When you’re competing in a long-distance race that lasts all day or even several days, comfort is a top priority. Endurance saddles have to keep both man and horse as happy and healthy as possible over many miles of rough terrain in all kinds of weather. With such rigorous conditions to challenge a rider, it’s not surprising that the modern endurance saddle owes much of its original design to military and police saddles.
The typical qualities of the Endurance Saddle are:
• For the benefit of the rider, a deep seat offers comfort and balance by lending a “settled-in” effect to the riding experience. To enhance the feeling of sitting in a comfy chair, the seat often boasts extensive padding or quilting.
• For the benefit of the horse, extensions of the cantle and skirts increase the area of contact with the animal and reduce the pounds-to-square-inch ratio. This distributes the weight more evenly across the horse’s back, increasing comfort while decreasing fatigue.
• Extended panels (known as “fans”) disperse sweat and increase the weight-bearing area.
• The saddle is lightweight to lessen the cumulative effect of pressure on the horse’s back.
• Wider foot treads on the stirrups reduce a rider’s fatigue.
• The pommel and cantle sport numerous D-rings to allow the rider to attach accessories and provisions necessary for extended rides.
Endurance Test Report Card
The English saddle generally withstands the endurance test better than its Western counterpart. Overall, it is much lighter than the Western saddle, which translates to less fatigue for the horse. The English seat also puts the rider’s weight farther forward, reducing the exhaustion, soreness, and improper balance often created by the Western saddle’s rearward seat.
One drawback of the English saddle is its poorer weight distribution. With a smaller weight-bearing surface than the Western saddle, it can cause more discomfort and soreness for the horse. This English endurance saddle addresses this issue by increasing the surface area through extensions of the cantle, panels, and skirts.
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Endurance Saddles Available on ebay
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