If show jumping (or eventing) is your primary passion, you want to make sure that your jump saddle is going to satisfy the needs of both you and your horse. There are a variety of saddles available on the market, but at the end of the day, you need to have a saddle that provides enough support and security for you when riding, and is comfortable enough to allow your horse to perform at its best over any sized jumps.
You may have just started riding, or you may have been riding for years and have decided to finally take the plunge to invest in a good show jumping saddle. But how do you know which jump saddle would be the best jumping saddle suited for you and your horse?
There are a few things to consider when buying a jump saddle and we're going to give you an overview of some of the best jumping saddle brands available in the Australian market.
If you'd rather not read the entire article, you can click through to each of our recommendations below:
Equipe saddles are designed and manufactured in Italy. All the Equipe saddles offer modern innovation of technology to ensure comfort, balance and attention to the needs of both horse and rider. The Equipe saddle range offers various tree technologies with synthetic, Theoreme, Platinum and E-Carbon options.
The basic Equipe jumping saddle - the Emporio, is very affordable if you're on a budget, and is also suitable for young/competitive riders.
The Rarity Grip (based on the Expression Special saddle), is also designed for young riders and offers colour highlights for a modern presentation. The synthetic saddle tree favours the seating of the rider and adapts itself perfectly to the structure of the horse.
The Synergy Special has a Theoreme tree which offers a forward seat, narrow twist, anatomically shaped knee rolls, allowing close contact and freedom of movement.
The Platinum range (Grand Prix Special, Performance Special, Freeland, Extreme Special), offers sophisticated elegance for maximum comfort with premium selected European calf skins, refined in their detail and manufactured with a wooden saddle tree. The differences of these four quality jump saddles comes down to the design aesthetics and placement of knee rolls which can relate to your thigh and/or leg length.
The E-Carbon range comprises the EK-EVO, EK-26 and EK-GO saddles. The E-Carbon core is the revolutionary saddle tree with three composite fibers featuring supreme manufacturing precision, lightness, non-deformability and sturdiness.
Equipe EK Range
The E-Carbon saddles provide superior technology and innovation to perfectly enhance the connection and performance between horse and rider.
Top Australian show jumpers including Tom McDermott, Billy Raymont, Madi Sinderberry, Maleah Lang McMahon, Jess & Rhys Stones all ride in Equipe jump saddles.
The Equipe range offers a variety of options to suit many different horse and rider combinations, with prices ranging from $2500 for the Emporio to $6495 for the E-Carbon range. Trailrace Saddlery is the Australian agent for Equipe Saddles.
CWD is a premium French saddle brand founded in 1998. In 2012 the company launched the revolutionary 2Gs®technical saddles: the spine is made of Kevlar, and carbon optimizes the flexible and rigid parts, the whole being a non structural component.
CWD Australia offers show jumping saddles with the Classic & Dynamick 2Gs® and the 2Gs Mademoiselle® models.
The Classic saddle is made out of calfskin and full grain leather and offers three different seats with a flat, semi deep and close contact seat, to cater for different riding styles. The Classic provides the rider with optimum close contact - enhancing the connection between the rider and the horse with precise actions.
The Classic Kid is made from full buffalo leather, is exclusively designed for young riders, with small front and back blocks to help maintain smaller legs in place.
The Dynamick 2Gs® model revolutionizes all sensations with its concentration of innovation offering close contact, comfort, lightweight, flexibility to cater to the horse and the rider. The Dynamick 2Gs® offers a flat and semi-deep seat, with it's carbon Kevlar Dynamick® saddle tree.
Every element of assembly (stirrup bars, seat, etc.) is directly inserted into the composite frame for closer contact between the rider and his horse.
The Dynamick 2Gs® saddles have integrated panels for unparalleled close contact, gel seat targeting specific areas for improved rider comfort as well as guaranteed ergonomics and greater design precision.
The 2Gs Mademoiselle® is a finer and lighter saddle with horsewomen in mind, but don't let that put you off, as there are quite a few gentlemen riders enjoying the 2Gs Mademoiselle®, including James Mooney himself!
Further characteristics with the 2Gs Mademoiselle® model feature customised piping and stirrup leather keeper, slim twist for optimum contact, foam-padded seat, flexible flaps for easy girthing and panel screws efficiently integrated into the panels.
CWD saddles are favored both internationally and in Australia, with many top show jumpers including James Patterson Robinson, Olivia Hamood, Andrew Barnett, Maddison Stephen, Brook Dobbin, Josh Collins, and Ally Lamb, all performing successfully in CWD.
CWD Saddles are custom made to fit, and are distributed by JB Mooney on the Central Coast. Prices range from $4500-$8010.
Bates are an Australian business based in Perth. The technology of the Bates saddles deliver an ultimate close contact and balanced position for the rider. You can view here our private sellers range of second hand Bates saddles.
World-leading performance systems the CAIR Cushion System and the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution offer great flexibility to achieve a customised fit with fluid cushioning, ensuring your horse’s absolute comfort and your peace of mind.
At the top of the range is the lightweight and compact Victrix. The Easy Change System allows for all adjustments to be measurable, symmetrical and completely reversible, ensuring total confidence to custom fit your saddle to your horse’s changing shape.
The Advanta delivers an ultra-sensitive feel between you and your horse. A forward-cut, mono flap enables unrivalled connection, and the Adjustable Ergonomic Stirrup Bar allows you to customise your position for perfect natural alignment. This saddle is also well suited for serious event riders.
Engineered for precision performance, the Elevation range features technical design and innovation to raise the bar for horse and rider, and is also available in a pony size.
Caprilli Close Contact
The Caprilli Close Contact saddle has a supportive seat with broad and tapered panels offering tremendous support for your horse’s back, enabling greater freedom of movement.
Australian representative riders Stuart Tinney, Shane Rose and Amanda Ross are sponsored by Bates Saddles. Prices range from $2695 to $5195 for the Advanta & Victrix.
Prestige values harmony and well being for both horse and rider, with modern innovation and attention to detail with their craftsmanship, to create a saddle that is distinctive in its design and performance.
The Prestige jump saddles have been developed to ensure maximum performance with the utmost comfort, allowing freedom of movement for the horse’s shoulders. The front and rear blocks are designed to maintain a balanced and safe seat, reinforcing the leg position, whilst the calfskin provides the grip riders need to stay in position.
The Prestige Passion has a medium deep seat and a medium narrow twist, with a square cantle, facilitating a close contact feeling with the horse. The bovine leather is soft and grippy, with a double flap and elegant stitching to enhance the overall aspect of the saddle.
Prestige X-Breath Lux
The Prestige X-Breath Lux is recommended for horses with normal and small withers and if the back is higher than the withers. A ventilation system provided via the flaps as well as a large oval hole in the center of the seat, makes the saddle more comfortable for both horse and rider.
Prestige saddles are manufactured in Italy and distributed in Australia through Saddleworld outlets. The price ranges from $4095 for the Prestige Passion Jump, to $6195 for the top of the range Prestige X-Breath Lux.
Butet manufactured in France, epitomises lightness, close contact and harmony.
In Australia, the Butet Classic and the Premium jumping saddles are available, offering a narrow twist, which many riders say helps them truly wrap their leg around the horse. The thin knee rolls also make it easier for the rider feel being closer to the horse.
The Classic saddle is an original and a favourite offering an excellent close contact feel with the rider.
The Premium doubled calfskin jumping saddle is handcrafted in the Butet workshop in Saumur, France. It is a traditional two flap saddle, but has a calfskin top flap, for the ultimate in comfort and style. Beautifully balanced, this saddle is as practical as it is stylish.
The materials used with Butet jumping saddles are second to none. The doubled calfskin used on the seat and knee rolls is soft and supple, whilst the cow hide used for the rest of the saddle is hard wearing and durable. The latex injected panels heat up with the horse’s body heat and mold to the shape of the horse.
Butet saddles are tailor made to suit both horse and rider and are available to order through consultation with the Australian distributor - Kelvin Grove Equestrian.
Kentaur Australia Saddles (based in WA) are imported from Europe where they are handmade by master saddlers and extensively tested on site.
Kentaur offer different models with the Kronos at the top of the line, which offers a comfortable panel that is made of soft foam with a firmer base that is anatomically shaped for the horse’s shoulders. Incorporating aspects of the popular Kentaur ‘Titan’ Saddle but with a flatter seat, new webflex tree and memory foam knee flaps, the Kronos is a revolutionary saddle designed to maximise performance.
The webflex tree is covered by weaved textile straps that helps the saddle mold to the rider’s seat bones, with increased suspension and shock absorption for comfort. The memory foam enhances the ‘close contact’ feeling and again molds to the rider’s shape. You can also configure the size and shape of the knee blocks.
Kentaur Australia offers a made-to-order saddle service, with prices ranging from $3690 to $4190 for the Kronos.
These are some of the main show jumping brands available in Australia presently. Fundamentally, all top quality show jump saddles have been designed to perform and allow comfort for both horse and rider, but the differences for each make and model come down to the choice of materials in terms of trees, leather quality, shape of the seat, flaps and knee rolls.
Further variables include the rider, for example, they may have long legs, but short thighs thus needing support for their leg position with the thigh and knee blocks.
Add to that the age, shape, gaits of the horse which will also affect how the rider sits in a show jump saddle whilst on their horse. A beginner riders needs will also vary from those of a more seasoned show jumper and these details all come into play when selecting the "perfect jump saddle".
The best advice we can give is to do your research, ask around (saddleries, competitive riders, friends) and then test as many as you can!