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Different Parts of Horse Saddle

Parts of Horse Saddle

Those who are new to horse riding know that you’ll need three main pieces of equipment to ride a horse. They are – Saddle, harness, and bridle. Most probably, they are applicable to provide comfort and safety to the rider. Likewise, all these components consist of several other parts that are useful in different horse riding techniques. More so, the Saddle that a horse rider uses is, in actuality, the most complex equipment of all.

It’s essential for every horse rider, whether male or female, to know the functioning of a saddle. More so, knowing the parts of a saddle will have them understand what every part is helpful for. Furthermore, here we will discuss the different details of a horse saddle.

First of all, it’s essential to know that there are two disciplines of Saddle. They are – English Saddle and Western Saddle. Both of them are different in design, and their uses may also differ depending upon the rider’s requirement.

Difference Between English and Western Riding Style

We know that English saddles and Western saddles are quite popular in the World of equestrian riding. If we talk about English saddles, they date back to medieval times. They are designed for comfort, and safety, and not putting too much pressure on the horse. However, with time and demand, several modifications have amplified the look of English saddles. Currently, an English saddle is used for various riding disciplines and other public appearances.

See also: How to perfectly measure a horse saddle?

On the other hand, Western saddles are the ones that most riders use for cattle work and similar purposes. Likewise, they provide more ease and comfort to the rider, allowing them to sit all day. Cowboys in the USA primarily used these saddles.
Nowadays, technology is working more profoundly, and that’s quite predictable with the current modifications in the saddle design. Therefore, you can always choose the saddle depending on your choice of riding.

Point To Remember:

A “horn” is one such feature of Western-style saddles that’s not present in English saddles. The reason for adding a horn to the saddle was to provide extra support for cowboys on the range. Moreover, it’s a feature that’s useful to wrap around the rope or even reins so that they don’t fall while riding the horse.

Parts of an English Saddle

An English saddle usually comes in small size in comparison with the Western Saddle. They are designed so that there is close contact between the rider and the horse. More so, an English saddle consists of the following parts –

parts of english saddle

  • Cantle: It is that part of the Saddle where the riders “backrest” their body. It is slightly curved upwards from the lower back of the Saddle’s seat. There are different varieties and styles of cantle available in the market.
  • Seat: The seat is the top part of the Saddle where the rider sits. The primary purpose of the seat is to provide comfort and balance to the rider. These also come in various sizes, widths, and depths that the person may choose to depend upon their preference.
  • Pommel: A pommel is the front part of the Saddle. It slightly curves upwards and provides support while the rider stays on the seat. More so, it saves the rider from falling down the horse.
  • Knee Roll: A knee roll is placed at the front of the saddle flap and is preferably positioned for comfort. Some saddles have better knee rolls to add proper support to the rider.
  • Saddle flap: The saddle flaps are present at both sides of the Saddle. They come in a variety of shapes and lengths, and you can get them custom as per your comfort level.
  • Skirt: A skirt is part of the Saddle that protects the rider’s legs from getting irritated by the leather. The look of a skirt is like a smaller flap that sits on the top of the Saddle.

Note – Apart from what goes on top of an English saddle, there are some other parts that go under the Saddle. They include – Knee Block, Billet Keeper, Thigh Block, and Girth Billets. These parts are there to provide extra care and support to the rider and can be useful for multiple reasons.

Parts of a Western Saddle

If you are unaware of the picture of a Western horse saddle, they are mostly bigger when compared with the English saddle. Most people believe that English saddles are more comfortable than western ones, but they need to reconsider this. The reason why Western saddles are large in size is that they provide greater comfort to the rider.

See also: How to choose the right saddle for your horse?

Some of the common parts present in both styles are – Cantel, Seat, Pommel, Skirt, and Stirrups. Though there might be a bit of change in the structure, they are the same as in an English saddle. Here is the list of parts that a Western saddle has –

parts of western saddle

  • Horn: The essential component differentiates between a western saddle and an English saddle. The horn or the knob of a Western saddle is present at the front. The purpose of a knob is to hang in the rope as this style of Saddle is mostly preferable for long riding routes.
  • Latigo: It is a leather strap that falls on the left side of the Saddle and is helpful in securing the cinch of the horse. Along with it, there should always be a latigo keeper at the left end of the Saddle. It is mainly to determine the length and makes it comfortable for the rider.
  • Billet: A billet is placed at the right side of the Saddle and is helpful in attaching the cinch to the right side of the horse. Most of the Western saddles have two billets, but most riders prefer to use one at a time.
  • Fender: It hangs from the side of the Saddle and holds the stirrup in place. They are more comprehensive and basically designed to provide the rider with the comfort level they need.

History of Western Saddles

At first, the popularity of Western horse saddles began in the province of the United States. They were especially the regions where farming and cattle rearing were very common. Accordingly, cowboys were using Western saddles that provided great comfort for longer routes.

Gradually with time, the design of Western saddles got better, and people were definitely trying them. By the 16th century, Western horse saddles were commonly in use by the Spanish and Mexican people. Furthermore, the trend was adaptable by the larger population of the World that’s into farming and cattle ranching. Western saddles are a priority for most riders as they provide convenience and security for horse riding.

Which Saddle is best for you?

Though it depends upon your requirement, usually people prefer to buy Western Saddle online as they are more convenient and comfortable. More so, there are endless options, and you can choose the best one according to the horse’s size and its usability. Thus, you can choose to buy whatever Saddle fulfills the requirement.

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