My husband has always nurtured a love for nature and animals because as far as I can remember him telling me stories of his childhood, they’ve all had to with both. As his grandparents (and later his parents) had their own farm where he loved staying at, he had the chance to help them out with chores, tend to the needs of their lovely plants, and pick some as treats for their beautiful horses.
When he wasn’t feeding them, he was learning how to ride them, and slowly but surely they turned into his favourite animals, which they still are today – with no offence to Uno. Even though he didn’t turn out to be a professional equestrian as he was dreaming as a boy, there’s still a chance our sons could become. Hey, a father can dream!
Sure, his grandparents’ horses are long gone with the stable having been repurposed into a garage almost two decades ago, and both my husband and I are short on money to invest in a horse for the time being, but you have to start somewhere. About two years ago, we started by acquiring charming western wear.
As my in-laws live in the countryside, we recently found just the place to sign Ethan and Noah up for riding lessons that’s near their house, now that they’re old enough to understand. Part of the equipment to get them ready was buying a comfortable and supportive horse saddle.
Reasons to Own Your Own Saddle
Now, I know most people find it weird to buy a saddle when they don’t have the most important thing for riding, which happens to be a horse, but hear me out.
When you want to make the most of the riding experience, and reap all the benefits it can provide, what’s the first thing you need equipment-wise? A saddle that’s the right fit! This refers to both the right fit for the horse and the right fit for you, because when you look through the vast array of horse saddles the suppliers offer, you have the chance to buy based on the measurements which are provided in the product info.
To be sure of the exact dimensions of the seat size, we also measured up both our boys, specifically their height, weight, hips, and length of the femur. Regardless whether you’re shopping for English or Western, these numbers are important to know.
Of course, the horse riding schools have their own range of saddles, but there’s always the risk they could be bigger than you want them to be, which can affect your balance, and as a result, the horse’s balance too. Many care about saddles being comfortable for horses but fail to notice the warning signs of the wrong fit for the rider.
Not to mention, besides the discomfort, and the risk of performance issues as well as physical pain with the lower back, hips and knees, there’s also the risk of accidents in the cases with big saddles which lack stability. In the case with smaller ones there’s the fact they don’t make the riding any pleasant.
When riding in schools, chances are someone might get to your favourite saddle before you, or would get to use it before you so you’d end up readjusting stirrups more often than not. Instead of going through this hassle, my boys have the convenience of their own quality saddles anytime they want to use them without the need to meddle with stirrups. Just saddle up and ride!
In this aspect too, I’d also like to point out you have a better notion of the care and maintenance involving a saddle and you won’t put your health and safety at risk either. Not to speak badly of schools, but can you really know what goes on with the saddle’s cleanliness, repairs, and how and where it’s being stored?
As I love teaching my boys some essential life lessons, I don’t let this opportunity to give them a lesson or two about responsibility slip away. Same as with caring for their scooters, or their cricket gear essentials, we can see whether or not investing in a horse over time is a good idea by how dedicated they are to keeping up with the responsibility of caring for the saddles.
Convenient as it is to have them, it also takes a great deal of dedication to care for them properly, and thus prolong their lifespan. Even though boys will be boys, and they prefer playtime over chores for the time being, as the older brother Ethan is already setting a good example by keeping the saddle spotless before and after every ride. As Noah likes to copy him, he doesn’t fall much behind with this obligation either. What more can a mother ask for?