A proper good quality Jumping Saddle provides more security for the rider when show jumping
At the beginning of the 20th Century an Italian Cavalry Officer called Federico Caprilli put into effect his, then revolutionary, theories on horse riding and horse jumping – The Caprilli Technique.
Caprilli proposed the idea of the forward seat, arguing that if the rider is in balance with the horse at slow paces, then the rider should also be balanced when galloping and jumping.
He taught his pupils to shorten their stirrup leathers and to adopt a forward seat over fences.
This placed the riders weight over the horse’s centre of balance, aiding and allowing the horse to jump freely, as much as possible.
Roughly 50 years after Caprilli’s death, the modern jumping saddle evolved.
However, credit for the development of the modern jumping saddle goes to the Spanish nobleman Count Illias Toptani.
The Jumping Saddle has a deeper seat and larger more supportive knee rolls providng greater security when riding.
Count Toptani developed the jumping saddle with the stirrup bars placed forward to help the rider achieve the forward seat.
Large knee rolls were added under forward cut flaps and panels, and the waist of the saddle was narrowed
The forward cut flaps allow the rider to shorten their stirrups and bring their knees higher in the saddle.
Most jumping saddles have higher knee blocks on the front to offer the show jumping rider some support and knee blocks can be divided into two types, either banana blocks or knee blocks.
Major Benefits in the Jumping Saddle Design Include …
- The flatter seat allows the rider to adopt different seating positions.
- The shorter flaps allow the rider to have better contact with the horse.
Riders utilising a General Purpose saddle to show jump will simply leave themselves at a disadvantage if jumping against a rider who has tacked up using a proper jumping saddle that will make them feel more secure and increase their confidence going into a jump.
Be sure to consider all your saddle options and make sure you choose the correct size and type of saddle for the sort of work you want your horse to do.