Since man has domesticated the horse as a work and leisure partner, one uses a horse saddle to move safely and comfortably on horseback. However, different riding styles, varied horse types and individual preferences of the rider require different saddle models.
But which saddle is right for me and my horse?
How do I properly saddle and what if my horse changes physically?
What do I need for accessories for my saddle?
The Dressage Saddle
In order to be able to ride lessons optimally, the rider needs a long leg, a deep seat and the greatest possible contact with the horse.
The ideal dressage saddle therefore has a long, flat pommel, a deep saddle tree and a flat saddle blade. The stirrup spring for mounting the stirrup leathers is attached to the lowest point of the saddle – it is easy for the rider to sit so that an imaginary line is straight from his head over the pelvis to the heel.
When jumping is ridden mainly in a light seat. To stay in motion over the jump with the horse, the rider leans forward. The straps are therefore strapped significantly shorter than in dressage or recreational riding and the rider rides with significantly more knee-jerk. The optimal Spring saddle therefore has a strong forward pronounced Pausche, a short saddle blade and a mounted well in front of the saddle gravity spring, so that the rider remains in balance with his horse.
The Versatility Saddle
Although the term “versatility” refers to a specific category of the various equestrian disciplines, its content is based on what is required in this discipline, namely riding in the three different areas of dressage, jumping and terrain.
The saddle has a slightly forward cut saddle and a medium pronounced Pausche. The drop spring is mounted slightly in front of the saddle center of gravity so that the hanger can be strapped in for shorter or longer stretches depending on the discipline and that the knee will find sufficient support in every position. The VS saddle is ideal for riders who want to cover several disciplines with a saddle or ride their horses exclusively in the field.
The Western Saddle
Western saddles are used in Western riding and recreational riding. Due to the large contact surface, the weight is well distributed on the horse’s back and, thanks to the comfortable seat shape, it is optimally suited for long rides. Characteristic of a western saddle is the horn on the front of the saddle, which traditionally serves as a holder for Lassos. With an additional waist belt, the lifting of the saddle in a cattle catch can be avoided. For horses serves as a cushion between horse and saddle a cozy Westernpad.
Most dressage saddles come with long belt stoppers that allow the belt to snap under the saddle blade. Thus, the thigh of the rider can lie even flatter on the saddle and hold better contact with the horse. Dressage straps are available in lengths of 45 – 75 cm, in the colors black, white, brown and made of different materials such. As leather or neoprene, as well as in different cut shapes. Variants with or without elastic draw take into account the horse’s sensitivities and enable easy re-girthing.
The Gurtsstupfen for buckling with a long belt end below the saddle blade, so that the buckles are depending on the belt and horse approximately in the middle under the saddle blade. Since the leg is clearly in front of the vertical line between the pelvis and heel during show jumping, the buckles underneath the blade do not interfere with riding.
Long straps for jumping saddles are also available as a stollen protection belt, which prevents possible injuries to the abdomen by striking the studs. Suitable for the different disciplines, there are short or long straps for dressage, jumping and eventing saddles, usually in the colors black, brown and white.
All saddles include stirrups and matching stirrup leathers. The shape of the temples varies depending on the application, belts are available in different lengths, colors and materials. Often leather is used.
A riser on the front saddle of the saddle, colloquially called “Maria-Hilf-Riemen”, serves to hold on ascent and gives support when the rider becomes unsure.
To protect the material of the saddle from the aggressive horse sweat, used saddle pads in various ways