English Saddles and Tack

An English horse saddle is one of the first pieces of horse riding equipment you'll need after purchasing a horse. Whether you intend to show professionally or use the saddle for pleasure riding, it should fit both the horse and rider. An ill-fitting saddle can rub or pinch the animal's skin or cause uncomfortable sensations at pressure points. A rider can end up with a sore bum and be tossed about if the saddle doesn't sit level on the horse. So that both you and your horse enjoy your time together in the ring or riding trails, consider these helpful suggestions.

How do you choose a seat size?

English saddles are available in different seat sizes to fit the rider. While seated in a chair, measure from the edge of the knee to the back of your buttocks. Body measurements ranging from 42 to 58 centimetres fit saddles from 38 to 48 centimetres. A saddle that's too small puts too much pressure on the horse's back and you'll feel cramped in the seat.

What is the saddle gullet?

The saddle gullet fits over the horse's withers or shoulders and should be sized to your horse. A medium gullet fits an average-sized horse, while larger horses need a saddle equipped with an extra-wide gullet. The horse breed also determines gullet size as some horses have more narrow withers, such as Arabians and Thoroughbreds. Some saddles come with interchangeable gullets to accommodate the different widths of horses.

How do you clean saddles?

Lastly, a leather saddle requires rubbing it down regularly with a leather balm or oil to soften the leather. These types must be kept in a dry environment to prevent deterioration. On the other hand, a synthetic saddle cleans up by wiping the surface with a damp cloth. Owners use these lighter saddles to break a horse or use on horses with weaker backs.

What tack should you choose?

Choosing the saddle is the first step, followed by purchasing horse tacks, such as English horse saddle pads that absorb sweat and prevent the saddle from rubbing the horse's skin. These pads are available in sheepskin, cotton and other soft materials. You'll also find a selection of English horse bridles, stirrups, and other English tack to fill up your tack room with supplies for you and your horse.