Saddles have been used for thousands of years, and it is believed that people began to practice horseback riding soon after these animals were domesticated. The earliest evidence found in terms of pads and saddle-like equipment have revealed that people have been using saddles around 700 BC.
Over the years, various accessories and additions have emerged and they aimed to make horseback riding safer and more comfortable: surcingles and breast straps are only two of them.
Back in the 18th and 19th century, saddles were decorated with various embellishments (from leather work to precious metals and carvings of wood) that aimed to display the wealth and social status of the individual riding the horse.
Given the fact that these pieces are made from high-quality, durable materials (usually leather), they can last for decades provided that they are maintained properly. Here you will find a deeper insight into different saddles and some of the most renowned manufacturers:
Circle Y Saddles
Founded by Lelald Tucker in Yoakum Texas, Circle Y is one of the most reputed manufacturer of quality saddles at the moment, and the company has been in business for more than 50 years now. The Circle Y products are sold exclusively via authorized dealers, and these products stand out from the rest due to their fine craftsmanship coupled with the high standards of quality. Also, the company offers a plethora of different saddles and products, using patented designs such as the Flex2 tree design.
The Circle Y saddles are suitable for a variety of western disciplines: here you can find ranch work saddles, barrel racing or trail riding saddles, showing and reining saddles and so on.
The finishes and the silver trims are of the highest quality, and the experienced and skilled craftsmen always deliver state-of-the-art products that help you achieve the best results, regardless of the chosen western discipline.
Wintec is known as the world’s most renowned manufacturer and distributor of synthetic saddles, and their products are perfect for trail and pleasure riding, for improving the dressage position or for additional shock absorption (this feature is particularly useful for those who suffer from back pain). The Wintec saddles are known for being very comfortable and lightweight, therefore they are perfect for long rides. They do not require any waxing or oiling, they are weatherproof and they are very easy to maintain in the long run.
Wintec offers a variety of saddles: from all-purpose products to saddles designed exclusively for showjumping, dressage or endurance, you can find a wealth of different items along with mounts and other useful accessories.
Billy Cook Saddles
The Billy Cook products are made from high-quality leather and they are designed for a wide array of disciplines: you can opt for barrel racing saddles or cutting, endurance, flex tree, pleasure, trail, roping, ranch, team penning, show, training or draft horse items. Regardless of your needs, these products are made to last and they will surely satisfy even the most demanding horseback rider. These genuine products are made in Sulphur, Oklahoma by Billy Cook’s manufacturing company.
Tucker is a saddle manufacturer that has received great attention after its trail saddles were ridden by the stars of Best Of America By Horseback. In a nutshell, Tucker offers hundreds of different saddle models that are made mainly from reinforced wood tree and provide all around comfort. Tucker also offers an extensive collection of bridge pads that are perfect for horses with hollows, dropped or sway back, as they are designed to improve comfort and to help the user ride all day long in ultimate comfort. The Tucker company is also known for implementing the patented Gel-Cush shock absorbing seat.
With an experience of over 15 years in the manufacturing field, Corriente Saddle is a family-owned and operated business that designs saddles and other accessories for the rodeo industry. These saddles are aimed both at amateurs and professionals, and the ropings produced by Corriente have been used in rodeos all across the United Stated. Corriente manufactures and sells a wealth of personalized and customized saddles, ropers, calf ropers, barrels, youth, show and cutting saddles, ranch cutters and so on.
Albion is a renowned and popular British manufacturer that distributes accessories and competition saddles in more than 30 countries all around the world. In the Dressage and Jumping lines, riders can find exquisite products like Platinum Royale, Platinum Ultra, SLK or SLK Ultima. As mentioned above, Albion also delivers various fittings and accessories such as girths, leathers, head collars and cleaning products designed to help you clean and maintain your Albion saddles in the long run.
Last, but not least, Bates is another trusted manufacturer that offers general riding, jumping and dressage saddles that are known for their increased flexibility, versatility and comfort. These highly specialized products are designed to offer ultimate performance regardless of the discipline, they are made from the finest European leather and they deliver optimal balance. The Bates company is known for using the “Easy-Change” fit solution coupled with the well-known “Cair Cushion System”, both being designed for absolute comfort.
Stylish and elegant, the Bates saddles have managed to make a name for themselves in the horseback riding industry. Moreover, the company also provides a variety of mounts and accessories, from leader balm and cream to stirrup leathers, webbers, dressage products, all purpose flexiblocks and such.
In conclusion, the saddle is undoubtedly one of the most important pieces for a horseback rider. Over the centuries, saddles have evolved greatly – from classic blankets with a soft form of padding and protection to beautifully designed and crafted saddles. Generally speaking, these useful structures are mainly designed for horses, but they can apply to camels and other animals as well. Saddles play a pivotal role in equestrianism and they come in a variety of designs and saddles.
Nowadays, those who are passionate about horseback riding can choose products of the highest quality from the above-mentioned manufacturers and distributors, products that are famous for their exquisite and elegant appearance coupled with increased functionality.