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Lucky choice of used saddle? Great thing – if your saddle gives consent. What you should check before you bring the good piece home for installation.

1. How do you want to use the saddle?

Before you hit a supposed bargain, think about what you’re using the saddle for. Do you mainly ride dressage, do you go a lot off-road or do you like to jump with your horse? The saddle should be built according to your preference. A flat seat doesn’t become a deep seat nor can your driver conjure a long flap from a short, pre-cut saddle.

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Check used saddles

Lisa Radlin

Saddle rotated to the right.

2. Does the saddle fit you?

The saddle should fit your body. Because the seat size depends on the saddle tree and cannot be changed after that. Be careful with the usual inches, which refers to seat length: sizes are not standardized and can vary depending on the manufacturer.

The reason for this is that measurements are taken differently: “Some manufacturers measure from the first point in the saddle to the farthest point in the rear, and others measure the area between the cantal and the cantal,” Urban Truniger explains. However, you can assume that seat sizes on different models have the same measurements from one manufacturer.

advice: Ask about the height, build, and clothing size of the person who has been sitting on the saddle so far. The more similar this person is to you, the more likely you are to also feel comfortable in the saddle.

3. Is the curve of the saddle tree proportional to your horse?

You can’t change the curve of the saddle tree after that. It should align with the horse’s back line. Ask the person selling the saddle a picture of the horse the saddle was on. The horse should be depicted from the side so that the line of the back is clearly visible.

Check used saddles

Lisa Radlin

Saddle rotated to the left.

Pay attention to the height at the shoulders and the shape of the back behind the withers: does the back rise slightly or slope downward? Is your back straight or curved? The back of the other horse should have the same characteristics as the back of the horse.

4. Is the room width adjustable?

“The width of the saddle room used can be adjusted naturally,” Urban Truniger says. Because the saddle can adjust it bigger or farther. With one condition: “The adjustable esophagus must be cold or warm.”

Long, straight grooves give the saddle more stability, for example with narrow high rims. “It is important that the shape is appropriate for the horse,” emphasizes the skilled Sarraj. For horses with lower shoulders or strong shoulders, long grooves can click. Local tips should bend backwards or outwards.

advice: If you do not know what type of gullet iron is installed in the saddle, ask the manufacturer. All saddle data can be found using the model number embossed on the race flap.

Check used saddles

Lisa Radlin

Saddle from below.

5. What are the saddle pads installed?

A good choice for woolen stuffed pillows. “Latex foam cushions cannot be altered, while a saddle can alter or alter the padding of a fleece cushion,” Urban Truniger explains.

Because the older the saddle, the more likely the cushioning will become stiff or knotted. “Ideally, the pad should be hard or soft like the muscles of the horse’s back,” explains the saddle expert. The saddle can adjust the saddle used on the horse’s back by filling or loosening the cushion.

However, the length of the pillow cannot be changed. It depends on the size of the seat: the larger it is, the more cushions it will have. Tall or strong riders whose horses have a short saddle position should take this into consideration. “Riders then choose a saddle with a flat seat. You have more room in it compared to a deep seat, and you may be able to handle a smaller seat size,” the expert advises.

Using a German saddle pad, the pads are sewn to the sweat flap. Since the pillow case is made of leather, the filling must be processed very delicately. French pillows balance out filling better.

6. Is the price reasonable?

The age, condition and signs of saddle wear should be reflected in the price. Compare the price of the saddle you are interested in with other offers. Seek advice from your saddle if you’re not sure if the saddle you want is too expensive.


Urban Truniger is a master servo and owner of EquiNomic, headquartered in Mülheim (Switzerland) and a subsidiary in Constance on Lake Constance. He makes custom saddles and offers advice on buying a used saddle.

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