Jumping Saddles - Style, History; Buying & Selling
Jumping saddles allow the rider to adapt his seat, his weight, to the horse's extension during a jump. This was first demonstrated by Italian riders in 1901 and later at the 1908 Olympic Games, following the teachings of an Italian Captain named Caprilli. Prior to this, the racing saddle had been developed in American, displaying that when the weight of the rider was able to be placed far forward, the extension, and of course the speed of the horse improved. The Italian saddles used a saddle flap that was not as forward as that of the new racing saddles, but was much more forward that the previous saddles used for dressage. After the incredible performance of the Italian jumpers, the style of riding, the seat, and the jumping saddle became standard throughout the equestrian world.
From the onset of the development of jumping saddles there followed an huge increase in the performance of horses during cross country riding and when jumping.
The longer the stirrup, the longer the rider s leg and deeper his seat, which increases a horse s burden when working at fast paces or over jump. Shortening the stirrup, shortens the rider s leg and lightens his seat, making the rider less secure, but the horse freer to gallop and jump.
Jumping Saddles were designed for fast show jumping or across country. In general the rider s weight is just to the rear of the horse s withers. The center of gravity is directly over the center of gravity of the horse and the rider represents the least possible load to the horse and feels like a part of the horse. The rider s thighs grip the saddle and provide a secure position which is not easily dislodged even by unexpected movements of the horse.
When the horse jumps, his center of balance precedes the movement. So the control of balance of the rider is in the rider s weight above the seat, therefore the points of balance will be moved forward, from the waist up, proportionately with that of the horse. Riding in jumping saddles, all movement is forward from the rider s seat, through the horse s shoulders. The rider's seat, is a means of producing an extensive range of actions while controlling and uses the entirety of the horse s balance.
In order to be able to sit astride a flying horse without disturbing its equilibrium, it is necessary to place the burden of the rider s weigh as precisely as possible. Every deviation in balance will cause an overburdening of either the horse s forehand or its hindquarters, and possibly one lateral set of legs also. Without the use of proper jumping saddles, the movements of jumping horses will be hampered and the horse s efficiency is reduces and quite often legs are damaged as well. Only if the weight of the rider is in equilibrium will the horse s back be able to swing freely so the horse will have the agility and suppleness needed for extreme performance.
Jumping saddles are now designed to have a more forward seat, designed to support the forward position of the rider required for jumping, and flaps that are not nearly as long as those of the dressage saddle, and with a forward slant. The flaps also are constructed with deep knee pads for a secure grip.
In general, the faster you travel, the further forward and out of the saddle goes your seat. The stirrups on jumping saddles are shortened to suit your needs. You balance on thighs, knees, stirrups, and literally the actual motion of the horse.
Listings on this site by companies who make or sell jumping saddles can be located in the Shopping section of the site, and individual listings will display product information, often photos and pricing, and contact emails, phone numbers and links to individual Tack or Saddlery shops.
Reurn to English Saddles or Visit the main site page about Saddles.
You may also wish to visit pages about other styles of Saddles such as Dressage Saddles or Saddle Seat Saddles.
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