Why do you have to choose your riding saddle carefully?
What’s at stake for the rider
Whether the saddle is a new saddle or a second-hand one, it represents a major stake for the rider because being seated on it, it plays on the quality of his position and his plate.
Riding a horse with a saddle that does not suit you will influence :
the descent of your legs
how to keep your back
in short: your position as a whole!
A good position on horseback is essential to progress but above all to make your mount work properly. In order to ensure your progress on horseback, it is therefore imperative that you ride with a saddle that will not negatively influence the above mentioned elements.
What is at stake for the horse
If the stakes of riding with a suitable saddle are high for the rider, it is even higher for the horse! Why is that? Because the saddle puts pressure on his back. If these pressures are placed in the wrong places, the saddle will cause pain and if the horse is in pain… he will not be able to do properly what the rider asks him to do.
Riding a horse with a saddle that is not adapted to him can :
hinder him in his work
wound him (mainly at the withers)
lead to serious blockages in the back but also in the forehand and hind legs
Don’t tense up when reading this, it is possible to control the saddle’s adaptation to the horse’s back. The check points to make sure that a saddle fits a horse are :
the opening of the arch
the descent of the saddle onto the horse’s shoulders
the strapping which must be positioned in the right place, neither too far forward nor too far backward
the sweat of the horse (Huh?! Yes, you can check that the saddle distributes the weight of the rider’s body well by checking that the horse’s sweat marks are homogeneous on his back)
The pommel must not be higher than the cantle (and vice versa…)
We tend to add a shock absorber under the saddle to absorb the shocks caused by the weight of the rider’s body on the horse’s back. Be aware that it is not always good to put a shock absorber under the saddle, sometimes it increases the level of pressure exerted on the horse’s back, giving it a feeling of compression. Of course it is not always bad to put a shock absorber, for example, it can rebalance a saddle when the pommel is higher than the cantle.
If you buy a second hand saddle, remember to check the saddle tree before!
What to do when you ride several horses?
If you own several horses and you have the financial means, we advise you to have one saddle per horse (horses are like us: they do not all have the same morphology).
If you are a club rider or if you own several horses but do not have the financial means to buy several saddles, we advise you to turn to second-hand saddles.