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Different Types of Horse Saddles

Updated on August 18, 2015

Choosing a Horse Saddle

When choosing a horse saddle, it can be a very important decision that typically requires a bit of looking around and window shopping before you actually pick the saddle that you're looking for.

You want to understand what you're buying and what you're going to pay. If you're on a budget, you want to purchase a used saddle that is already broken in. And, on the other hand, you can purchase a new saddle, but you will pay more and you will have to break it in.

Again, if you are on a budget, you can purchase a synthetic horse saddle versus a pure leather horse saddle. Generally, you can purchase a brand new synthetic horse saddle at around $200 to $350.

Otherwise, you can choose a number of other types of saddles that will vary in price from the $200 range to the upper $1,000 and even $2,000 range, if not higher. The brand and how elaborate the saddle is, will help determine the price of the saddle, so if you're looking for a regular saddle, you may not want to purchase a name brand, brand new, and elaborate horse saddle.

For the most part, you will need to decide what type of saddle you are looking for and what sort of budget you are hoping to spend.

Below you will find different types of horse saddles that you can choose from when you are shopping around for a new horse saddle.

Endurance Horse Saddles

Endurance horse saddles are lightweight saddles that are built for close contact in mind. They are meant for endurance riding and trail riding. Typically endurance saddles are made with extra padded comfort for the rider and a flexible design that moves with the horse in order to make the saddle more comfortable for the horse.

Dressage Horse Saddles

The dressage saddle is a type of English saddle. You can find some brands that provide a proper sitting position and a comfortable ride for you.

Close Contact Horse Saddles

Close contact horse saddles are just one of the different types of English saddles. They are used in close contact show events and are built with comfort in mind. Typically, close contact saddles have padding to provide comfort for the rider. They are also made with flexibility for the horse.

English Horse Saddles

English horse saddles come in a variety of shapes and designs and are used for a variety of horse events- such as show jumping, and hunt seat, dressage, saddle seat, horse racing, and polo. Depending on the event, the saddle may vary slightly. Generally, you will find saddles that are padded and more flexible to make the ride more comfortable for the rider and the horse. English horse saddles are generally used for sporting horses and show horses, which is why they are commonly found as the more elaborate and decorative horse saddle.

Western Horse Saddles

Western horse saddles are those typically designed for working horses versus the English saddle which is typically used for show horses. The Western saddles are generally used for horses on cattle ranches, and are the saddle of choice when cowboys are in mind. Western horse saddles are used in rodeos and trail rides, as well. These saddles typically have little padding and must be used with a blanket to provide comfort for the horse, but because the saddle is built to spread out the weight of the rider and y of his equipment, there are fewer pounds per square inch, which means the saddle can be worn for many hours with only slight discomfort to the horse and rider, when conditioned properly. They have a horn on the front of the saddle, which is the distinctive factor of a Western saddle.

Australian Horse Saddles

Similar to the Western horse saddle, Australian horse saddles are generally used with working horses, rodeos, and trail rides. Many of the Australian saddles do not have the horn in the front, but they do share similar aspects of Western saddles, such as a deep seat, a high cantle, and heavier leather.


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    • renee21 profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice hub! I love horseback riding!

    • clairemy profile image


      6 years ago

      Good information on the many different types of saddles are available. We always got the saddler to come to us so horse and rider could be fitted at the same time, comfort being so important for both.

      My favourite saddle I ever owned was a Stuben,springtree saddle, I used it for everything from daily hacking, to showing.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love horse riding it's a great way to see the countryside

    • profile image

      Dr. Squiggles 

      8 years ago

      Great post! It's right on the money! I just started learning how to ride a horse and my teacher mentioned the same things! Now all I need is a horse!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love riding it is the best sport/pleasure they ever invented!!!!

    • tulwave profile image


      10 years ago from Orlando,Fl

      Very Nice Hub, Last time I rode a horse I was jammed into the wrong saddle it was awful. Did I mention my last time was my first time and my last time was my last time too.

      I won't be buying a saddle soon, but I appreciate the info. Now I know what went wrong.


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