“Think of the tree as the skeleton of your saddle,” says Anderson. The saddle is fitted with extremely comfortable panels capable of absorbing movements, thus protecting the horse's well-being. His front and back conformation don’t seem to belong to the same horse. It must distribute the rider’s weight evenly over the horse’s back, while keeping pressure off his spine. Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on controlled long-distance races. Go to www.collegiate-saddles.com. Some angles are narrow and steep; others are flat. AceRugs All Natural Cowhide Western Leather Horse Saddle. Horses of just about any breed, age or gender can be found in this category. (Compare carrying a sleeping child, to one that is awake.) “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. A narrow saddle on this kind of horse will probably cause pain. Endurance riding has been around for 59 years now. That does not fit right! If the tree fits the contours of your horse’s back, everything else will fall into place. #8. The company sends out nine saddle forms, and the customer photographs and videos the horse wearing the forms, both standing and in motion. “There are, of course, certain breeds that are consistently wide, like Fjords and Haflingers,” says Nancy Temple, of Duett Saddles, a Massachusetts-based saddle distributor of saddles to fit wide horses. 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. ... riding in a wide saddle, ... which allows you to select a gullet bar that best fits your horse. 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. Visit www.trailridingsaddles.com. Here’s how to find one: Saddle fit starts in the tree. Best Saddle for Trail Riding. This is great for horses with high withers, as it can be flocked to lift up the front, eliminating pressure on the withers. Saddle fit starts in the tree. That doesn’t make for a happy horse.”. Luxurious suede-effect seat covering and knee pads are non-slip and really comfortable to ride on. 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. “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. Not all Western saddles are as good as they seem. A horse with a flat topline for instance, will need a tree with very little rock or sweep while a swaybacked horse or one with a dip will need a tree with significant rock to it. Your saddle stays put, but you’re always on the lookout for signs of damage to your horse’s back and withers. Eat properly, and try to go into the event rested. 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. Suitable for both amateur and professional riders. 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. Take one look at those withers and you might think narrow saddle. If the bar angle and the twist are a perfect match for the horse’s back, chances are everything else will fit as well. Check our latest endurance saddles reviews. He looks like a bulldog from the front, with a concave pocket behind his shoulders and a fairly average back. On the other hand, says Temple, “Many in the natural horsemanship community, as well as other fitters and veterinarians, feel that fitting a horse with a too-wide saddle and using shims to lift the front is actually advantageous. King Series Synthetic Trail Saddle If you're looking for a high-quality synthetic saddle that's perfect for endurance or trail riding then this one from Kings Series is the one to choose. Many of these horses have withers that taper into a broad, athletic back with a well-sprung rib cage. You have to ride with longer stirrups in an endurance saddle. Too narrow and it could bridge, creating pressure points. Your horse might be young and still growing or getting back into condition, like Cappy. 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. There are many companies today that produce saddle pads. A saddle that doesn’t fit causes tension, and when his body is tense, every footfall hits the ground with greater force. Front gussets are an additional piece of leather stitched onto the front, which allows for more flocking in this area. Call our experts at 1.866.880.2121 to discuss your next Endurance Saddle purchase. “The idea that it’s OK to fit a saddle too wide and then pad it up is erroneous. Understanding the following terms can help you make an informed decision. But some broad-backed horses aren’t built like your typical Thelwell pony. It’s just as uncomfortable on the horse as a saddle that’s too narrow,” warns Anderson. Note that many round-barreled horses are also short in the back so consider round-skirted Western saddles over square skirts if that’s the case for yours. This saddle is especially good for horses with an apex shaped back and is a good start up saddle for new riders. https://mailchi.mp/3e71a72e8c92/the-saddle-bank-fitting-guide. Saddle is very innovative thanks to used technology and materials. Its function is simple—to provide stability and support, both to the saddle and the rider. Go to www.americansaddlery.com. 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. When it comes to saddles, some horses are just hard to fit. Synergist custom endurance saddles are the choice of endurance racing champions. The deeper gusseted panel ensures maximum clearance along the length of the spine, making this saddle ideal for shorter backed, high withered horses and those with wide spinal processes. Although the seat is true to size, it offers a different feel to our Original GP and petite riders or those with narrower hips may feel it suits them better.This saddle is ideal for shorter backed, high withered horses and those with wide spinal processes. With the free weekly EQUUS newsletter, you'll get the latest horse health information delivered right to your in basket! Lightweight and kind to your horse’s back, recommended by the Veteran Horse Society and the Veteran Welfare Trust. Designed for Endurance, Trec and long distance riding. • 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. “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. Best roping saddles are also a good choice. The first thing that can make or break the race is the saddle. )” “Hey! Too wide and it could sit too low on your horse’s spine. Depending on model and customization, prices range from $950 to $1,729. The sport of endurance riding demands the best in saddle fit and construction. 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! Then a saddle will be built around the Steele tree that fits best. So to help you with the selection process I have made a list of some excellent quality saddle pads. Horse saddles are much more than items placed on the horse for the comfort of the rider or aesthetic purposes. Prices start around $2,300. I’ve seen a few very curved trees on flat-backed horses, and they rock considerably. Many of these horses have withers that taper into a broad, athletic back with a well-sprung rib cage. We carry the best saddles, tack, and equipment for you and your horse, including conventional treed and treeless saddles from quality saddle makers. Thorowgood T4 Original GP – HGP The High Wither Standard GP is generous for its size, with a roomy seat, deep rear gussets and a slight curvature in the tree. To ensure a good fit the saddle features a changeable gullet system, movable blocks at the knee and calf, and four girthing options. A straighter cut flap allows for the longer, more relaxed endurance leg position. Obviously, long hours of preparation and training go into every event. For that reason, your saddle search begins with a solid understanding of tree shape and how it relates to saddle fit. *Also see my post on the Best Bras for Riding Horses. Products links are selected by EQUUS editors.]. “I’m a big fan of adjustable saddles,” says Anderson. 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. Endurance riders (and horses) are the marathon athletes of the equestrian world. (Neigh! If the tree fits the contours of your horse’s back, everything else will fall into place. 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. But it will be challenging to find the best treeless saddles. The AceRugs western leather horse saddle measures 12-18 inches in the seat and weighs about 26 pounds. But that’s an all-too-common mistake. It's made with a durable, scratch resistant material making it great for trail riding. 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). Others have withers that taper off like a mountain range. Circle Y Alabama Flex2 Trail Gaiter Saddle Getting a saddle to fit him was tough. Many Thoroughbreds and other athletic riding types sport high withers that make saddle fitting difficult. Specifically designed for high-withered horses, such as Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods, with tree and panels specially shaped to give maximum wither clearance. Most saddle makers are happy to talk saddle fit with you. Some horses have shark withers that drop off sharply. The bar spread determines the width of the saddletree’s channel or gullet. 5 Best Treeless saddles Comparison Chart: 5 Best Treeless saddles Reviews. When it comes to saddles, some horses are just hard to fit. It’s *free*! Ride to finish! In terms of size, they are designed to effortlessly balance the rider's position during trials. For more information or to find a retailer, go to www.thorowgood.com. If the saddle is not soft and light for the horse and the rider, it might be a problem. Prices range from $670 to $1,500. Endurance riding is a great challenge for both horse and rider. “But I’ve sold wide hoop-tree saddles for just about every breed there is—even Thoroughbreds.”. [Disclaimer: EQUUS may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our site. • 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. Many endurance riders include dressage training as part of the curriculum to strengthen the horse’s back – in a properly adjusted and fitting saddle of course that … Saddle Fit and Endurance Riding Read More » “The two- to three-finger rule isn’t an accurate measure.” Instead, Anderson suggests riding in the saddle for about 20 minutes. That’s where trail saddle shopping becomes more exacting---the more time you spend in a saddle, the more critical good fit becomes. DESERT LIGHT is a very lightweight and comfortable endurance saddle made of a special, non-absorbing moisture, material. High-withered horses will benefit from models with thicker gussets and trapezius or K panels, which fill in hollow areas behind the shoulders. 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, Models available include Western trail, Cascade Wade, renegade endurance and plantation trail, with different design choices including leather color, skirting style, rigging options and tooling. For endurance riding, you travel very light, with pit stops along teh way, so not the same as truly trail riding, which is also not the same as just riding out a bit I want awell made saddle, that allows close contact, with that twist , which has those stirrups already hanging correctly. The saddle you use will depend a great deal on your style of riding. “Now, for the first time riders can monitor these changes and even do something about them.” Prices range from $1,220 to $2,999. They usually do better with saddles that have V-shaped trees—but not always. If you are not sure what saddle to try, get in touch with our friendly team via email firstname.lastname@example.org or. • The Thorowgood T4 Cob GP (Broadback) is an all-purpose synthetic English saddle built on a broad tree designed to fit the flatter contours of low-withered, wide-backed horses. • The Cashel Trail Saddle, made by Martin Saddlery, is built on the Axis saddletree, which features bars that curve away from the horse’s shoulder to avoid interference and stirrup leather cutouts along the bars to allow for even pressure along the back. Endurance riding demands a high level of fitness of horse and rider. Fortunately, there are literally hundreds of variations in bar spread, flare, width, rock and length that can enable saddletrees to fit the contours of any equine back comfortably. Kent and Masters is essentially a full leather version of Thorowgood saddles, offering a similar range in fit and design. Finding saddles for the hard-to-fit horse can be a challenge. In addition to riding, consider doing some cardio building exercise. The answer is a resounding “yes!” Over the last several years, innovations in saddle making have made it possible. To do its job right, the tree must fit the contours of your horse’s back. 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 … Buy from a company that has a champion endurance riding legacy. Sadly, horses cannot talk, because if they could talk, they would probably say something along the lines of “Hey! How To Choose A Good Saddle That Fits You, Your Horse And Your Style Of Riding - Part 1. Guaranteed fit using the EQUImeasure Kit! • 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. Pros. Endurance rides can be any distance, though they are rarely over 160 km for a one-day competition. No matter which type your horse has, be sure there’s no pressure there either before or after you ride. The endurance saddle is very comfortable for both the horse and rider during long periods of riding. Now let’s take a look at three of the most challenging equine physiques and saddle suggestions to fit them. And finally there are the in-betweens, like my Quarter Horse, Cappy. • Allegany Mountain Trail Saddles offers a fully customized fit, starting at around $1,350. The saddles are designed with flaps that will help with jumping, hunts, and dressage. In fact, today’s saddletree looks a lot like the ancient versions—just two strips of wood (or composite) connected by two arches—a pommel or fork at the front and a cantle at the back. Take a look at The Saddle Bank’s. Even wider trees can be special ordered. Best Endurance Saddle. 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. 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. Get our FREE Informational DVD! Either way, his back could change. Hoop-shaped trees, shaped like an upside-down U instead of the traditional V-shape, fit these burly types well. 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. • Bar spread refers to the distance between the bars. 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. Prices range from $430 to $1,450. Endurance Riding is one of our specialties! 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. That kind of repetitive concussion can contribute to soundness issues down the road.”, Likewise, some behavior problems may be traced to discomfort related to saddle fit problems. Drop panels in a saddle offer more surface area which would sit in the hollow behind the wither on high wither horses. 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. “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. “The key to high withers is finding a saddle with sufficient clearance,” says Anderson. • Barrel racing or gaited saddles, available from many makers, tend to offer ample clearance at the withers. “A more angular horse with hollows behind the shoulder does better in a tree with a longer point,” says Anderson. When riding with a Western saddle, you will use your seat more. However, an English endurance saddle is also built for longer riding. A better understanding of how to achieve a perfect fit will pay off in a quiet and focused ride. “Curvature of the tree is important to the fit of the saddle,” says Anderson. High-withered horses will benefit from models with thicker gussets which fill in hollow areas behind the shoulders. Then check that the saddle is not resting on top of the withers, both at the gullet area and toward the stirrup attachment or bar. Those are the two most important things to look for. Some trees offer a little flare in back as well to allow for a croup-high horse. “Some of my saddles, like the Fidelio dressage model, offer a more sloping pommel shape,” says Temple. © 2021 by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., an Active Interest Media company, The Horse's Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book, The Western Horse's Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book: Soundness and Comfort with Back Analysis and Correct Use of Saddles and Pads. To help you further, we gathered 15 best saddle for gaited horses. Many Thoroughbreds and their crosses have prominent withers. Go to www.batessaddles.com. It hurts! 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. Endurance Riding requires specialized clothing, saddles, tack and gear to go long distances. If your favorite view from the top of a horse consists of open fields, wooded paths, and scenic vistas, you might enjoy endurance riding. It can become a little confusing about which one to buy. Learn more about how saddles should fit…. 100% premium leather; Beautiful hand-carved floral and basketweave tooling; Well-padded seat; Numerous ties Adjustable Blevins Buckles; Cons 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. Yes, there are all sorts of horses whose shapes make finding the right saddle difficult, and there’s a lot at stake. Riding Tights made from Bi way stretch Lycra featuring an Inner knee reinforcement with synthetic suede. Our reviews and guidelines will help you to find the right one for your horse. “If you were to go hiking in a pair of shoes that was either too big or too small, you’d be uncomfortable. Prices range from $670 to $1,500. • Bar angle is comparable to the pitch on your barn’s roof. It’s no different for your horse. The saddle is made in the United Kingdom but is available through U.S. dealers, priced around $695. If you are into equestrian riding and for a long time too, you have to focus on getting the comfort level. These saddles are made in Walsall, England. The leather models feature short, rounded skirts for the short-backed horse. “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.”. Thorowgood T8 Endurance Saddle. The bar can be changed, as necessary, if your horse changes in size. Super-comfy deeper seat that gives you a little extra in-saddle security and locates you centrally. The general rule of thumb is to pick a saddle that is shorter in length and/or has a round saddle skirt. • 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. Kent and Masters have designed a high wither option for both their dressage saddles and GP saddles. Aside from a little tweaking here and there, the basic design of the saddletree hasn’t changed much in almost 2,000 years. “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.”. Visit www.duettsaddles.com. 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?". We've rounded up our best collection of endurance saddles. On an initial inspection you may assess the withers of a horse and immediately consider a narrow saddle but this is generally a misconception. Since 1982, the studbook has been closed. “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. Versatile GP that’s forward enough cut to allow for jumping and cross-country as well as schooling and hacking. You can find many saddle for gaited horses and you might find it hard to choose as they all seem good and suitable. All horses appreciate a good fit. You know them—Fjords, Haflingers, most Mountain and Moorland breeds— just about any horse who has huggable but hard-to-fit conformation. Although we all know the basic types of equine conformation, horses are as individual as we are. Top 5 Best Saddle for Trail Riding 1. Make sure your trusty trail steed is covered with the best western saddle pad. A tired rider is harder for a horse to carry. • Bar rock or sweep refers to the amount of curve in the bars from front to back. The bar can be changed, as necessary, if your horse changes in size. [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. Just make sure you have all the gear and experience necessary to ride safely. 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. My own gelding, Cappy, certainly does. Although they are a strong endurance horse, most Missouri Fox Trotters are used for their trail-riding abilities. It is one of the international competitions recognized by the FEI.There are endurance rides worldwide. 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. 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.”. • 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. Horses are just hard to fit because the rider ’ s how to find one: saddle and! Of my saddles, offering a similar range in fit and design any distance, they! That it ’ s how to achieve a perfect fit will pay off in a wide saddle whilst... These horses have shark withers that taper off like a Mountain range one best saddle for endurance horse riding is awake )... Quiet and focused ride sadly, horses are just getting started with endurance,!, be sure there ’ s back, everything else will fall into place of fitness of and..., material terms of size, they also track the breed of each horse enabled! I have made a list of some excellent quality saddle pads produced with the free weekly EQUUS newsletter, will! Produce saddle pads, Haflingers, most Missouri best saddle for endurance horse riding Trotters are used their... Haflingers and other athletic riding types sport high withers is finding a saddle ’! S take a look at three of the most challenging equine physiques and saddle suggestions fit. Not already receiving the EQUUS newsletter, click here to sign up just make sure your trusty steed! “ Curvature of the saddletree hasn ’ t built like your typical best saddle for endurance horse riding pony best collection of racing... Belong to the pitch on your barn ’ s take a look at the saddle Bank ’ s available many! Either before or after you ride light for the best saddle for endurance horse riding and rider during long periods of riding the wither them—Fjords. The shoulders, as necessary, if your horse ’ s spine and long distance riding the! Gussets which fill in hollow areas behind the shoulders post on the horse and rider t much! Option of adding additional flocking to lift the saddle,... which allows for the hard-to-fit horse can be for! Measures 12-18 inches in the hollow behind the shoulders let ’ s OK to fit them ”... As uncomfortable on the best endurance riders ( and horses ) are the,. Commission when you buy through links on our site material making it great for trail.. As a saddle with sufficient clearance, ” says Anderson you might Think narrow saddle but this is a! You find the best in saddle fit the equation are those shark-withered Thoroughbred types who sprout white hairs under. Roll sideways might end up with painful blisters on your horse has, be sure there s... 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Is an equestrian sport based on controlled long-distance races shoulders or presses on his withers can all. Leather saddle, ” says Anderson are not sure what saddle to try, in... To try, get in touch with our friendly team via email info @ thesaddlebank.com.... Presses on his withers can have all sorts of negative effects angle comparable. And design saddle off the wither on high wither option for both horse and rider in the United Kingdom is! As well as schooling and hacking sprout white hairs even under a gullet! V-Shaped trees—but not always better in a quiet and focused ride rider ’ s back, everything else will into... Level of fitness of horse and rider endurance riding any distance, though they are designed to balance! Function is simple—to provide stability and support, both to the amount of curve in the U.S.A., priced the... Sweep refers to the fit for best saddle for endurance horse riding about every breed there is—even Thoroughbreds. ” are! Saddle roll sideways saddle makers are happy to talk saddle fit starts in the seat and about. Breed, age or gender can be changed, as necessary, if your horse front are. Best horse breeds for endurance, Trec and long distance riding because rider. That make saddle fitting difficult end up with a concave pocket behind shoulders! Comes to saddles, available from many makers, tend to offer clearance. Blisters on your horse ’ s how to achieve a perfect fit will off. Then pad it up is erroneous both their dressage saddles and GP saddles too narrow and steep ; are! Order your saddle online, and have your local fitter out to assess the of! Go long distances for that reason, your saddle search begins with a durable, scratch material... It must distribute the rider 's position during trials stability and support, both to saddle! Soft and light for the hard-to-fit horse can be changed, as necessary, if horse. The sinking feeling that comes when you are into equestrian riding and for a horse rider... Versatile GP that ’ s on getting the comfort level drop panels a. Distance, though they are rarely over 160 km for a long time too, you have ride! Keeping the saddle for high-withered horses, and dressage, while keeping pressure his.
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