Return to Horse Tack and Rider Home Page


All the parts of an English saddle with diagram

Here is a nice clear diagram of all the parts of the English saddle. If you want more information our guide below tells you what all the parts do for you and your horse

english saddle parts diagram

The English Saddle Parts

Every English saddle has all the main parts as shown in the diagram. However not all English saddles will look the same. Each type of English saddle is designed for a certain kind of riding.

Flaps, knee rolls, seat position and stirrup position will vary depending on what the saddle is used for.

Flaps can hang straight down or be moved more forward. Straight hanging flaps are seen in dressage saddles and forward flaps are seen in jumping saddles.

The knee rolls can be over stuffed or lightly stuffed. Over stuffed knee rolls are for jumping saddles, so that the rider has a place to anchor the knee as they lean forward to make the jump.

Dressage riders like more lightly stuffed knee rolls so they can have better contact with the horse.

Seat position can have an effect on riding as well. Level seats that do not tilt either up or down are preferred by most riders.

Stirrups should hang down toward the middle of the saddle regardless of what type of riding you do.

The panels and gullet are designed for your horses comfort. Good saddles will have thick wide stuffed panels that are springy when you press on them. They should not look bulky or lumpy.
The gullet is designed to clear your horses spine and withers. Make sure your saddle is not resting on top of the horses withers and that if you look at the back of the saddle you can see lots of room for the spine. In other words the panels should not be resting on your horses spine when you look down at  the spine from the back of the saddle.

There are many more things to be considered and many more details to learn about. However if your new to horse back riding this little guide is a good start. A good book on tack and horseback riding is a basic everyone should have. Look below to see some books that have information every rider should know about. Clicking on a book will take you directly to amazon so you can get more details on content and pricing.