5 Best English Saddles for Horse Riding Reviewed for All Use Cases

Some of the best English saddles for horse riding encompass all riding disciplines. To find the right saddle, you will need to weigh a few factors, namely, the size of your horse and the material you prefer. Depending on your needs, there are several options available in the market.

An all-purpose English saddle provides complete freedom of movement, while other horse-riding English saddles focus on the balance and shape of a saddle seat.  To help you find the perfect match, we have narrowed down your search to the five best all-purpose English saddle brands you can find on a budget. 

Top English Riding Saddles – Quick Picks

If you’re in a hurry, we’d like to recommend the following two English saddles:

Best English Saddles For Horse Riding

Different types of riding disciplines need different types of saddles. ‘One size fits all’ doesn’t hold in this case. We have listed English saddles that can either specifically or widely be used for many disciplines. 

1. Henri de Rivel Memor-X Close (Best All-Purpose English Saddle)

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An Australian nut color saddle seat is a marker for expensive English saddle brands. While the price tag on the Henri de Rivel seat isn’t ideal, its signature stitching is a huge bonus. Made from quality leather, it is a good fit for different sizes of riders. 

Luckily, the knee blocks include elastic memory foam, giving you a comfortable English jumping saddle seat. Its comfort-oriented design is also a massive relief for riders looking for back support and stability. If you are not looking for an interchangeable gullet for your seat, we highly recommend giving it a try. 

2. Wintec 500 HART Saddle

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Wintec makes quality English saddles for sale that are a breeze to ride in. They are a great fit if you would like to ride on the trails. Its synthetic model is new and improved. Thus, freeing you from any jumping worries. 

The cushioning system replaces traditional fillings with air, eliminating any pressure points or potential after-ride aches. Some riders opt for used English saddles. And if that’s your priority, then rest assured, Wintec is famous for its weatherproof resilience. The best part about its design is its durability which is suitable for all disciplines. 

3. Bates Dressage Saddle CAIR 17

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All-purpose English saddles for sale typically lengthen for dressage or jump for eventing. They do not specifically cater to a particular style. But, make for the best English saddles for quarter horses when it comes to recreational use. 

Thankfully, Bates also distributes the rider’s weight with a unique cushioning system. And if you are all up for an adjustable gullet width, it can help you select the optimal size. Apart from the gullet system, you can also adjust the riser system and the stirrup bar. Hence, providing you with an ease of change that gives a perfect custom fit. 

4. M. Toulouse Annice CC Saddle Medium

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Toulouse is easily one of the best jumping saddle brands. It is ideal for a close contact saddle to have a forward seat for jumping. They are handy for your equestrian classes and hunting expeditions. Its medium-deep center provides the elevation you need. And yet, keeps you close to your horse. 

For maximal control, it comes with leather flaps that you can adjust to your preference. Similar to our first choice of an English saddle, Toulouse comes with a fixed tree as well. The fixed tree, although not replaceable, is made from solid materials that will last you a good while. 

5. Arena All Purpose Saddle With HART

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Having a generous panel on your saddle is by and large a huge advantage. A saddle that fits you and your horse comfortably is an empathetic gesture; one that can offer you the riding stability you need for all disciplines. In essence, Arena saddles are styled in detail to help you stand out with grace. 

Beautiful yet comfy, it gives you a personalized touch along with an all-purpose badge. The medium-deep seat provides the rider with optimal stability for long trail rides. From the bridle path to the training area, it has the flexibility to adjust, adapt and perform. 

Buyer’s Guide for English Saddles 

Besides the horse, a new saddle is probably the most expensive item you will buy. Hence, when deciding on a saddle, here are a few things you should take into consideration: 

Seat Size 

Measuring the seat size of an English saddle is similar to how you measure a Western saddle. In an English saddle, you do not have a large cantle. As a result, your English saddle seat size is larger than a Western saddle. As a general rule of thumb, your seat size on an English saddle will be two inches larger than your western seat size. If you’re interested in discovering the differences between Western and English riding, then consider reading this article.

Generally, the seat sizes for a Western saddle range from 14″ to 19″. The 17″ and the 17.5″ seat size is one of the most common seat sizes for English saddles. If you are unsure about measuring your seat size, you can start by measuring your upper thigh.

You can sit in a chair with your knees and feet in a vertical line for an accurate measurement. Make sure your buttocks touch the back of the chair. You can use a measuring tape to take the length of your thigh. Start measuring from the start of your knee to the back of your buttocks. If you’re unsure of your correct size, it is best to round it off to a larger seat size. Noticeably, a smaller seat size can cause your horse ride to be uncomfortable.

Gullet Size

The gullet size, also called the tree size, makes room for the horse’s withers. A horse’s spine and withers are the two areas where you do not want to put any extra pressure. Any added pressure on them could cause significant pain and discomfort to your horse. The best way to measure the gullet size is to look down from horseback.

A gullet often comes in four sizes: medium, wide, narrow, and extra-wide. An average-sized horse will need a medium gullet size. At the same time, the larger horses like the draft horses or warmbloods will need an extra-wide or wide gullet. The size of the gullet can also vary depending on the type of breed you have. For instance, Thoroughbreds and Arabian horses have a narrow back and thus need a narrow gullet size. If you can’t assess the size of the gullet, you can consult a local professional for their opinion. 

Adjustability 

Depending on the type of saddle you purchase, you can opt for long-lasting leather saddles or fancy but adjustable synthetic saddles. The synthetic saddles come in a variety of designs and colors. Their soft fabric makes them comfortable and adaptable to size, unlike the leather saddles. Synthetic saddles are essentially waterproof and lightweight. They aren’t so rigid, making them an ideal choice if you or your horse gains or loses any weight.

Depending on your horse’s diet, age and work – their physique can change. Luckily for you, synthetic saddles are a good option when it comes to choosing horses that grow alongside you. 

Saddle Fitness 

For the sake of comfort, it’s best to get a saddle that fits both you and your horse. When checking your saddle on your horse’s back, you need to lay on a thin sheet or a towel for starters. An accurate measure of saddle fitness is that it levels with the pommel while allowing the cantle to be an inch higher. Consequently, there needs to be a two-finger distance between the pommel and the withers after tightening the girth. 

At any point, make sure that the saddle will not settle on the spine of the horse. If your saddle fits accurately up to this point, you can try sitting on the saddle pad. Once you feel balanced, make sure that you have a four-finger distance between you and the pummel. 

FAQs Related To English Saddles For Horse Riding 

To clear up some common queries, we have answered some recurring questions about the English saddles.

What is the best English saddle brand?

After analyzing many customer reviews, it is safe to say that Wintec is a superb all-around saddle. But this does not in any way make other saddle brands relatively substandard. Most horse riders usually opt for an all-purpose saddle. Simply because it gets them everywhere. An all-purpose saddle like Wintec is a good fit for many riding disciplines. 
To name a few, it is apt for dressage, eventing, jumping, and trail riding. The benefits are endless! On the contrary, a professional rider would likely pick a personalized saddle. In that respect, a close contact saddle makes a good fit for a jumping event. 

What is the most comfortable English saddle?

A comfortable English saddle has many things going right including the material, padding, filling, and size of your English saddle. For a full-fledged custom-fit, you may need to look beyond the comfort of a saddle. Hence, if comfort is your priority, you will need to forsake the joy of an adjustable gullet. 
By and large, this includes a saddle with either padded memory foam or a harness with air power. The Wintec saddle listed in this article provides air cushioning. Conversely, Henri de Rivel uses plush memory foam. 

How do I choose an English saddle for my horse?

To make sure the saddle fit is comfortable, you need to take the horse’s size into account. Its size determines a number of things. Naturally, it affects the gullet size and the width of the tree. To enjoy a custom fit for each ride, you will need an adjustable English saddle. 
For a proper fit, you can place the saddle at the end of the withers. With this position, the movement of your horse’s shoulders will not feel restricted. 

How do you know if a saddle is of good quality?

Many low-cost saddles include fake leather, which is usually vinyl. A good saddle will have strong, supple leather that is free of rips and tears.
The leather on moderate saddles is thin and stiff. As a result, it is likely to fracture under strain. Hence, you need to largely avoid imitation leather saddles. When it comes to the quality of the saddle, it is best not to compromise. 

What is the best all-purpose English saddle?

The all-purpose saddle is an English saddle that lets you engage in multiple disciplines. With just a single saddle, you can make the most of its versatility. The best all-purpose saddle is likely to be cost-effective.
The seat of an excellent all-purpose saddle is deep, with a long yet somewhat forward flap. They feature a robust and sturdy grip to give the rider more confidence. Bates, Wintec, and Arena are some of the best choices for an all-purpose English saddle. 

How do I know what size saddle I need?

Although you can get adjustable English saddles, it is still best to know your measurements. The size fit of you and your horse guarantees a comfortable ride. It’s helpful to know the flap width, and flap length of your English saddle. You can take your measurement from the nail heads on the pommel’s sides to the middle of the cantle. 

English saddles are a great option if you ride for pleasure. For beginners, they provide you with the stability you need to gain riding confidence. Apart from that, they are an excellent choice to make when comfort is your priority. Available for many disciplines, most of them come in adjustable sizes. 

Generally speaking, an easy-to-maintain English saddle is hard to come by. Thereby making the Wintec 500 HART Saddle one of the best English saddles for many reasons. It has the luxury of a durable leather look and provides you with a custom comfort fit.