Is a special saddle needed?
How does it differ to riding a light horse?
How comfortable is it? Hazel replies:
Ellie is 17.2hh. Paul is over 6ft so she looks smaller!! Because of my Englishness, we ride in general purpose English style Wintex saddles. They make them with expandable gullets and we get the largest size they do. We had to have the girth straps taken off and longer, leather ones fitted. Other than that we use normal girths.
I have always ridden cobs and part draughts rather than thoroughbreds so can’t say how it differs really. They take a bit more ‘holding together’ if you want to do anything other than hack around, and depending on their shoulders the stride can be a bit choppier, but Ellie trots really smoothly. We don’t do any fast work though and mainly walk, and trot a bit on soft ground. There would be too much wear and tear on their legs and joints to use them like a light horse, although my Clydesdale/Arab X which I had in England when I was younger could jump like a stag and I did Cross Country, a bit of hunting and Long Distance Rides on her for seven years. She was never lame in all that time.