Jockeys on horseback spend more time out of the saddle than in it, and that explains why the English racing saddle has evolved into a highly specialized piece of equipment. When you’re perched on your feet and your horse is thundering down a raceway at breakneck speed, you need a seat that will keep you balanced. For the horse that’s carrying you, every bit of extra weight can affect the race’s outcome.
The typical qualities of the Racing Saddle are:
• An extremely small, lightweight, and trim design reduces the horse’s load and the drag that would slow it down. Racing saddles usually weigh less than four pounds, with the very lightest ones weighing less than one pound.
• Stirrups hang extremely high to match the forward and upright crouching position of the rider.
• A long, flat, and very forward seat interferes as little as possible with the horse’s movement and provides a more level foundation for a rider who balances on his knees and feet.
• A flat pommel and cantle give the rider a clear maneuvering area.
• Saddle flaps extend forward to accommodate the forward seat and very short stirrups used by the rider.
• The saddle has only one billet, so riders must use an overgirth to increase stability.
• Exercise saddles are heavier and bulkier and have a more pronounced pommel and cantle, as speed is not a crucial factor when they are used.
• Saddles worn for steeplechases are also more substantial, as horses must negotiate high fences, wide ditches, and other obstacles. The saddle flaps on these saddles are also larger.
English racing saddles optimize speed and freedom for the horse, but they offer little security or control to the rider. Because they are so thin and light, they are not very comfortable either. For these reasons, an English racing saddle is not a good choice for general riding purposes.
|Racing Saddle||Racing Exercise Saddle|
Racing Saddles Available on ebay
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