Advice on beginning English tack

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Advice on beginning English tack

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  • 2 Post By freia
  • 3 Post By Left Hand Percherons
  • 3 Post By Sunny
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    06-15-2013, 01:08 PM
Question Advice on beginning English tack

I rode English for 4 years when I was younger but switched to western the past 3 years and I have my own horse who I am now looking to get back into English with. I want to do hunter jumper and flat classes at local open shows and I don't know what equipment I would need. I have looked at saddles and I like the Kincade close contact saddle, any saddle recommendations would be appreciated. Also what do I need in general for riding my horse English in a safe way? Basically I am looking for advice on what I need to start up again, thanks so much!
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    06-15-2013, 01:35 PM
You should probably invest in a few lessons first just as a refresher to get your seat and balance and cues back. That would be the safest way to get back. Then discuss with your instructor the type of riding and classes you are interested in and ask for some recommendations for saddles and tack. For hunter jumper and flat you'll probably want a jumping saddle (sometimes called a close-contact - though close-contact actually only describes the panel-style), or an A/P that's has a nice forward flap and a not-too-deep seat.

As for saddle advice, I'll refer you to this recent thread. I'd put the Kincade in about the same class as the Regent asked about in this thread.

Regent Saddle

Make sure your saddle fits the horse right. So make sure that whatever you get can be tried and returned if it's not right. This is much more critical on an English saddle than a Western. English saddles are not forgiving in their fit.

There's a sticky at the top of the Tack and Equipment forum here called: "Does your saddle really fit", and it has the 9 Schleese fitting videos, which is a good place for you to understand before buying a saddle.

In addition to the saddle, you'll want reins that are 1-piece - no split reins. You'll need a snaffle bit, and a headstall with a cavesson noseband.
Corporal and Bagheera like this.
    06-15-2013, 03:04 PM
I will begin taking lessons again soon and I currently ride in a snaffle, I also have some equipment such as a headstall and appropriate English reins. Thank you for the links to the saddle fit videos those are very helpful!
    06-15-2013, 03:12 PM
The beginner English saddle packages such as Kincade are extremely poor quality saddles. Don't waste your $$ on them. The saddle construction will put you in an odd position, the stuffing is of questionable origin, lumpy and will shift with use, the trees are ??... Don't waste your $$. Look on CL, eBay, consignment shops, tack sales... for recognizable name brands of used but not abused saddles. You should be able to pick up a nice all purpose Crosby or Stubben for under $300. It's good to replace leathers and make sure the irons fit your feet. Too large an iron makes for dropped irons or tired and sloppy feet.

Many English saddles are stamped on the keepers with seat size, tree width and there might also be a code that incorporates year, month and model (might read 976XXXX which would mean June of 1997 plus the model).
cosmomomo, freia and Bagheera like this.
    06-15-2013, 03:25 PM
Green Broke
Agree that you should look for an older, quality used saddle that will put you in a good position.

Just got a Crosby Prix de Nations for $300 on ebay, and it is in great condition.
Corporal, freia and Bagheera like this.
    06-15-2013, 03:32 PM
So you want to buy a cheap saddle package?

This is a great look into subpar saddle construction.

A quality older English saddle will last a good 50 years when you take care of it. Never wear jeans when riding! The inside seam will do a lot of damage to the leather (and your legs). Ride in breeches or chaps.
freia likes this.
    06-15-2013, 03:38 PM
Originally Posted by Sunny    
Agree that you should look for an older, quality used saddle that will put you in a good position.

Just got a Crosby Prix de Nations for $300 on ebay, and it is in great condition.
It is a great idea to buy used quality. If you get a great price bc of an imperfection, or a rip or a tear in the leather, that can be repaired and this will give you an excellent schooling saddle to use if/when you decide to show and purchase show equipment. Same goes for your clothes, schooling clothes that you wear to keep your show stuff clean and in good order.
One more thing, just in case you don't know, take a picture of your bridle before you take it apart to clean it. My instructor had us spend a whole lesson just taking apart and putting back together bridles and the stirrups, etc. on the saddle to become familiar with them. There are some English reins that buckle underneath, some buckle on top, some don't buckle at ALL--there are many variations. Just FYI. =D
    06-16-2013, 08:06 PM
Thank you all so much for your advice! I really believe in the quality stuff even if its older being better then a cheap made saddle. My western saddle is 22yrs old and I bought it used and it is still in great shape!

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