Best English Saddle for Quarter Horse: Expert Guide & Insights

Looking for the best English saddle for your Quarter Horse? You’ve come to the right place! In this expert guide, we’ll dive into the top choices and provide valuable insights to help you find the perfect saddle for your four-legged friend. Whether you’re a seasoned equestrian or a beginner, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s get started and find the best English saddle for your Quarter Horse!

English Saddles for Quarter Horses

Quarter horse standing with mountains in backdrop


Quarter Horses are versatile and athletic, participating in various equine disciplines that require specialized saddles. English saddles play a crucial role in enhancing the performance and comfort of both horse and rider. This section will cover the different types of English saddles specifically designed for Quarter Horses.

Dressage Saddle

Dressage saddles are designed to provide stability and support while allowing the rider to communicate effectively with the horse. They have a deep seat, straighter flaps, and large knee blocks, which provide security and proper leg positioning for the rider. Considering Quarter Horse’s unique build, finding a dressage saddle with the correct fit is essential. Look for saddles with a wide tree and gullet, as this tends to accommodate the broader shoulders and back of a Quarter Horse. Popular dressage saddle brands for Quarter Horses include Stubben, Passier, Amerigo, and Pessoa.

Jumping Saddle

Jumping saddles are built to provide balance and freedom of movement for the rider during showjumping or cross-country events. They feature a more forward-cut flap, a shallower seat, and smaller knee blocks to facilitate a shorter and more forward riding position. Quarter Horses competing in jumping disciplines may require a jumping saddle with a wider tree and gullet for optimum comfort and performance. Brands such as Antarès Sellier, Circle Y, and Henri de Rivel offer jumping saddles suitable for Quarter Horses with various customization options.

All-Purpose Saddle

The all-purpose saddle is a versatile option for riders participating in multiple disciplines, such as dressage, jumping, and eventing. These saddles have a moderately deep seat, average flap length, and moderate knee blocks. They cater to the needs of both dressage and jumping riders while providing a balanced and comfortable fit for the horse. Quarter Horses may need an all-purpose saddle with a wide tree to accommodate their muscular build.

When shopping for an all-purpose saddle, consider brands like SilverFox, Circle Y, and Pessoa, which offer a range of sizing options to ensure a proper fit for the Quarter Horse.

In conclusion, selecting the right English saddle for a Quarter Horse will depend on the discipline and specific needs of both horse and rider. Prioritize proper fit and comfort to ensure optimal performance across dressage, jumping, and eventing classes. Consult with a professional saddle fitter when in doubt, as they can provide expert guidance tailored to your unique circumstances.

Saddle Brands

In this section, we will explore some of the top English saddle brands for Quarter Horses, including Bates, Pessoa, Collegiate, Wintec, Antares, Toulouse, and Kincade. These brands are well-known for their quality and ability to cater to the specific needs of Quarter Horses.


Bates is a popular English saddle brand that offers a variety of saddles for multiple disciplines. Their All Purpose SC+ saddle is designed to provide a high-performance option for riders and comes in seat sizes ranging from 16-18 inches. The saddle is available in classic black or brown colors and boasts features like an adjustable gullet system, making it suitable for Quarter Horses of different sizes and shapes.


Pessoa is another reputable English saddle brand catering to the needs of Quarter Horses. Known for their focus on craftsmanship and quality materials, Pessoa saddles come in various designs that can accommodate a range of disciplines. Many riders appreciate the brand’s adjustable tree system that enables them to tailor the saddle fit according to their horse’s unique requirements.


Collegiate saddles are well-regarded for their quality, affordability, and wide array of options suitable for Quarter Horses. The brand offers saddles ranging from general purpose to close contact and dressage designs. Collegiate saddles often have a combination of leather and synthetic materials, ensuring that they are durable yet easy to maintain. These features make them an attractive choice for Quarter Horse riders who are looking for a reliable and affordable saddle.


Wintec is recognized for its collection of lightweight and synthetic saddles that are ideal for a variety of disciplines. With their performance-inspired designs and emphasis on comfort, Wintec saddles have become popular among Quarter Horse riders. The brand’s easy-change gullet systems allow for effortless adjustment, ensuring optimal fit and comfort for both horse and rider.


Antares is a high-end saddle brand that offers fully custom saddles for disciplines like jumping, dressage, endurance, and eventing. The Antarès Sellier line focuses on providing more than 120,000 unique customization options, while their Signature range delivers a semi-custom solution designed to enhance riders’ positions during competitions. Antares saddles are known for their exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail, making them an excellent investment for riders with hard-to-fit Quarter Horses.


Toulouse saddles combine comfort, style, and affordability without compromising on quality. These saddles are crafted from hand-selected European leathers and come with a variety of adjustment options to accommodate different horse profiles, including Quarter Horses. Toulouse focuses on offering a wide selection of saddles for various disciplines, providing riders with ample choices that cater to their horses’ unique needs.


Kincade is an affordable saddle brand that offers a range of English saddles suitable for Quarter Horses. Known for their durability and value for money, Kincade saddles are often made using synthetic materials that are easy to maintain. With a variety of styles and adjustment options available, riders can find a saddle that meets the specific requirements of their Quarter Horse.

Fit and Comfort

Black English saddle hanging on fence

Seat Size

The seat size is essential for both the rider’s comfort and maintaining proper balance as they ride. English saddles commonly have seat sizes ranging from 12 to 19 inches, measured from the center of the nail head (below the pommel and above the D-ring) to the top of the cantel (source). To determine the correct seat size, measure the rider’s thigh’s length, keeping the knee bent at a 90-degree angle. The seat should be large enough to allow for a comfortable sitting position without feeling overly cramped.

Tree Size

Tree size, or saddle width, plays a critical role in finding the perfect English saddle for your Quarter Horse. The size influences the fit on the horse’s back and ensures it doesn’t pinch or cause discomfort. Tree sizes typically range from narrow, medium, wide, to extra-wide. Most average-sized horses require a medium-sized gullet, but Quarter Horses with thicker backs might need a wide tree size (source).

Panel Distribution

Panel distribution refers to the area of contact between the saddle’s underside and the horse’s back. Optimal panel distribution is vital for the horse’s comfort and minimizing pressure points. A well-fitting saddle should have even panel distribution that provides consistent contact along the horse’s back without any visible gaps.

Gullet Width

The gullet width, sometimes referred to as saddle width or tree size, should be chosen according to your horse’s unique shape. Quarter Horses often require wider gullet widths due to their thicker backs (source). To assess the proper gullet width, observe your horse’s back from an elevated position, typically standing on a mounting block or similar elevated surface.

Flaps and Leg Position

Flaps have a significant impact on the rider’s leg position, which greatly influences their overall balance and control when riding. English saddles often have various flap options designed to suit different disciplines like jumping, dressage, or general purpose. The right flap shape for a Quarter Horse will depend on the intended discipline and rider preferences, ensuring a comfortable leg position and excellent communication with the horse.

Wither Clearance

Wither clearance is the essential factor for preventing the saddle from pinching or pressing on the horse’s sensitive wither area. The saddle should have ample clearance above the withers without causing unnecessary pressure. It is crucial to consider your Quarter Horse’s specific wither shape and height when selecting an English saddle with appropriate wither clearance.

Adjustability and Customization

Horsewoman on a saddled horse

Changeable Gullet System

A critical aspect to consider when selecting an English saddle for a Quarter Horse is the adjustability of the saddle, ensuring a proper fit and comfort for both the horse and rider. One essential feature in this regard is the changeable gullet system, which accommodates various horse shapes and sizes. The gullet is also known as the saddle width or tree size, and it typically comes in narrow, medium, wide, and extra-wide sizes. While the average horse may require a medium gullet size, Quarter Horses often have a thicker build, necessitating a wide tree.

Adjustable Stirrup Bars

Another aspect of adjustability in English saddles is the presence of adjustable stirrup bars. These bars allow for the customization of the stirrup leathers’ position, enabling the rider to achieve the desired balance and a comfortable leg position. Adjustable stirrup bars cater to various riding styles and disciplines, from dressage to jumping, providing the rider with greater versatility and ease of use.

Knee Rolls and Thigh Blocks

Knee rolls and thigh blocks are essential components of an English saddle and contribute significantly to the rider’s comfort, stability, and safety. Properly fitted knee rolls and thigh blocks can help the rider maintain a secure and balanced position, especially during jumping or other high-intensity activities.

Knee rolls come in various shapes and sizes, allowing the rider to find a suitable fit that complements their unique riding style. Similarly, thigh blocks provide additional support and prevent the rider’s leg from slipping, keeping them secure and balanced throughout their ride.

When searching for the best English saddle for Quarter Horses, consider the saddle’s adjustability, including its changeable gullet system, adjustable stirrup bars, knee rolls, and thigh blocks. These features, along with proper fitting, are crucial aspects of ensuring comfort, safety, and effectiveness for both the horse and rider.

Materials and Construction

Horse harnessed seat ready to walk through

Leather Saddles

Leather saddles are traditionally made from high-quality, durable materials that conform to the shape of both the horse and the rider, providing a comfortable and secure fit. They often feature a mix of soft and firm leather parts, adding to the flexibility and stability of the saddle. When properly maintained, leather saddles can last for years, and they generally develop a broken-in feel that becomes more comfortable over time.

There are many English saddle brands that offer high-quality leather saddles for Quarter Horses. Their design caters to the unique conformation and needs of these versatile equines. A suitable leather English saddle for Quarter Horses will have an appropriately sized gullet and tree to accommodate their broader frames, as well as a seat and flap design that works well for various English riding disciplines such as low-level eventing, lower-level jumping, and dressage.

Synthetic Saddles

Synthetic saddles offer an alternative to traditional leather saddles. They are made from durable materials like synthetic leather and various fabrics that offer a lightweight, low-maintenance option for riders. Synthetic saddles are usually more affordable than leather ones and have a quicker break-in time.

These saddles often come in a variety of styles and sizes, making them suitable for Quarter Horses and their riders. Some synthetic English saddles even offer adjustable gullet systems, allowing the rider to customize the saddle’s fit to the horse’s unique shape. It is essential to ensure that the synthetic saddle has the correct gullet width and tree size to accommodate your Quarter Horse’s wider frame, as it is with a leather saddle.

When searching for the best English saddle for your Quarter Horse, take into account the saddle’s material, construction, and suitability for various disciplines. Whether you choose a leather or synthetic saddle, carefully consider the fit for your horse to ensure a comfortable and correct riding experience.

Riding Disciplines and Saddle Types

When choosing the best English saddle for a Quarter Horse, it’s important to consider the specific riding discipline and the different types of saddles designed for each discipline. In this section, we will cover the following disciplines: Hunter/Jumper, Equitation, Eventing, Endurance, Racing, and Saddle Seat.


The Hunter/Jumper discipline involves jumping over obstacles in a controlled and elegant manner. The primary saddle used in this discipline is the jumping saddle, which has a forward flap and a flatter seat to allow the rider to easily move into the jumping position. These saddles provide more security over fences, making them a good choice for Quarter Horses competing in this discipline.


Equitation focuses on the rider’s position, balance, and communication with the horse. Hunt seat equitation is a popular discipline among Quarter Horse riders. A saddle designed for equitation typically has a deeper seat and straighter flap to promote a better riding position. Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation, and Hunter Hack classes often use this type of saddle.


Eventing combines dressage, cross-country, and show jumping phases. The eventing saddle is designed for versatility, allowing the rider to perform various tasks, from dressage to jumping. It usually features a deeper seat, shorter panels, and a more forward flap to accommodate different riding styles. An all-purpose saddle may also be suitable for lower-level eventing.


Endurance riding involves covering long distances at controlled speeds. The endurance saddle is lightweight and comfortable, providing support and balance to both the horse and rider over extended periods. It has a deep seat, secure knee rolls, and panels that distribute the rider’s weight evenly to prevent fatigue and soreness over long distances.


Horse racing saddles are designed to minimize weight and allow the horse to reach top speeds. They are the smallest and lightest among English saddles, with minimal padding and a flat seat to allow the rider to stay balanced in a forward position. While not specific to Quarter Horses, this saddle is used extensively for horse racing.

Saddle Seat

The Saddle Seat discipline showcases high-stepping action and impressive athleticism. Saddle Seat saddles are distinct from other English saddles, featuring a longer, cutback pommel and a straighter flap. These saddles provide riders with a more upright position, allowing for the display of the horse’s unique, high-stepping movements.

In conclusion, when selecting the best English saddle for a Quarter Horse, it is essential to consider the specific riding discipline and the type of saddle designed for that discipline. Factors such as the rider’s position, security, and saddle functionality play a significant role in achieving success within the chosen discipline.

Saddle Use and Care

Nice quarter horse on water

New vs. Used Saddles

When choosing an English saddle for a Quarter Horse, it is essential to consider whether to purchase a new or used saddle. While new saddles offer a guarantee of quality and a customized fit, they can be quite expensive. In contrast, used saddles are typically more affordable, although they might require some adjustments or repairs to ensure a proper fit for both the rider and the horse. In either case, it is crucial to prioritize quality, durability, and comfort when selecting a saddle.

Saddle Pads

Saddle pads also play a significant role in ensuring a comfortable and supportive ride for Quarter Horses. These pads come in various materials, thicknesses, and designs, offering varying levels of cushioning and moisture-wicking capabilities. It is important to select a saddle pad that complements the fit of the saddle and provides adequate pressure relief and ventilation for the horse. Some popular saddle pad types include fleece-lined pads for additional cushioning, contoured pads for improved fit, and moisture-wicking pads for enhanced breathability.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Proper care and maintenance are essential to prolong the lifespan of an English saddle for a Quarter Horse. Regular cleaning involves using a damp sponge to apply a thin layer of saddle soap or leather cleaner in a small, circular motion. This should cover the entire leather area of the saddle, excluding any suede components, and include the undersides of the leather and between the flaps (source: Using a bristle brush can help reach tight spaces and clean more effectively.

In addition to cleaning, it is vital to inspect the saddle regularly for signs of wear or damage, such as loose stitching or cracked leather. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent further damage and ensure that the saddle remains safe to use.

Some essential saddle care tips include:

  • Store the saddle in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and drying out the leather.
  • Use saddle covers to protect the saddle when not in use.
  • Condition the leather regularly to maintain its suppleness and durability.
  • Inspect the fittings, such as stirrup leathers and buckles, for signs of wear and replace them as needed.

In conclusion, selecting an ideal English saddle for a Quarter Horse involves considering new vs. used options, choosing an appropriate saddle pad, and practicing proper saddle maintenance and care. By following these guidelines, riders can ensure that their saddle remains in good condition and provides a comfortable, supportive experience for both themselves and their horse.

Best English Saddle for Quarter Horse

When searching for the best English saddle for a Quarter Horse, there are a few factors to consider, such as the horse’s conformation, the rider’s preferences and intended use. Quarter Horses typically have a wide, flat back and lack the high withers found in many Thoroughbreds, which may make it challenging to find the perfect saddle fit.

A saddlery that produces high-quality English saddles, catering to various disciplines, is Jeffries. Their Sport GP saddle, available in black or Havana, is an excellent option for riders with a varied routine, providing the necessary adaptability for Quarter Horses.

Farm House Tack suggests some excellent options for jumping saddles suitable for Quarter Horses. The Royal Highness Merida Close Contact Saddle, which is soft and grippy from the first use, is a popular choice for riders looking for a close-contact jumping saddle.

When choosing the best English saddle, riders should take the following factors into account:

  • Quarter Horse’s conformation: Assess your horse’s unique shape and find a saddle that accommodates its flat back, wide barrel, and low withers.
  • Intended use: Select a saddle designed for your chosen discipline, such as dressage, jumping, or general-purpose riding.
  • Budget: Higher quality saddles typically have better fit and longevity, so invest in the best saddle you can afford. Don’t shy away from considering used saddles to find a higher-quality fit within your budget.


In conclusion, the best English saddle for a Quarter Horse depends on the specific horse, the rider’s preferences, and the intended use. Some popular options include the Pessoa Gen X Elita II Saddle and the Jeffries Sport GP saddle. Keep in mind the horse’s unique conformation and intended discipline when selecting a saddle, and consider your budget. Ultimately, the ideal saddle should provide comfort, support, and stability for both horse and rider.