What kind of saddle for local shows? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-24-2012, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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What kind of saddle for local shows?

This summer I'm going to teach my barrel horse how to jump! I'm pretty excited, but I figure I'm going to need a jumping saddle! Neither of us have ridden English before and I have a feeling both of us are going to like the change. If we ever do show it probably won't be until next year and it'll be only local shows, so nothing too fancy, and it won't be our 'main' thing.

What brand of jumping saddles are the best? I'm on a budget of about $200 I know it'll probably be not as good quality or as fancy. Also, I was wondering a little bit about bits... what kind of bits are popular in the jumping world? I know gag bits are popular in the barrel racing world.

I'll be talking to my trainer about this later, but I'd like an idea.

Thanks. :)
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-24-2012, 08:48 AM
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Get a single or double jointed D ring or eggbutt snafle. No wire/twisted/nasty/harsh bits.

It needs to fit the horse. English saddles are fit quite differently to the horse than western saddles. And in fact are designed to be fitted to the horse without pads or blankets. The pad is there to protect the panels on the saddle. Some pads can be used to make minor fit adjustments. Your trainer needs to help you evaluate this.

An ill fitting saddle can do some damage to a horse's back, particularly jumping. Even though your seat is off the saddle over fences, your weight is not. It is being transmitted to the horse's back through the stirrup bars, which are attached to the saddle tree.

Aside from fit, the saddle needs to place you in balance and needs to have a flap that is forward enough to keep your knees from going over the edge of the flap when your stirrups are short enough for jumping.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-26-2012, 01:24 AM
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With that budget, it would be much better to find a used higher end saddle than a new or almost new el cheapo. For jumping, there are different snaffles you can choose from but while you're learning (assuming your horse is respectful) a dull bit is perfect - less finely tuned than others can offer BUT it will save your horse's mouth when, not if, but when you fall behind the jump and slam him in the mouth. Everyone does it to some degree when they are first learning, and having a sharp bit will make for a dissatisfied horse getting hit in the mouth. Besides, while you learn you will be taking a slower pace and not doing courses quite yet, so a dull bit should do. What is dull? An Eggbutt snaffle, a dee ring snaffe (single joint) or even a rubber bit if your horse is good enough. Once you start doing courses and moving up if you choose to, you will probably need a bit with more sensitivity. You don't need a full cheek, double joints, anything that says 'wire' to start out jumping.

I use shaped pads, well actually now a wither release pad that I LOVE. This gives the saddle some leeway, but there isn't anything compared to a great saddle fit. I have never been one to only ride in a full pad (the thin square ones) because it provides NO support or comfort and is only appropriate when the saddle perfectly fits the horse and rider, and the rider is perfectly balanced, etc. I hope this helps, feel free to PM if I can be of any other help. I love love love jumping, it is exciting. I hope you enjoy!
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-26-2012, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I was going to buy a used one and I can spend a little more. :) Thanks a bunch for your help!
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-26-2012, 09:20 AM
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With $200 budget I'd look into Wintec. Remember though, it's HARDER to fit an english saddle, so you really want to be sure it fits the horse (or you'll have problems in long run). Also, please, please, consider taking jumping lessons if you know nothing about jumping and (especially) your horse knows nothing.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-26-2012, 12:36 PM
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can your trainer help you find a saddle that both fits your horse and your budget?
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-26-2012, 01:54 PM
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Hey! I forgot to mention - there is a 'sticky' in the tack and equipment section of this forum - its the first one on the top. I got some interesting pointers from the 9 videos that I hadn't considered. It is for a dressage saddle though, which is a bit different from a hunter saddle. They are still good things to keep in mind when you are looking for a saddle.

Here is an example of buying a higher-end brand for less because they are well used - since they are quality made they will hold up for years to come with you and your horse, but are within a price range you are looking for. Anyone would strongly advise against buying a brand new saddle for really cheap,(unless you really want the synthetic route) because you get what you pay for! Hope this helps.

Crosby Hunt Seat SADDLE - PRIX DES NATIONS 16" | eBay

Collegiate Finalist Close Contact Saddle | eBay

P.S. I am not suggesting you should get a saddle off Ebay, since you won't be able to touch and feel and fit it before you buy :) Just some examples!
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-26-2012, 01:57 PM
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Good for you! Jumping can be fun especially when coupled with a good trainer, which you say you have.

What I would do is have your trainer help you figure out saddle size. It needs to fit you and your horse both well. If your trainer has lesson horses and the such, they might also have various saddles. It would be good to have her help you try them on without pads and see what works. If you have friends that would let you try on their saddle, I would try them on too, that way you can get an idea of what you are looking for in size, gullet, etc.

http://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack...lly-fit-58116/ is a thread with some really really GREAT saddle fit information, I suggest you watch it. I also suggest that instead of buying a brand spanking new lower quality saddle with your money, that you find a used nicer one in your price range. You are switching to a completely different way of riding and balancing and a used saddle that is already broken in is going to be a lot more friendly to you while learning than a brand new low quality saddle, that is stiff and not broken in at all, trust me on this.

If you do decide to go shopping for a used saddle, have your trainer show you the areas on a saddle that you need to look at to be sure it's a sound saddle. A consignment shop where they will allow you a 24 hour return period in case it doesn't fit your horse is nice too, and some private sellers may also give you this.

Good luck and have fun!
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-27-2012, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody. I'm sure my trainer will help out! :) I just wanted to know what to look for/what not too look for and all that jazz.
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