullet bar that best fits your horse. Now let’s take a look at three of the most challenging equine physiques and saddle suggestions to fit them. Of course, non-endurance riders experience these problems as well. Endurance Saddles & Bareback Pads Whether you are doing 100-mile rides or simply enjoying laid back trail rides, browse our wide selection to find an endurance or trail saddle that functions wonderfully for horse and rider comfort. Make sure your trusty trail steed is covered with the best western saddle pad. If the bar angle and the twist are a perfect match for the horse’s back, chances are everything else will fit as well. Traditional panels are more straight, therefore do not offer the option of adding additional flocking to lift the saddle off the wither. There is so much variation in this group that you’ll want to consult a certified saddle fitter or speak with a few manufacturer representatives to be sure. Kent and Masters is essentially a full leather version of Thorowgood saddles, offering a similar range in fit and design. )” “Hey! “All riders know that their horse changes shape due to changes in diet, work program and maturity, and naturally they get frustrated when they discover their saddle no longer fits their horse perfectly,” says Ron Bates. The saddles are designed with flaps that will help with jumping, hunts, and dressage. Go to If the tree fits the contours of your horse’s back, everything else will fall into place. The first thing that can make or break the race is the saddle. Aside from a little tweaking here and there, the basic design of the saddletree hasn’t changed much in almost 2,000 years. 9 Best Endurance Saddle -Reviews And Buying ... - horse mania The bar spread determines the width of the saddletree’s channel or gullet. [For your bookshelf: The Horse's Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book][For your bookshelf: The Western Horse's Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book: Soundness and Comfort with Back Analysis and Correct Use of Saddles and Pads], “I’ve always compared saddle fit to shoe fit,” says Dawn Anderson, a saddle fitter certified by the Society of Master Saddlers in the United Kingdom. A good endurance saddle should sit properly on the horses back and be comfortable for both horse and rider. A straighter cut flap allows for the longer, more relaxed endurance leg position. As a race horse galloper in Spain, I rode 4-7 horses six days a week, and of the hour or so I was on each horse, only a few minutes would be at a canter or gallop (standing in the stirrups). If you are not sure what saddle to try, get in touch with our friendly team via email or. If you’re not already receiving the EQUUS newsletter, click here to sign up. Versatile GP that’s forward enough cut to allow for jumping and cross-country as well as schooling and hacking. Top 5 Best Saddle for Trail Riding 1. It is one of the international competitions recognized by the FEI.There are endurance rides worldwide. *Also see my post on the Best Bras for Riding Horses. How to Choose a Horse for Endurance. You know them—Fjords, Haflingers, most Mountain and Moorland breeds— just about any horse who has huggable but hard-to-fit conformation. Endurance riders (and horses) are the marathon athletes of the equestrian world. • Bar angle is comparable to the pitch on your barn’s roof. Many Thoroughbreds and their crosses, Appendix Quarter Horses and other athletic riding types sport high, sharp---“shark”---withers that make saddle fitting tough. They usually do better with saddles that have V-shaped trees—but not always. Prices range from $670 to $1,500. When you are just getting started with endurance racing, you want to choose a horse that is conformationally correct and sound. The bar can be changed, as necessary, if your horse changes in size. Understanding the following terms can help you make an informed decision. “Now, for the first time riders can monitor these changes and even do something about them.” Prices range from $1,220 to $2,999. Riding Tights made from Bi way stretch Lycra featuring an Inner knee reinforcement with synthetic suede. To help you further, we gathered 15 best saddle for gaited horses. Here are a few suggestions for saddles that might fit the mutton-withered, broad-backed horse: • Duett offers a variety of saddles—dressage, close contact, jumping, Icelandic/gaited and trailbuilt on wide, rounded trees. Cashel Soft Saddle G2 When it comes to saddles, some horses are just hard to fit. • Allegany Mountain Trail Saddles offers a fully customized fit, starting at around $1,350. Lightweight and kind to your horse’s back, recommended by the Veteran Horse Society and the Veteran Welfare Trust. If your favorite view from the top of a horse consists of open fields, wooded paths, and scenic vistas, you might enjoy endurance riding. Luxurious suede-effect seat covering and knee pads are non-slip and really comfortable to ride on. • The Big Horn Haflinger Saddle, now made by American Saddlery, comes in leather and synthetic Western models, with 15 ½-inch and 16-inch seats. Check our latest endurance saddles reviews. To do its job right, the tree must fit the contours of your horse’s back. • Wintec, a subsidiary of Bates Saddles, has a range of lightweight synthetic saddles in several styles, including endurance, Western, Icelandic, stock and trail as well as for dressage and jumping. And much of that discomfort can be traced to poor saddle fit.”, But if your horse has a hard-to-fit physique, you might be asking the question: "Is it even possible to achieve a good fit for him?". Raid Equestrian Limited, 83 Ducie Street, Manchester, M1 2JQ, United Kingdom Either way, his back could change. If you are a horse owner or rider and would like to learn more about saddle fitting, and how the saddle can impact your horses performance and welfare, click on the link below: Copyright © The Saddle Bank 2019. If the saddle is not soft and light for the horse and the rider, it might be a problem. Go to Those are the two most important things to look for. This saddle has a slightly flatter tree on the underside and compact panels that allow the rider to feel closer to the horse, while still being deep enough to ensure maximum clearance along the length of the spine of a high-wither conformation. “Curvature of the tree is important to the fit of the saddle,” says Anderson. It’s no different for your horse. Sometimes that broad back crops up in other types, like Baroque horses or gaited breeds. They can be used for different types of riding. It must distribute the rider’s weight evenly over the horse’s back, while keeping pressure off his spine. A Western saddle is designed for long work days in the saddle, giving both the horse and the rider greater comfort for those long days. Go to Some trees offer a little flare in back as well to allow for a croup-high horse. Although we all know the basic types of equine conformation, horses are as individual as we are. The T8 saddles incorporate the same model design features as the T4 saddles but are made with a quality leather seat, knee pads and trim with a synthetic underside.

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