Buying a saddle isn’t easy. There are a lot of saddles on the market, each with unique features, which can make finding the right one confusing.
On top of that, buying a new saddle is a considerable investment, so you definitely want to get it right the first time. Before you buy a new saddle take some time to consider
what it is you want and do your homework before you head out to buy one.
At Mustad we stock a wide range of horse saddles to suit all sports, horses and styles. We know you want to invest in quality, so we only stock the best brands including Ascot, Tekna, Thorowgood, Prestige, Pessoa and more.
Get the right fit for your horse
When choosing a new saddle, the first consideration should be your horse. Each horse should have its own saddle, which will adapt to the shape of the horse.
A poorly fitted saddle will make your horse uncomfortable and can cause injury and distress. It can also restrict the horse’s movement or alter its gait, evenness and balance.
Getting the right fit for the rider
Riding in the wrong size saddle can cause health problems, back pain, joint pain and muscle soreness it also increases the chance of losing balance and falling.
Types of saddles
General purpose saddle
Designed to cope with a variety of different sports, general purpose saddles are sturdy and have flaps that are cut forward. They can accommodate the rider for basic jumping, dressage and everyday riding.
Riders balance well on these saddles, and there are no pads at the front of the saddle for the knee.
General purpose saddles are ideal for the beginner and intermediate riders and often used in riding schools because they can cater for riders of different abilities and sizes.
Dressage saddles are designed for advanced riders who are regularly competing in flat-work competitions.
The saddles enhance the traditional straight-legged and upright torso dressage position. 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 a straight-cut flap that is much longer than a jumping saddle. The pommel is higher and located at the deepest point of the saddle's seat, which provides the rider with closer leg contact for precision moves.
The seat is deeper in a dressage saddle than a jumping saddle, allowing the rider to sit comfortably and relax to best influence the horse.
Jump saddles are designed to push the rider slightly forward into the two-point jumping position for when they are going over fences and obstacles.
Jump saddles have a flatter seat than dressage saddles which looks like a soft C-shaped curve 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.
The stock saddle was adapted initially for Australian farmers from the general purpose English saddle but has gone on to be a popular choice for any rider who spends long days in the saddle.
A stock saddle has a deep seat, high pommel often with a horn and extra padding around the knees. Sometimes they have webbing and padding under the saddle for extra support and an over girth that runs over the saddle for even more security.
These features help to give the rider a more secure and balanced seat allowing them to move over rough terrain and sit comfortably in the saddle for extended periods.
Ask the experts to fit your saddle
The best way to find a well-fitted saddle is to speak with a qualified saddler before making a purchase. Mustad offers a saddle-fitting service at its Kilmore, Geelong and North Richmond stores.