Common Saddle Types – Part 1

David Sanderson Equipment, Food, Preparation & Health


Horse riding and saddles go hand-in-hand! So, we thought we’d share some basic information on common horse saddles. This week we’ll cover 4 types, and we’ll cover a few more in an upcoming post!

General purpose saddle

genFor beginner and intermediate riders who just bought their first horse and enjoys various types of riding. They are sturdy with flaps that are cut forward and can accommodate the rider well for basic jumping, dressage and hacks or hunts in the country with small jumps. They are often used in riding schools because there are so many riders of different abilities and sizes that ride there.

Dressage saddle

dressThese are designed for advanced riders who are regularly competing in competitions. They have a deeper seat that looks more like a U-shaped curve when viewed from the side which is intended to provide better balance for the rider. Dressage saddles have straight flaps and they are made from lightweight, thin material which provides the rider with closer leg contact for precision moves.

Jumping saddle

jumpJumping saddles are designed to push the rider slightly forward into the two-point jumping position for when they are going over fences. It has a flatter seat than dressage saddles which looks more like a C-shaped curve when it is viewed from the side. The saddle flaps are much bigger which gives the leg more support and there is padding at the front of the flaps which provides stability and protection for the lower leg during jumps.

Kids saddle

kidsThese saddles are very light weight and used for young children who are riding small ponies. They are made from synthtic materials like cotton with small bits of leather or plastic. The shape of the saddle is much smaller which allows the child to be more balanced in the seat. Some of these saddles will have a handle at the front which can be used for balance. They are often cheaper than adult saddles and fit a wide range of ponies.

Tell us which saddle you prefer and why in the comments!