If you are interested in learning how to ride a horse, the riding school you attend may outfit you with all the necessary equipment that you'll need to get started. However, some places may expect you to invest in certain products, like a saddle, to ride. There are many different types of saddles available, so it can be overwhelming to choose one. However, a good saddle for beginners to start with is a Western saddle; here are just a few reasons why.
You'll Feel Less Sore
When you start learning to ride, you may experience some soreness, chafing, and even bruising when starting out. The saddle you choose can help you prevent these types of issues. Compared to other saddles, the Western saddle is larger and heavier so that it covers a larger area on a horse's back. This increased surface area means that your weight will spread out over a larger area and you'll be much more comfortable riding for longer periods.
It'll Be Easier to Balance
You may eventually adapt to other saddle styles since different disciplines and sports use certain saddles, but the Western saddle is a good starting point to increase your balance. For example, in English riding, the rider takes the rein in each hand, whereas in Western riding, you only need to keep one hand on the reins. The Western saddle accommodates this riding style, which can be easier to learn as a beginner.
The Saddle Works for a Variety of Disciplines
Western saddles are beneficial because they actually work for a variety of different disciplines, such as roping, barrel racing, reining, trail riding, etc. You can get a Western saddle that's for a specific discipline, but there are all-around Western saddles that are meant to be versatile. This means that you could invest in a saddle as a beginner and it could potentially last you a long time if you pursue an equestrian sport instead of just pleasure/trail riding.
There are a Variety of Features
Western saddles come in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes. Because there is a large assortment of Western saddles on the market, you can find one that can address specific needs that's still within your budget. For instance, if you are really struggling with balance, there are Western saddles with deeper seats. If you are sliding a lot while riding, then you could invest in a Western saddle that is made of suede instead of leather. If your seat is sore after a long day of riding, then there are Western saddles with more padding or pockets for gel pads.
Reach out to a pet supplier in your area to learn more about Western saddles and other gear that you'll need to get started with horse riding.