Hay Play

Hay Play

The innovative Hay Play ball is an excellent way to keep your horse entertained and feed forage at the same time.  The ball is 43 cm in diameter; its shape means that it can be easily pushed around by your horse but at the same time it will not run away down a slope.  You simply fill it with hay or haylage and let your horse play! It can hold 3 Kg of hay so is a great way to give your horse forage and is useful for those who want to keep their horse eating but don’t want them to eat too much at once.

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The Virginian

The Western Department
The Western Department

Fantastic quality at an entry price. The Virginian saddle from Tex Tan is built for comfort and features 3" leather bell stirrups, soft fenders and jockey, and a suede seat. Pictured in pecan, it is built on an Equi-Tex tree, 7/8 in-skirt rigging with hand engraved, Sterling silver plate.

Brand: Tex Tan From: The Western Department Contact: 01844 201656 / www.westerntackstore.co.ukPrice: £1,280

Comfort Fit

Reinsman Comfort Fit Available in coffee or honey (shown) this saddle features a cowboy cut skirt for short backed horses and a soft, narrow seat for comfort. It has a hand tooled border roll and fenders designed for easy adjustment. The rigid flex tree has a five year guarantee. Available in 15, 16 or 17” seats.

Brand: Reinsman From: The Western Shop Contact: 01246 747747 / www.thewesternshop.com Price: £1,360

Dautzenberg Performer

Dautzenberg Performer Developed in collaboration with Gerold Dautzenberg during his 36-time European Championship wins. The saddle shown can be adjusted according to your personal taste and ideas – customise the tree, oil colour, tooling, seat size, silver and more. Comes with a 30 year warranty and a free fleece saddle cover.

Brand: Pullman From: The Western Saddler Contact: 01425 480060 / www.western-saddler.co.uk Price: £4,479

Trade in Service

The-Reining-Authority-UK Are you due a saddle upgrade? Trade in your old one for a new saddle with improved comfort and connectivity from The Reining Authority UK. You choose the size, colour, style, stirrups, and the bling! Try before you buy with our free Demo Saddle Programme. No roaming charges, unlimited rides, nationwide coverage.

Brand: Continental Saddlery (USA) From: The Reining Authority UK Contact: 01604 740058 / www.thereiningauthority.co.uk

Rodeo Drive Headstall

HeadstallA great quality, browband headstall from Rodeo Drive. Featuring light oil leather with darkend tooling for a two tone effect. Great wear for the show ring or general riding. Part of a comprehensive range of tack, dog collars and spur straps that can be customised with crystal conchos and buckles. Manufacturer: Rodeo Drive From: The Western Shop Price: £85.00 Contact: 01246 747747 / www.thewesternshop.com


5 Star Saddle Pads

Five Star Saddle Pad100% wool, contoured saddle pads, handmade in the USA. The natural fibres in this superior pad offer great wicking and three times the compression protection of neoprene, eliminating over cinching. The ‘French Curve’ back line gives special attention to wither height, back line variance and hip placement.

Manufacturer: 5 Star From: Ride Western Price: £200.00 Contact: 07714 706092 / www.ridewestern.co.uk

High Plains Trail Saddle

High Plains Trail Saddle One of the most popular saddles from Tucker, the US market leader in trail saddles, the High Plains is what many trail riders are looking for. The 5" cantle and wide swell give riders a feeling of security and Tucker’s patented Gel-Cush shock absorbing seat gives hours of ultimate trail comfort. Adjustable position, close contact, in-skirt rigging is standard.

Manufacturer: Tucker Trail Saddles From: The Western Tack Trader Contact: 07429 107562 / www.facebook.com/westerntacktrader Price: £1,695

Western Korrector

Western Korrector An adjustable, air filled pad for full saddle fit control. Once adjusted, Korrector doesn’t need altering unless the horse changes shape or you use it with another saddle / horse. Adjustments take minutes and are done while mounted.  Four air bags provide a flexible bearing surface that is proven to disperse point pressures. 24” or 26” sizes with rounded or square skirts.

Manufacturer: First Thought Equine From: Various Retailers Contact: 01227 831614 / www.korrector.com Price: £250

Comfort Fit

Comfort Fit Built on a rigid flex tree and available with a 15, 16 or 17” seat in honey (shown), coffee or rosewood leather. This versatile saddle features three way, in-skirt rigging, leather covered bell stirrups and a round, cowboy cut skirt for short backed horses. The soft seat jockey and fenders, and narrow seat make for a more comfortable fit.

Manufacturer: Reinsman From: The Western Shop Contact: 01246 747747 / www.thewesternshop.com Price: £1,360

Saddle Seat

Western Horse UK takes a look at the discipline of saddle seat – a US phenomenon with European roots. Although saddle seat riding falls into the category of ‘English’, it was developed in the US to show off the extravagant gaits of certain high stepping breeds. Saddle seat emerged from two trends; the plantation tradition of the American south and the European trend of showing off the flashiest, highest-stepping horses by riding them in city parks on Sundays. A flatter English show saddle was developed and the term ‘park’ or ‘park action’ is still used today to describe competitions where the action of the horse is of paramount importance.

Saddle seat differs considerably from other English styles of riding. The rider appears to sit well back in the saddle, carrying his or her hands high. This helps them to get behind the horse’s center of balance so he can step higher and use more front leg action.


Saddle seat classes are divided by the gaits the horse can perform and are often breed specific. Horses are usually shown with a very long, flowing mane and tail.

Three-Gaited: (Saddlebreds) horses are shown at the walk, trot, and canter

Five-gaited: (Saddlebreds) horses are shown at the walk, trot, and canter, as well as the four-beat ambling gaits known as the rack (a fast, showy gait), and slow gait (four-beat gait with great suspension).

Plantation Walker: (Tennessee Walking Horses) horses are shown at a walk, running walk, and canter.

Park: (Arabians and Morgans) horses are shown at a walk, trot, and canter while being judged on their action.

Pleasure: (All breeds) horses are judged at the walk, trot, and canter more on manners and smoothness than action.

Classic / Country Pleasure: (All breeds) an even greater emphasis is put on manners in the horse. The horse still has to show a high-set head and animated gait, but animation is of less importance.

Equitation: (All breeds) here the rider is judged on their posture and use of aids.

Fine Harness / Pleasure Driving: (All breeds) horses are shown in harness usually at a walk and two speeds of trot.

The Saddle

The saddle seat saddle is unique to the discipline and if properly made and balanced, allows the horse to move with animation. It has the following features:

The cut-back pommel makes room for the withers and neck of a horse which carries its head high.

The saddle has little padding, a very flat seat, and is placed further back on the horse to allow for extravagant front end movement

It is a few inches longer than other English saddles and deliberately places the rider behind the motion, which makes it easier to influence the horse’s headset and gait.

Saddle Seat Classes

The saddle seat discipline was developed to show off horses with a naturally high head carriage and animated gaits. Popular saddle seat breeds include:

American Saddlebred

National Show Horse (American Saddlebred cross Arabaian)

Tennessee Walking  _Morgans _Arabians

Paso Finos

Missouri Foxtrotters

Rocky Mountain Horses

Bridle and bit

A double bridle is traditional with both a curb bit and a bradoon. This allows fine-tuning of the horse’s head and neck position. A single curb bit with a long shank is used for gaited horses such as the Tennessee Walker and Missouri Fox Trotter. The browband is commonly brightly coloured leather or vinyl, red being the most popular. The cavesson is sometimes plain leather, and sometimes coloured to match the browband, depending on breed and fashion trends in tack. Junior classes, limited to horses under four or five years old, may allow horses to wear a snaffle bit.

Rider attire

In all classes, riders wear Kentucky jodhpurs, which have knee patches and bellbottoms worn over jodhpur boots. Kentucky johnpurs also have a strap that goes under the boot to prevent them from riding up. A long, fitted coat, hat (usually a derby for women and a fedora for men), a vest and tie are also required.