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DISCLAIMER: before buying a new saddle always remember to ask for professional saddle fitting advice as each saddle should be properly fitted to the horses back to avoid damage and injuries! This article only shows some of the highest quality saddles available on the market but each purchase should be beforehand consulted with a professional.
Picking the ideal saddle for you and your horse might just be one of the most challenging things in the horse sports. For more information about picking the right saddle size scroll down to the FAQ. This article reviews some of the top selling and most popular riding saddles among professional equestrian athletes. You might want to visit the brands own internet site to view all available saddle models or reach out to them directly if you want to buy a custom saddle. This article reviews the best eventing saddles and is divided into three categories (best dressage saddles for eventing, best show jumping saddles for eventing and best cross country saddles). As convenient as it is to use one saddle for showjumping and cross country, it is not possible to use the same saddle for the dressage test. Thus most eventing equestrians compete with two saddles, but the most dedicated have a saddle for each discipline of eventing.
BEST SHOW JUMPING SADDLES FOR EVENTING
Portos by Stubben
Stubben saddles are pretty popular among equestrians competing in amatour sport. They are more affordable than most other saddle making brands and are definitely a good value for money. Saddle “PORTOS” is one of their highest recommended jumping saddles. Lightweight with a fancy design on the saddle panels. You can schedule a saddle fitting in the UK at your own yard, which is very convenient and helpful. Stubben has their representatives within the UK so get in touch with them through their website to discuss your options.
A show jumping saddle like no other. It might be one of the first smart saddles available for the equestrians. The saddle itself made out a good quality long lasting leather with a build in smart system. Robust, reliable electronic system is located in several areas of the saddle. A sensor at pommel-level accurately measures the horse’s locomotion. An antenna at cantle-level provides long distance wireless communication with the iJump app via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The box is equipped with a solar panel to allow considerable autonomy : 8 hrs when taking measurements, and 4 weeks on standby. The results are provided to you on your personal application so that you can readjust the optimal training for you and your horse. The saddle together with the application evaluates the quality of your canter and jumps taking into consideration parameters such as the regularity of the stride, symmetry, speed, high you jump at and the recovery time your horse needs after the competition or a training. Sounds really amazing but if you feel like iJump is just a little over the top for you, check out the remaining saddles that CWD has to offer because from my personal experiences CWD saddles are one of the most durable and longest lasting, so even their basic models are worth a recommendation too.
BEST CROSS COUNTRY SADDLES FOR EVENTING
Cross country saddles are lighter than for any other discipline. They weigh very little to allow the horse to comfortably stretch during the gallop. Cross country saddles typically have a better air ventilation system to prevent your horse from sweating excessively. It is possible to do your cross country round in a show jumping saddle (and many do), but undoubtedly a saddle designed specifically for the cross country is more suitable.
One of the best selling cross country saddles is by the famous Prestige company. Prestige originates from Italy and is known mainly for their outstanding quality show jumping saddles. X BREATH K is one of their models designed specifically for cross country. Lightweight (4.5 kg) and highly breatheathable leather makes it perfect for the demanding cross country round even on the hottest days. Prestige provides the riders with an option of saddle customisation (the design remains the same but you can pick whatever color theme you want). Prestige makes the same model in three different categories: basic, lux and special that vary in the quality and type of the leather. There is a two year warranty on all the saddles and a lifetime warranty on the tree and stirrup bars.
Chiberta Lab by Devoccoux
High quality, fancy design, French-make eventing saddle by Devoccoux. It is really expensive looking but actually pretty affordable. Another featherlight option for eventers. This one is ideal for all the fans of close contact saddles, as Chiberta has a close contact flexible saddle tree. The saddle is also very aesthetically pleasing. It can be ordered in black or havana color with the leather details in any color you like (pink, blue, red, purple, orange etc.) which give it a fancy touch.
Equipe, highly recommended saddles by professional riders. Their models are on the pricey side but totally worth all the money. The design of equipe saddles is so characteristic you can usually tell them apart from the other saddle brands. Equipe released a saddle designed specifically for eventers, called the Freeland equipe. It has an eye catching design and an expensive overall look. It is available in black, light and dark brown color. The models are custom made for you and your horse so you might want to reach out to the company directly do discuss the best options for you.
BEST DRESSAGE SADDLES FOR EVENTING
X-OPTIMAX K by prestige
When it comes to dressage saddles we most highly recommend the Prestige saddles. They just seem to work best with the horse’s anatomy and give the horse all the necessary comfort and freedom of movement. There are of course many prestige saddle models but most eventers go for the monoflap ones. X-optimax is just a personal recommendation of a monoflap saddle that is shaped with care to fit the horses built, the anatomically shaped panels ensure greater freedom of movement for the trapezius muscles. Dressage Prestige saddles always have a nice finish with a pretty and eye catching design, ideal for everyone that pays attention to the detail.
MAKILA S BY DEVOUCOUX
Another beautiful looking saddle made by devoucoux, designed specifically for dressage. The design of the seat lets you comfortably find a deep seat position and remain in it throughout the whole test. This model is also a monoflat/ single flap which allows you achieve this ‘close contact’ sensation. Available in black or havana color that can be further personalised to fit your likings.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an eventing saddle?
The term eventing saddle can be really confusing and misleading. This is because most eventers use multiple saddles depending on the discipline they are riding at that moment. Most eventers own a dressage and a show jumping saddle. The second they also use for their cross country test. Serious and professional eventers however, own three saddles, one for each discipline (dressage, show jumping and cross country). When people talk about eventing saddles they actually, usually mean a jumping/ cross country saddle.
What should you look for in an eventing saddle?
Again, that really depends on the discipline. So here are the features that a good saddle should have depending on its purpose.
- SHOW JUMPING SADDLES: lightweight, long comfortable seat, anatomically shaped, soft full grain leather
- CROSS COUNTRY SADDLES: lightweight, properly ventilated with a good air-ventilation system, loops for breastplate attachment
- DRESSAGE SADDLES: anatomically shaped to provide the freedom of moment, closely fitted to achieve the ‘close contact’, a comfortable deep seat, many riders pick single/mono flap saddles over double flaps
Can you use a dressage saddle for eventing?
You can use a dressage saddle only for the dressage test which is a part of eventing.
Can you use a jumping saddle for eventing?
Yes, you can use show jumping saddles for the show jumping and the cross country test, but you most probably will need to invest in a separate saddle for the dressage. Many riders which are totally new to eventing and the eventing is amatur/ low level, decide to use their jumping saddles (or all around saddles) for all three disciplines. You can not do that in a proper nation level competition though.
How to care for an eventing saddle?
As with all good quality leather products, you need to take care of the equipment for it to last years of intense usage. There are many saddle care products to pick from but try to follow weekly the most basic three step saddle care routine (apply oil, clean with a soap, moisturise with a balm). Some of our product recommendations:
How to pick the right saddle size?
Saddle size depends on multiple factors such as the wideness of your horses back, its length, the length of your femur bone, your general height and weight/ body built. With so many factors in consideration the best advice is to get professional help from a saddle fitter. Saddle fit should be checked annually because horses, just like us, gain and lose weight, grow and build muscle. If your saddle doesn’t any more fit perfectly consider buying correctional gel pads. For advice on picking the right gel pad check out our article: The Best Gel Pads in 2021.