Choose a right saddle with this easy to follow Letsfixit guide. There is nothing like the freedom and fun you can find in horseback riding. Whether you like to walk your horse leisurely through a nature trail or gallop along for the thrill of it the correct saddle is essential. Read on for pointers on how to get the best saddle for recreational riding.
There are many kinds of saddles. A few include dressage saddles, show , hunting , western and general saddles. The kind you choose depends on what kind of riding you do. Most people are more familiar with the western or general saddle for recreational riding. When visiting a saddle shop some questions you might want to ask include How do I choose the right tree size? What size bar do I need? What material is the tree made out of? A good saddle shop can answer these questions and any other you might have.
People new to riding often make the mistake of thinking just any saddle will do on any horse. Nothing could be further than the truth. The second misconception is that they will need to get a saddle that fit to their body type and specifications only. Actually the first fit has to be to your horse. A too large saddle will not be able to be secured properly on a small horse and the same can be said for having a horse too large for a smaller saddle.
Next, consider your financial options. Decide if you want to buy a new saddle or a used one. New saddles can be custom made for you and your horses maximum comfort. A good used saddle can be a good choice though as long as properly fitted as well. If the rider is not finished growing, then a used saddle might be the best choice. One thing to keep in mind is that used saddle purchases are usually non refundable. It might be already broken in adding to comfort but if for any reason it does not work for you, then you might be stuck with it. The material saddles are made out of differ in prices too. All Leather saddles are usually more expensive then one constructed from other materials.
For recreational riding , you will need a blanket or pad to place on the horse under the saddle. It should be an about an inch thick. Place the saddle that you are considering using on this pad. Pull the cinch around your horse under the belly and tighten. Check all areas of the saddle after it is tightened. Make sure it is not pinching or too tight on any part of your horse. You should be able to slide three fingers under the saddle tree in front below the saddle horn and at the horse's withers. Also make sure the saddle is not too long and too far up on the front of the horses body. Check to be sure the stirrups are hanging evenly and the saddle is level.
You're satisfied the saddle properly fits the horse. But Does it fit you? Your horse might feel fine but without fitting your saddle to yourself you might be in for an unpleasant ride! Some people try sitting in a few saddles at the tack shop before fitting the horse. Some prefer fitting the horse first. It is up to personal preference. A few key things to remember when fitting a saddle to your own needs are: Make sure the seat is the proper width and depth for your seat. You can do this easily at any saddle shop. They will have charts with different heights and weights. Find your height and weight on the chart and it will tell you the saddle measurements that will most likely work for you. Now you're ready to saddle up and ride!