Purchasing a new or used saddle can be an exciting time! So many options… oh wait, it can also be very daunting. So many options!! There’s a few questions you need to ask yourself before heading into your local store or purchasing online.

1) What discipline will you be doing most in the saddle? Will it be dressage, working equitation, jumping, cross country, trail riding, western, cutting or something else? The discipline you ride will determine the type of saddle to purchase.

2) What seat size do you need? Remember Western saddles and English saddles are sized differently. For more information see our sizing blog: here

3) What’s your budget? This will likely determine your answer to number 4 too. There are plenty of second hand shops that offer excellent saddles at a cheaper rate. We regularly use Sandale Saddlery and Horse & Co for customers who are starting their search. We recommend putting your bum in as many saddles as you can before making the decision.

4) Leather or Synthetic? Colour? Leather saddles vary greatly including different grades of leather, pattern work, a mixture of textures and colours. Leather saddles are usually more costly and will need to be maintained with regular cleaning and oiling. Synthetic saddles are also great, they can be a lower cost, lower maintenance option that offer a wider range of colours/styles. They are great for wet weather rides or beach rides as you can wash them down easily after use.

5) What’s best for your horse? The shape of your horses back can be a massive factor in choosing the right saddle. Short backed horses can be particularly difficult as can horses who have had muscle wastage. It’s important to check in with your saddle fitter to get an idea of what brands/styles/sizes will suit your horse.

Once you have thought about the above questions it would be good to get out and look at the options, feel for quality, see what stands out for you, check for adjust-ability, size, cost, fit – these are all important. Then take some photos of your horses back, send through a booking form and get some opinions or options first. Some places will let you trial saddles, I personally think this is a great option. As always if you have any questions, message us on Facebook or send a contact form through on the website.

Happy hunting!


saddle fitting – things to check before you buy