A quality saddle serves as a vital link between rider and horse, embodying a seamless bond of time-honored tradition and groundbreaking innovation. In the saddle, riders discover more than just a seat; it becomes a means to communicate with their equine companions, fostering trust, balance, and mutual respect. In this comprehensive guide, we outline the 5 best horse saddles suitable for English and Western riders.
An appropriate saddle can determine the contrast between a pleasant, comfortable ride and a vexing, unpleasant experience for both. A superior tack encompasses safety, performance, and the welfare of your horse. The saddle also encourages the rider to find the balance between the horseman and his horse during long trail rides. That’s why we decided to highlight the most durable English and Western saddles so you can pick the best match for your equestrian needs.
Best Horse Saddles Detailed Review
As the riders’ needs are quite different as well as horses’ characteristics, we’ve picked out the top 5 equestrian saddles that are beneficial for different disciplines.
1. King Series Eclipse Competition Saddle – Lightweight & Versatile
The Tough1 Saddle from the King Series is highly favored by equestrians. The gear is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and affordability, making it a top choice. This good saddle comes with a deep seat and suede fabric so the rider can maintain correct position and feel comfortable for long.
- The synthetic saddle is crafted from neoprene, known for its exceptional durability and low-maintenance properties.
- Designed with the rawhide-covered tree, this King Series saddle endures the demands of competitive riding.
- It showcases a deep seat and shock-absorbing construction that ensures exceptional rider support and even weight distribution across the horse’s back.
- The synthetic Western saddle boasts a round skirt design that is perfect for horses with shorter backs or those needing greater freedom of movement.
- The suede comfortable seat provides a secure and comfortable riding position.
- The King Series Eclipse saddle showcases a captivating design with intricate tooling, silver conchos, and classy stitching.
- Padded stirrups prevent knee and ankle pain during long rides.
The King Series Eclipse Saddle is a top-notch all-around saddle perfect for trail riding and competition. Its combination of well-made construction, comfortable design, and appealing aesthetics make it a strong competitor for those in search of a dependable saddle at an affordable price. This beautiful saddle collects all the best features to fit you and your horse comfortably.
- Suede seat
- Easy maintenance
- Versatile design
- Short cinches
2. High Horse Daisetta Trail Saddle – Thick-Padded Western Saddle
The High Horse saddle is an excellent gear for trail riding. The product is highly customizable. You’re able to choose from a range of sizes, colors, and tree designs. The seat also comes in two options – suede seat and grainout seat. The rounded 25” skirt makes it a great choice for shorter backed equines.
- The saddle is made of cordura line that is quite durable.
- Flat plate rigging is friendly to all rigging styles.
- The product has a tall cantle design for a deep sit position on the trails.
- Copper flower conchos will border tooling are decorated all over the saddle.
- The saddle comes with two sets of strings for all the necessary gear.
The High Horse trial saddle is a comfy seat with a classy look. The double padded seat makes the ride extremely convenient. So you can enjoy the trail for long. The soft corduroy material is lightweight and easy to clean. The riders love this product as they are able to customize the saddle built.
- Durable materials
- Thick padding
- Adjustable rigging
- No semi QH
- Not good for wide horses
3. Wintec Full Quarter Western Saddle – Weatherproof Riding Gear
The Wintec Full Quarter Western Saddle comes in black and brown colors with several size options. It comes with full quarter horse bars so that means it’s designed for a horse with a wide-sized back. The buckles are weatherproof so the product could be used in any weather conditions.
- Double fender design for more comfort
- Fleece underlining to stay cozy
- The lightweight saddle is easy to put on
- Hard-wearing fenders to avoid friction
- The gullet is stainless steel
The Wintec Full Quarter Western Saddle is a great double-fender fleece-lined geat that is easy to handle. Another perk is that the stirrups are easy to adjust. The saddle is quite easy to take care of, no oiling or waxing is needed.
- Great for leisure and trail riding
- Good for a wide back horse
- The saddle is easy to put on
- Not deep-seated
- Not good for short riders
4. Acerugs Racing Saddle Tack Set – Classy Leather Saddle
The Acerugs Racing Saddle is a high-quality western-style gear. It’s made with natural leather so it looks great and will last for long. The rounded skirt design is a perfect fit for short back breeds. There’s fleece under the skirt for maximum comfort for your horse.
- The saddle is made with thick cowhide leather.
- Wood base tree with fiberglass finish.
- It has a deep-sit design and back support.
- The stirrups are padded for better comfort.
- It comes with a matching headstall, reins, and a breast collar.
The Acerugs Racing Saddle Tack Set is a fascinating equestrian gear that is comfy and durable. The leather hand carved design will definitely keep you in the spotlight. The thick foam seat padding and the back cushion help the horseman stay cozy for long hours.
- Perfect for barrel racing and trail riding
- It comes with an equestrian set
- High-quality sturdy materials used
- The reins should be improved
- Poor size and color chart
5. Wintec Kids Saddle – Solid Adjustable Gear
The Wintec Kids Saddle is a small saddle that perfectly fits your equestrian riders. The saddle is super lightweight and easy to tack up. The saddle is washable and easy to clean up. It comes with flexible fit panels that are suitable for ponies as well.
- The saddle is made with synthetic soft materials.
- It comes with a built-in handle for better comfort.
- Double-girth straps design for a perfect fit.
- It features knee rolls to improve protection.
- Adjustable foam panels to keep it fit.
The Wintec Kids Saddle is quite soft and light so your kids could even carry it by themselves. This saddle is a fascinating equestrian gear for young riders. It comes with a handle and knee roll to make the ride more convenient and safe. In addition, the product is perfect for leadline classes.
- Super lightweight
- Thick padded cantle
- It fits standard girths
- One size only
- No stirrup straps
Top 5 Horse Saddles Comparison
King Series Eclipse Competition Saddle
High Horse Daisetta Trail Saddle
Wintec Full Quarter Western Saddle
Acerugs Racing Saddle Tack Set
Wintec Kids Saddle
Factors to Consider when Choosing a New Saddle
1. Riding Discipline
The type of horseback riding you engage in is crucial when picking a saddle. Whether your preference lies in Western riding, English riding, dressage, calf roping, trail ride, or any other equestrian discipline, each requires a perfect saddle designed to offer the appropriate support and balance for both rider and horse.
2. Saddle Fit
Ensuring proper saddle fit is crucial. An improperly fitted saddle may lead to discomfort and potential injury for your equine. Make sure that the saddle matches the shape and size of your horse’s back. If needed, seek guidance from a professional saddle fitter for an accurate assessment.
3. Rider Fit
Don’t neglect your personal comfort. Select a gear with the right seat size and design that suits your body type and riding position. Riding with an uncomfortable saddle can negatively impact your posture and diminish your overall riding performance.
4. Tree Material and Type
The saddle tree, commonly made of wood, fiberglass, or synthetic materials, serves as the foundational structure of the saddle. Select a tree type that aligns with your riding style and your horse’s conformation. Available options include traditional trees, fiberglass tree saddles, flexible trees, and treeless saddles.
5. Saddle Material
Saddles are made from different materials, predominantly leather and synthetic options. High-quality leather saddles provide durability, comfort, and a timeless appearance. While synthetic saddles are lightweight, require less maintenance, and are often more cost-effective.
6. Saddle Design and Style
Saddle design can exhibit notable variations. Key features to contemplate are the length of the saddle’s skirt (round or square), the presence of a horn (in the case of Western saddles), the height of the cantle, and any hand-tooled embellishment (e.g. stainless steel hardware) and the presence of saddle bags. Some models come with soft fleece lining to provide a better grip and to keep your horse comfortable. These design components play a significant role in both the visual appeal and practicality of the saddle.
7. Rigging and Girth Options
Rigging pertains to the attachment points for the girth or cinch. Various rigging positions, such as full, 7/8, or 3/4, distribute pressure in distinct ways on your horse. Opt for the rigging style that best ensures your horse’s comfort and stability while riding.
Considering your budget is a critical aspect when choosing a saddle. Investing in high-quality saddles can be substantial, so carefully evaluate your options and strike the perfect balance between quality and affordability.
9. Brand and Reputation
Conduct thorough research on saddle brands and carefully review customer feedback to assess their reputation for quality and customer satisfaction. Established brands typically demonstrate consistent craftsmanship of a balanced seat and deliver superior products.
10. Trial and Professional Guidance
If possible, test the saddle before making a purchase. Numerous sellers and tack shops provide saddle trials. Seek advice from trusted riders, trainers, or saddle fitters who can offer valuable insights and recommendations on choosing a high-quality saddle.
11. Maintenance and Care
Take into account the maintenance needs of the saddle material you select. Premium leather saddles may necessitate frequent cleaning, conditioning, and occasional readjustment, whereas synthetic saddles typically require minimal upkeep.
The Main Types of Horse Saddles
Horsemen tend to choose one of the horse riding styles – Western or English. Hence saddles are designed to fit this or that style. Here’s a list of major horse saddle types:
- Western Saddle has a deep-seated design with a high pommel and cantle. Depending on what equestrian sport you choose, there’s a wide range of saddle options:
- Barrel Racing Saddles are specifically crafted for the intense requirements of barrel racers. Barrel saddles provide riders with a secure seat and a lightweight design, enhancing agility and speed to achieve solid performance while adhering to the rules and regulations of the sport.
- Pleasure Saddles are handcrafted for riders who desire comfort and leisure during long rides. The item offers a light saddle weight, a comfy seat, and minimal features, making it perfect for casual riding.
- Roping Saddles are specifically designed to endure the demanding requirements of calf and team roping. They are equipped with a durable horn and reinforced rigging, ensuring the safe handling of livestock.
- Trail Riding Saddles ensure the utmost comfort of both you and the horse during long rides across diverse terrains. Trail saddles incorporate various features such as additional padding, secure seat designs, and multiple attachment points for trail gear.
- Reining Saddles meet the demands of reining competitions, providing a deep seat, close contact, and short, rounded skirts. Such features enhance communication between rider and horse, allowing for precise cues and maneuvers that highlight the equine’s agility and responsiveness.
- English Saddle is considered a flat-seated tack with no horn, unlike Western saddles.
- All-purpose Saddle is great for jumping, hacking, trail riding, and other activities.
- Close-contact Saddle is suitable for jumping, fox hunting, or eventing.
- Dressage Saddle is obviously good for dressage.
- Australian saddle, also referred to as the “Stock saddle,” is a unique style of saddle that originates from Australia. The horse tack is primarily used for stock work, such as herding and mustering cattle. This saddle type is known for its deep seat, high pommel, and knee pads, which provide most riders with exceptional stability and security in rough terrains. Unlike English saddles, Australian saddles offer a more secure and comfortable seat for extended periods of riding. They differ from Western saddles in terms of design, featuring a more compact and lightweight structure that caters specifically to the distinctive requirements of Australian stockmen and riders.
How to Measure Saddle Size
To find put your seat size, you need to take measurements of your body in a sitting position. Grab a soft fabric tape. Sit straight with your feet flat so your knees have a 45° angle shape. Measure the length of your thigh from the knee to the bottom using the tape. It’s better to choose the size a bit larger but not smaller in order to avoid sitting on the cantle.
In fact, if you’d like to switch from Western to English saddle, there’s an easy formula. If you want to get your English seat size, you have to add two inches to your regular Western seat size. The result is not accurate but very similar.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does a Saddle Cost?
A horse saddle ranges from $200 to $1,000. If you’re looking for a top-quality saddle, it will be worth thousands of dollars. Such costly gear is usually custom-made with durable materials used. Make sure you purchase a horse saddle from a trusted brand. As you want to get the tack that will last for long.
The manufacturer, materials, and riding purpose – all of these affect the price. On average, the cost ranges from $200 to $600. If you’re new to horse riding, this option is pretty enough. If you’re an avid equestrian, you may want an unconventional saddle to be in the spotlight. In this case, the gear is worth $1,500 and even more.
You can find tack gear according to your riding style. A Western horse saddle ranges from $300 to $5,000. An English horse saddle ranges from $400 to $10,000. A horse saddle for kids goes as low as $150 to up to $2,500. It’s all about the equestrian brand that produces the good.
Tack gear for a wide array of equestrian sports has different price tags. For instance, $500 to $1,000 is fine for a racing horse saddle. While a hunting horse saddle is worth $1,500 to $3,000. A general-purpose horse saddle ranges from $200 to $800.
Why Do I Need a Horse Saddle?
A horse saddle is the very first thing you should consider investing in if you’d like to take up horseback riding. This equipment is an essential tack gear that is designed to serve many purposes.
First, it provides extra comfort when a rider is on a horse to avoid friction and painful bouncing. Second, horses tend to sweat thus a saddle has a moisture absorption feature. Next, riding bareback with no stirrups is complicated and extremely exhausting, so a saddle will come in handy in this case too. That’s why rookie horsemen are recommended to use a horse saddle.
What Are the Materials of Horse Saddles?
Typically, horse saddles can be made with genuine leather or synthetic leather. Leather saddles are quite expensive, but it’s definitely worth it due to its classy look and great longevity. Besides, there are lots of budget-friendly options – PU leather saddles that are easy to clean, and the gear is available in dozens of sizes and colors.
How to Choose the Right Size for My Horse?
It goes without saying that different horse breeds tend to have various conformation, thus it’s crucial to pick the right saddle. Horses with defined narrow withers are suitable for semi-quarter saddles. Whereas a full-quarter saddle is a perfect choice for a horse with wide and rounded withers. For medium-whithered horses, there are quarter bars saddles. All of them differ in the style of a tree – the “skeleton” of a saddle.
How to Tack up a Saddle?
The process of tacking up Western and English saddles is quite similar. In order to bring more safety and comfort, you’ll need a saddle pad as well.
Generally, when you start placing a saddle on a horse, you should lift it up carefully and then start tacking it up smoothly. It’s better to put the saddle a few inches below the withers. So, the edges of the saddle pad are shown from both sides of a saddle. Another substantial aspect is setting the cinch/girth tightly so the saddle doesn’t wobble around.
You can also read the article on how to saddle a horse to check detailed guidelines.
Should I Buy a Used Saddle?
Purchasing a pre-owned saddle can provide a budget-friendly alternative if you find one in good condition that fits both you and your horse appropriately. However, you must diligently examine and evaluate the saddle’s state and verify its suitability for your requirements. Consider seeking advice from a saddle specialist or an experienced trainer prior to buying used saddles.
Can I Ride with No Saddle?
The style of riding with no saddle is called bareback riding, which is also popular worldwide. But this type requires good riding skills, coordination, and physical strength. That is why it’s not the common choice among beginners. However, bareback riding has its perks too. It improves your movement, enhances your physical abilities, and strengthens the ties between you and your companion.
How to Store a Horse Saddle?
To preserve the lifespan and quality of a horse saddle, store the tack in a dry and climate-controlled space. Ideally, place it on a saddle rack or stand that provides proper support to maintain its shape. Regularly clean and condition the saddle, ensuring it is kept away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and damp conditions.
The list of modern horse riding saddles could be endless, that’s why we highlighted the 5 best saddle options that could stand you in good stead for long. While choosing a solid horse riding saddle (as well as a good saddle pad), keep in mind that it’s not just a good-looking decoration but a safety gear that should be comfortable both for you and your horse. Having read this detailed review, you can find a great saddle matching your individual requirements.