Equestrian | Spotlight, Spotlight


The right saddle will make all the difference to your riding experience. LA POLO examines the history of saddle making, with some inspiring quotes.

“The saddle is a place for dreaming when there’s hours of trail ahead!” --Louis L’Amour, American Novelist

It was around 700 BC when the Assyrian cavalry used the earliest known saddle-like equipment, that were fringed cloths or pads held on with a girth or surcingle that included breast straps and cruppers. Another early form of saddles was found by the North Iranian Eurasian wanderers referred to in Europe as Scythians and in Asia as Saka, around 500-400 BC. The Scythians built up an early saddle that included cushioning and brightening embellishments, following which the Sarmantians also utilized a cushioned treeless saddle, circa 7th century BC. Asian structures showed up during the Han tradition around 200 BC. One of the most strong treed seats in the west was the “four horn” plan, first utilized by the Romans, around the first century BC. Neither of the designs had stirrups. The first stirrup was created in the second century BC in India, which was a calfskin tie in which the rider could put their toe. The cutting-edge stirrup pattern was thought to have been imagined by the northern clans of China and was extensively used across China by 477 AD, and afterwards, it spread into Europe.

Innovations and Alterations

“Spending that many hours in the saddle gave a man plenty of time to think. That's why so many cowboys fancied themselves philosophers.” --Charles Marion Russell, American painter

Numerous enhancements were made during the medieval times in saddles, including a higher cantle and pound, and an all the more emphatically fabricated wooden tree that turned to be the forerunner to the cutting-edge western saddle, which was later changed for dairy animals’ work and bullfighting.


Now the saddle structures began to expand in two ways, presently categorized as the western and English saddles. François Robinchon de la Guérinère, a French riding expert, was compelling in the specialty of traditional dressage. He assisted with building up the English saddle with advancing a three-point seat for riders. This turned into the modern dressage saddle. In the 20th century, Captain Frederico Caprilli structured an English saddle with increasingly forward set folds, essential for higher bounces which turned into the advanced hopping English saddles. Present-day saddles are changing and improving in styles.

“Lived in his saddle, loved the chase, the course, And always, ere he mounted, kiss'd his horse.” --William Cowper

Stock saddles are categorized into Western and Australian. Western saddles were intended to be utilized on ponies and cow farms in the United States. They had no cushioning, and were to be utilized with a seat cover or a pad so as to give an agreeable fit to the pony. They had sturdier stirrups and utilized a cinch rather than a grith.


Countries like Australia and Argentina have stock saddles that typically don't have a horn, and have different highlights normally found in a western saddle, including a profound seat, high cantle, and heavier leather.
In the US, the McClellan saddle was presented during the 1850s by George B McClellan for use by the United States Cavalry, and the centre plan was utilized consistently, with enhancements, until the 1940s.
Military saddles are utilized for displays and marches. There are two variants of the modern Asian saddles--Saddles from Central Asia, having a prominent horn and leather covering, and saddles from East Asia that have a high pommel and cantle.
Other classic saddle variants are the Japanese saddles that are delegated Chinese-style (karagura) or Japanese-style (yamatogura), created for the Samurai Class. These seats, known as kura, were lacquered as insurance from the climate. Early samurai fighting was led essentially riding a horse and the kura gave a rough, steady, comfortable seat for the war.


“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” --John Wayne


Purchasing a quality seat will guarantee that you are getting something that will last and give a great ride. Some of the best Western Saddle Brands:

Circle Y

They have been handcrafting top notch saddles, including barrel, trail, show, roping and farm in the United States since the 1960s.

Dakota Saddlery

Dakota is a producer of handmade saddles that offer roping, trail and barrel dashing seats, with the capacity to semi-modify the saddle to pick the tree, calfskin type, shading, seat and oiling of your seat in a budget-friendly manner.


They are a leading brand for synthetic saddles and offer lightweight and durable western saddles for trail and pleasure that are scratch-proof and weather-resistant.

Dale Chavez

Dale Chavez’ handcrafted saddles are made of the finest silver and leather, with attention to detail.

Best English Saddle Brands

M. Toulouse

Consolidating great French components, conventional methods and present-day innovation, they give the best quality universally handy, dressage and close contact saddles.

Collegiate Saddlery

With the blend of customary strategies and modern materials, their first-rate leather and quality craftsmanship have made them the official saddle of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.

Pessoa Saddles

Established by Olympic medalists Nelson and Rodrgio Pessoa, Pessoa saddles are known for superb craftsmanship. Structured with tracker/jumpers, Pessoa saddles offer help for hopping.

Bates Saddles

The official seat of the United States Eventing Association, Bates Saddles give extreme solace and balance. The Easy-Change Fit Solution permits riders to modify the saddle to their pony and the CAIR Cushion System gives even weight appropriation to ingest shocks.

Freedman’s Saddlery

Established in 1802, it sells top quality saddles. In addition, Freedman is famous for their harnesses; having outfitted world famous Budweiser Clydesdales.


Founded in 1894, Stubben has structured quality saddles far and wide from their family claimed workshop in Sweden and are notable for their dressage, jumping and all-purpose saddles.

“Things are in the saddle. And ride mankind.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Society of Master Saddlers of England suggests seven considerations for saddle fitting:

1. Gullet Width

Least of around 2.5 inches or three fingers in the length of the channel of the saddle. Affirm that there is no parallel weight against the sides of the withers or spine. The ideal impact is to have the width of the neck sufficiently satisfactory to lounge around the spinal procedure - on the fat and muscle- - with no weight on the spine.

2. Adequate Clearance through the Pommel

At first emptied/ungirthed with pressure down on the centre of the handle, the saddle will sit with a leeway of around 2 1/4 inches or at least three fingers stacked vertically between the head of the shrinks and the base of the knob. Excessively near the wilts implies that the seat is wide, and a lot of freedom (with a moderate shrink) can demonstrate that the seat is excessively limited - the two situations can make uneasiness and an awkwardness in the seat.

3. Angle of Tree Matches Angle of the Horse's Body

Each pony can acknowledge an alternate measure of weight. A doughy bodied horse may have more sinkage into his plump body. The rakish pony will have alternate concerns. The bonier the body the less insurance they have and the more touchy they will turn into.

4. Point Pressure

The finish of the tree point is a conspicuous spot to check for inordinate and confined weight. Reevaluate for even weight, or how you can make even weight. At that point assess why there is weight and locate substitute ways.

5. Balance of Saddle

The target of the seat fit is to make a situation to empower the rider to sit over the head of her leg for appropriate ear-shoulder-hip-heel arrangement. On the off chance that the saddle is sitting with the cantle low and the handle excessively high, the rider will be sitting in a saddle with the leg out before them. At the point when the cantle is excessively high and the saddle sits with the handle too low the rider will feel like she is falling forward. At that point you should consider how the pony lifts its body when it voyages and locate the fair compromise for all walks.

6. Panel Coverage

There ought to be no enormous expanding openings, yet simply enough space for your fingertips between the board and the pony's back. Check the saddle panel horizontally from the neck out to the edge of the gusset to check whether the edge of the board follows the point of the pony's back.

7. 18th Rib

Touch until you locate the rear of the rib confine. Delicately follow the rib confine up towards the spine. Contingent on how much substance the pony conveys, you may need to evaluate the edge of how the rib integrates with the spine. The rear of the board ought not to reach out past the eighteenth rib because of absence of auxiliary (rib confine) support.

“I hope to die in the saddle seat. “ --Albert Ellis