Saddles for Eventing

1st June 2018

With the competition season now in full swing, I have one or two people asking me what sort of saddle they should look at if they wish to go eventing. Obviously, in an ideal world, it would be great to have a dressage saddle for the dressage phase and for schooling your horse on the flat at home, and a jumping saddle for the show jumping and cross country phases, and for hacking out and fitness work. However, not everyone has the budget for this! So my advice is normally to start with buying a good quality and well-fitted jump saddle. You can always do dressage in a jump saddle but you certainly can’t jump in a dressage saddle, and a dressage saddle can always be purchased later. I feel that a dressage saddle becomes more necessary once your horse is doing lateral work – ie BE Novice and Intermediate level.

And what about General Purpose saddles? Yes, they have a place at the lower competition levels, but once you have started to compete at Novice level, you may find that you are unable to shorten your stirrups sufficiently for jumping without your knee coming over the front of the flap. In addition, the shape and position of the knee block – a pencil roll in front of the rider’s knee, has the effect of pushing rider’s lower leg back over a fence. This leads to an insecure jumping position and means that the rider cannot recover his/her balance quickly upon landing.

I am always happy to discuss your requirements for eventing should you contact me.