For a bit of history, English saddles are so named because they were used during the earlier periods in all English riding trainings worldwide. English riding trainings simply referred to the instructional techniques originated in England where the instructors were also mostly English riders.
The use of English saddles in equestrian activities has prevailed for some time and it apparently remains among the standard procedures in horse riding. English saddles are considered to be the most comfortable saddles in the world as they provide room for the rider to move freely during the ride. To make sure you get the optimum functionality of an English saddle, you need to learn how to properly fit it to your horse. Here are tips that can guide you:
- Measure your horse – its height, breath and length. Although saddle manufacturers use their own method of measurements, you should at least give them an idea on the size of your horse.
- Prepare around one hundred to seven hundred dollars to pay for the saddle. This amount should purchase a quality English saddle that will last many years. Buy a saddle from stores selling animal accessories in your area. You may also purchase online as long as you know which kind you want and which size will fit your horse.
- Know what kind of activity your horse will take part in, where you will be using the English saddle. If there will be a lot of cavorting and jumping, choose an English saddle that is intended to hold the rider even in a risky race. There is a type of English saddle with a deep seat that hugs the rider in place even as the horse starts to act up. You might consider using this saddle type if you are into a rugged play.
- Check the saddle by trying it on your horse. Slide the saddle unto the horse’s back and make sure it does not move or twist about when mounted. There should also be a small gap underneath between the saddle and the back of the horse so the weight of the rider does not directly press on the animal’s skin.
- Place a saddle pad on the back of the horse to cushion the impact of the rider’s weight. Be sure the saddle is not too thick or too thin. So long as it is able to cover the part of the back of the horse where the saddle is mounted, then your saddle pad will work fine.
- Examine the back of the horse. If the saddle directly puts pressure on the horse’s back even if the rider has not mounted yet, the English saddle should be changed. Remember that saddles are usually made of hard leather and the material might rub and cut the horse’s skin due to friction.
- Fasten the saddle with its belt. Most saddle belts are long enough to go around the girth of the horse’s body. Wrap the belt around the horse’s belly and lock it in place.
- Try to fit your fist into the space between the horse’s back and the front of the saddle. If it fits comfortably then the saddle is mounted well.
- Test ride the horse. If the horse appears relaxed and unfazed then the saddle is properly situated.
Give the horse’s back a rest by removing the saddle when the horse is stationed at its stable. As with people who like to remove work clothes and just don comfortable clothes at home, horses also want to do away with any kind of constrictions on their body such as the saddles, when they are resting in their own stables.