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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best entertainment magazine in the UK“, we share a useful guide to horse saddling, and how to choose and care for your saddle.

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Whether you are a seasoned equestrian or just starting out in the world of horse riding, understanding the importance of a properly fitting saddle is crucial. A well-fitted saddle not only ensures the comfort and safety of both you and your horse but also enhances your performance in the saddle.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into everything you need to know about horse saddling, from choosing the right type for your discipline to proper care and maintenance.

Selecting the Right Saddle

When it comes to selecting a saddle, there are various factors to consider, including discipline, rider size, and budget. The most common types of saddles include English saddles, Western saddles, and Australian stock saddles.

English saddles are typically used for disciplines such as dressage and jumping, while Western saddles are popular among riders who participate in activities like trail riding and ranch work. Australian stock saddles offer a hybrid design that combines elements of both English and Western styles.

It is essential to try out different types of saddles before making a purchase to ensure that you find one that fits both you and your horse comfortably.

Proper Fitting

In addition to choosing the right type of saddle, proper fitting is essential for both rider comfort and horse welfare. An ill-fitting saddle can cause discomfort or even injury to your horse, so it is crucial to have a professional saddle fitter assess the fit regularly.

Signs of an improperly fitting saddle include uneven sweat patterns under the saddle pad, white hairs on your horse’s back, or behavioural issues when tacking up. Investing in a custom-made saddle may be necessary if you have difficulty finding a pre-made option that fits correctly.


Once you have selected and fitted your saddle correctly, it is essential to maintain it properly to ensure its longevity. Regular cleaning with a damp cloth or specialised leather cleaner will keep your saddle looking its best.

Conditioning the leather periodically helps prevent cracking and keeps it supple for comfortable rides. Store your saddle in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight when not in use to prevent damage from mould or fading.


In conclusion, selecting the right saddle for both you and your horse is vital for enjoyable rides and optimal performance. By considering factors such as discipline, fit, and maintenance when choosing a saddle, you can ensure many years of happy trails ahead. Remember always to prioritise comfort and safety when it comes to saddling up – both you and your equine partner will thank you!

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