Rob Cullen and John Hartley of Black Country Saddles provide some advice on what to look for in your show saddle.
In the world of Showing it is all about looks and performance, so when it comes to choosing a saddle there is nothing more important than selecting one that will be comfortable for both horse and rider and also help provide the perfect picture.
If you have bought a new show horse or pony over the winter months or are just looking for a new show saddle there are a number of important points to consider.
First and foremost make sure the saddle you buy is a perfect fit for your horse or pony. Getting a qualified saddle fitter to assess the situation is vital in the long run and will ensure you pick the right saddle for the job.
We always recommend using an experienced and competent saddle fitter who will have the knowledge and skills to make sure your saddle is fitted correctly.
Also make sure you ride in the saddle as you would at a show, this way you can ensure that it fits the horse nicely ensuring that he moves well under the saddle as well as being comfortable for the rider.
Remember your horse changes shape regularly and the frequency of these changes will relate to his age, training, management and so on. Try to develop an eye to recognise these changes.
In Showing, a fleece numnah under the saddle is often used. Ensure the saddle fitter is aware of the actual numnah you will be using and make sure it is available throughout the fitting process. This will allow the saddle fitter to get the perfect fit as adding any numnah can alter the fit.
Look and appearance in the ring can give you the edge over someone else so the finished picture must look smart and elegant with the saddle complimenting both horse and rider.
You should also consider what type of horse or pony you have and choose a suitable saddle for its build and size. A show pony will require a totally different fit to a native pony or a show hunter for example.
If you are mainly aiming at working hunter classes you may wish to opt for a specialist working hunter saddle that offers a little extra support for the knee when jumping but still looks elegant with straight cut saddle flaps when it comes to the individual show.
For most other showing classes most riders opt for a traditional elegant looking saddle that is straight cut to accentuate the horse or pony’s shoulder and allows an elegant position in the seat down to the legs.
A Classic Show Saddle
The Classic Show Saddle from Black Country Saddles offers style and elegance when in the show arena.
The saddle is straight cut to help accentuate the horse or pony’s shoulder, but has a subtle knee roll to help keep the rider in the ideal show position.
Made using pre-oiled, vintage leather, the saddle offers an ultra-comfortable seat and is flocked with pure wool to allow for greater bearing pressure and fitting adjustment.
The Poppy Show Saddle
The Black Country Saddles show collection also includes the Poppy Show Saddle, specially designed with Lead Rein and First Ridden ponies in mind.
Ultra stylish, the Poppy Show Saddle is crafted on a bespoke tree with a slimmer profile to enhance the overall picture when in the competition arena.
This saddle is ideal for smaller children just starting out in the world of showing and provides a closer contact to the pony and so aids confidence in the saddle for those younger riders.
The Poppy Show Saddle has been developed with well-known show rider and producer Katy Carter, and is named after her daughter Poppy, a major winner in show pony circles.
For more information or help with buying a new show saddle contact Black Country Saddles on 01543 578 243 or visit www.blackcountrysaddles.com