General Purpose or Dressage and Jump Saddle?

12th March 2024
If I buy a ๐†๐ ๐’๐š๐๐๐ฅ๐ž, that should save me having to buy a ๐ƒ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ ๐ž and a ๐‰๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฉ ๐’๐š๐๐๐ฅ๐ž, shouldnโ€™t it? Not necessarilyโ€ฆ

๐Ÿด๐†๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ฅ ๐๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž saddles are a Jack of all Trades, highly suitable for leisure riding, basic flat work and popping small fences. They are also often chosen as a cheap option for a young horse that is likely to mature and change shape during the first training season. However, once you decide to compete more seriously, you should consider buying a saddle designed for your chosen discipline.

๐Ÿด๐ƒ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ ๐ž ๐’๐š๐๐๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ have a straighter cut so they lie behind the horseโ€™s shoulders and do not inhibit movement. They have a deep seat and large thigh (front) blocks, optimising the riderโ€™s position and helping the rider to ride securely with a longer stirrup. Of course you can hack out in a dressage saddle, but you may find it difficult to canter off the horseโ€™s back, as the position of the blocks prevents you shortening your stirrups.

๐Ÿด๐‰๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฉ ๐’๐š๐๐๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ have a mid to flat seat (depending upon preference) and are forward cut, so you can ride with a short stirrup – suitable for jumping and cross country riding and of course hacking! The thigh blocks tend to sit above the riders knee, so the rider can maintain a secure leg position over a fence. You can of course do basic schooling in a jump saddle, but more advanced work, (sitting trot and lateral movements etc) will be easier in a dressage saddle.

๐Ÿด๐†๐ ๐’๐š๐๐๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ fall in between โ€“ they are more forward cut than a dressage saddle and tend to have a mid-depth seat. They have โ€˜pencil rollsโ€™ in front of the knees, so riderโ€™s legs tend to get pushed backwards when jumping โ€“ not ideal! However it is true to say that some riders feel more secure in a GP.

And Finally…

๐†๐ ๐’๐š๐๐๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ can vary โ€“ the more forward cut โ€˜๐•๐’๐’โ€™ models cater more for jumping, and โ€˜๐•๐’๐ƒโ€™ lean towards dressage.

If you would like assistance in choosing the best saddle for you purpose or to book a saddle assessment/fitting appointment the please do not hesitate to contact me on 07941 512933.