So you've jumped all summer in your fabulous jumping saddle and now it's the hunting season. Trouble is you haven't ever ridden in your jumping saddle for 6 hours straight without changing horses etc. It hurts your bum!! Solution - buy a seat saver. Jumping saddles especially close contact ones weren't designed to be ridden in for long periods of time so it's not surprising. They're designed for half hour slots of intensive exercise not long hunting days so don't feel hard done by.
The next problem that will crop up will be about january when you start doing fittening work and get fed up of having saddles coated in mud. Check out Equishopping's ride on saddle covers - that way all you have to do is get the washing machine dirty.
For those of you who have Wintec or Bates saddles you've also got the option of changing the gullet width as your horse changes shape. Check out our saddle gullets. If you've got a close contact saddle and can't change the width then have a look at our vast range of saddle pads.
Given that you've just done a full season if you've forgotten to swap you're stirrups over there's a chance that they won't be the same lengths anymore. If you're replacing leathers it's worth investing in a pair of actual single thickness dressage leathers for any dressage saddles as they really do help.
In all probability you won't be replacing your stirrups but if you do need to read on. Everybody wants to ride a safe stirrup which is great. However, avoid peacock style stirrups if you're very heavy as they can bend (quite alarmingly as well). Mums love them though because if you're younger your foot really can't get stuck. Other than that bent leg stirrups (or swan leg) work well and there's various new 'bendy leg' designs but they aren't everyones taste despite receiving some good reviews.
It may seem like a small detail but the actual stirrup tread makes a difference! The most common are simple rubber ones which suffice for most people. However, if you want that bit more grip go for a metal chess grater design but your soles won't last long! There's also the Mountain Horse SCS3 system that locks your foot in place on the stirrup. The system has received very good reviews but be aware that certain Pony Clubs have taken a dislike to the system as they do hold your foot in place!!!!
For now that's it on the little things that make the difference. "Every little helps!" - yup, Tesco have already started selling horse stuff. However, Equishopping's merchants can beat them on price I'm very pleased to note!!!