Many people associate English saddles with scarlet-clad equestrians in hot pursuit of a pack of hounds. It’s true that the modern English saddle developed from the fox hunting days of 17th-century Britain, but this important piece of riding gear acquired many refinements along the way.
By fine-tuning, the hunting saddle has become more comfortable and practical and also addressed the needs of other disciplines. Thanks to centuries of progressive adaptations, we can now enjoy many types of English saddles designed for a variety of functions..
Although all English saddles share common characteristics, each type has its own distinctive features. The differences can be quite subtle, sometimes reflecting little more than a change in size, shape, or position. They make a big difference, however, in terms of a saddle’s appropriateness for a particular activity.