Best Jump Saddles

Jump saddles are essential equipment for riders who participate in show jumping, eventing, and cross-country competitions. They are specifically designed to provide stability and support during jumps, allowing the rider to maintain balance and control while navigating challenging courses.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different types of jump saddles available, including close contact, all-purpose, eventing, monoflap, and cross-country saddles. We will also delve into the key factors to consider when choosing a jump saddle, such as fit for both horse and rider, material and construction, flap and seat size, knee and thigh blocks, and billets and girth straps. We will highlight the top brands of jump saddles, including CWD, Antares, Butet, Pessoa, and Voltaire Design.

Whether you are a seasoned equestrian or a novice rider, understanding the nuances of jump saddles is crucial for optimizing performance and ensuring the comfort and safety of both horse and rider. Join us as we uncover the nuances of these essential equestrian tools.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choose a jump saddle that fits both horse and rider for optimal performance and comfort.
  • Consider factors such as material, construction, flap and seat size, and blocks when selecting a jump saddle.
  • Some top brands of jump saddles include CWD, Antares, Butet, Pessoa, and Voltaire Design.

What Are Jump Saddles?

Jump saddles, also known as English jumping saddles, are specialized seats designed for riders engaging in jumping disciplines with their horses, providing the necessary support and comfort for the rider while ensuring a secure fit on the horse’s back.

These saddles play a crucial role in providing stability and balance to the rider during jumping activities, helping them maintain their position over fences and aiding in effective communication with the horse. Rider comfort is a top priority, and jump saddles are crafted with carefully placed padding and ergonomic designs to reduce pressure points and enhance the rider’s experience.

Plus rider comfort, the fit of the saddle on the horse is equally important. Jump saddles are constructed to distribute the rider’s weight evenly and accommodate the horse’s movement, promoting optimum performance and well-being. Brands such as Antares, Devoucoux, and CWD are known for their high-quality jump saddles, offering customized options to suit individual preferences and horse conformation.

What Are The Different Types Of Jump Saddles?

Jump saddles come in various types tailored to specific disciplines and rider preferences, with options such as close contact jump saddles, all-purpose jump saddles, eventing saddles, monoflap jump saddles, and cross-country saddles, each offering distinct features and benefits for riders and horses.

Close contact jump saddles are designed to provide a close, secure fit, allowing riders to feel the horse’s movements while offering enhanced communication and control during jumping. They are well-suited for show jumping and hunter disciplines.

All-purpose jump saddles, as the name suggests, are versatile and suitable for a range of disciplines, providing a balanced seat to accommodate both flatwork and jumping.

Eventing saddles are specifically crafted to support the rider in the demanding nature of eventing competitions, offering stability for cross-country and show jumping.

Monoflap jump saddles feature a streamlined design with a single flap that delivers a close contact feel and increased sensation for the rider’s leg aids, often favored in eventing and show jumping.

Cross-country saddles prioritize the horse’s comfort and freedom of movement, featuring forward-cut flaps and supportive padding to assist riders in tackling challenging terrain and jumps.

Close Contact Jump Saddles

Close contact jump saddles are designed to provide a close and secure connection between the rider and the horse during jumping activities, featuring a streamlined, minimalistic design, high-quality leather construction, and adjustable gullets to accommodate varying horse conformations and rider preferences.

Constructed with supple, premium-quality leather, these saddles offer a luxurious feel while ensuring durability and longevity.

The streamlined design minimizes bulk, allowing the rider to maintain a closer and more direct communication with the horse.

The adjustable gullets enable riders to customize the fit, ensuring optimal comfort and allowing the saddle to accommodate various horse shapes and sizes.

This close contact design plays a crucial role in enhancing the rider’s stability and balance, promoting a more effective and harmonious performance during jumping.

These saddles are essential for riders seeking a strong, balanced, and intimate connection with their horse during jumping activities.

All-Purpose Jump Saddles

All-purpose jump saddles are versatile options suitable for various riding disciplines, featuring medium-sized flaps, integrated blocks for added security, and stirrup bars positioned to accommodate the rider’s balance and comfort across different activities such as jumping, flatwork, and light trail riding.

These saddles generally have medium-sized flaps, offering a balanced contact surface suitable for both jumping and flatwork. The integrated blocks provide the rider with a secure seat and aid in maintaining a proper leg position, especially during jumps and quick movements. The stirrup bars are strategically placed to allow the rider to find the ideal position for their legs, contributing to stability and comfort during various riding routines.

This design makes them ideal for riders who engage in multiple disciplines, as it provides the necessary support and adaptability to accommodate different riding styles and movements.

Eventing Saddles

Eventing saddles are specifically crafted to provide riders with the necessary support and balance during eventing competitions, featuring a secure seat, supportive panels, and advanced systems such as the CAIR Cushion System or the K-Panel to ensure optimum comfort and performance across the diverse challenges of eventing courses.

These saddles are designed with specialized features to cater to the rigorous demands of eventing disciplines, where riders need to maintain a secure, balanced position while tackling various elements including jumps, cross-country obstacles, and dressage movements. The secure seating in eventing saddles minimizes the risk of slipping or unbalancing, enabling riders to focus on their performance without unnecessary distractions.

The supportive panels are strategically positioned to distribute the rider’s weight evenly and help maintain the horse’s comfort and freedom of movement. The advanced systems, such as the CAIR Cushion System or the K-Panel, contribute to shock absorption, reducing pressure points and promoting blood circulation, which is particularly beneficial during prolonged rides over challenging terrains.

Monoflap Jump Saddles

Monoflap jump saddles feature a distinctive design with a single flap for enhanced rider-horse contact, utilizing advanced systems such as the Flexibloc System and premium leather construction to provide riders with a close, precise connection and a streamlined feel during jumping activities.

Unlike traditional saddles, monoflap jump saddles have a single flap that wraps around the horse, ensuring minimal interference and maximum communication between the rider and the horse. The Flexibloc System incorporated into these saddles allows riders to customize their leg support, enhancing stability and balance during jumps. The use of premium leather not only ensures durability but also provides a luxurious feel, delivering a combination of comfort and performance.

Cross-Country Saddles

Cross-country saddles are tailored for the rigors of cross-country jumping, featuring secure panels to accommodate the horse’s movement, advanced support for the rider’s comfort, and durable construction to withstand the challenges of varied terrains and demanding courses.

The secure paneling of these saddles is strategically designed to distribute the rider’s weight evenly, reducing pressure points and ensuring the horse’s freedom of movement.

Many modern cross-country saddles integrate rider comfort features such as padded seats, knee rolls, and adjustable blocks to provide stability and support over challenging terrain, enhancing the rider’s confidence and performance.

Their durable construction consists of high-quality materials that are built to endure the unique demands of cross-country events, making them reliable and long-lasting options for the avid equestrian.

What Are The Factors To Consider When Choosing A Jump Saddle?

When selecting a jump saddle, it is essential to consider factors such as the fit for both the horse and the rider, the material and construction of the saddle, the size of the flap and seat, the presence of knee and thigh blocks, and the quality of billets and girth straps, ensuring optimal comfort, performance, and safety for both the rider and the horse.

Ensuring the fit of the saddle is crucial, as an ill-fitting saddle can cause discomfort and even injury to the horse. It should distribute the rider’s weight evenly and allow freedom of movement. The material and construction must be durable and provide sufficient support during jumps, often employing high-quality leather or synthetic alternatives.

The size of the flap and seat directly impacts the rider’s position and balance. The presence of well-integrated knee and thigh blocks can enhance stability and security, especially during challenging jumps.

The quality of billets and girth straps directly affects the overall safety and stability of the saddle, critical for preventing any slippage or discomfort during jumps.

Fit For Both Horse And Rider

The fit of a jump saddle is crucial for both the horse and the rider, encompassing aspects such as the gullet system to accommodate the horse’s back and the panel design to distribute the rider’s weight evenly and ensure comfort and freedom of movement.

Considerations for saddle fit extend beyond the visual appeal to the functional aspects, emphasizing the importance of the gullet system for the horse’s well-being. A well-fitting gullet allows for adequate clearance along the horse’s spine, preventing pressure points and ensuring unrestricted movement.

Similarly, the panel design plays a vital role in distributing the rider’s weight properly, avoiding concentrated pressure on specific points and contributing to the horse’s comfort and performance.

Material And Construction

The material and construction of a jump saddle play a pivotal role in its durability, comfort, and performance, with premium leather options and adjustable features being highly sought after for their quality, longevity, and adaptability to rider and horse needs.

High-quality leather not only offers superior comfort and durability but also molds to the rider’s position over time, enhancing the bond between rider and horse. The adjustable features, such as knee and thigh blocks, enable riders to customize their fit, promoting optimal balance and stability. The construction of the saddle, including the tree and panel design, impacts weight distribution and pressure points, crucial for ensuring the horse’s comfort and performance.

Flap And Seat Size

The size of the flap and seat in a jump saddle directly influences the rider’s comfort and stability, with variations catering to individual preferences and riding styles, ensuring a personalized fit and enhanced performance for the rider.

Flap size, which refers to the length and shape of the flap that covers the rider’s leg, impacts the rider’s leg position and aids in proper balance and control. A longer flap provides more support and security for the leg, ideal for riders with longer femurs or those who prefer a deeper seat. Conversely, a shorter flap offers greater freedom of movement and is favored by riders with shorter legs or who prefer a more forward seat position.

Seat size, often measured in inches, determines the space and support available for the rider. A well-fitted seat allows the rider to maintain correct alignment and balance, minimizing discomfort and strain. The seat size affects the rider’s ability to adjust their position during jumps and maneuvers, contributing to overall confidence and control in the saddle.

Knee And Thigh Blocks

The integration of knee and thigh blocks in a jump saddle enhances the rider’s security and support during jumping activities, promoting a balanced and comfortable riding position while providing vital aids in maintaining stability and balance.

Knee and thigh blocks are strategically positioned on a jump saddle to assist the rider in maintaining a secure seat while navigating jumps and challenging terrains. These blocks provide tangible points of contact, offering the rider stability and support through the powerful thrust of the horse’s movement. They enable the rider to confidently absorb the horse’s motion and adjust their position dynamically, crucial in achieving a harmonious partnership between horse and rider.

These blocks also aid in the correct alignment of the rider’s leg, allowing them to maintain a balanced and effective position over jumps. By providing a supportive surface for the rider’s knee and thigh, these blocks alleviate strain on the rider’s lower body, enabling them to focus on their riding technique and communication with the horse.

Billets And Girth Straps

The quality and functionality of billets and girth straps in a jump saddle are crucial for securing the saddle in place and ensuring the rider’s and the horse’s safety and comfort during rigorous jumping activities, warranting attention to their durability, adjustability, and overall performance.

These elements play a fundamental role in stabilizing the saddle, preventing it from slipping or shifting during jumps, sharp turns, or sudden movements.

The billets, often made from leather or synthetic materials, need to withstand the tension and pressure exerted by the girth, contributing to the saddle’s overall security.

On the other hand, girth straps provide vital support, distributing the pressure evenly to prevent discomfort or injury to the horse. Their adjustability is crucial for accommodating different horse shapes and sizes, ensuring a snug fit without restricting movement.

When properly maintained and regularly checked for wear and tear, these components contribute significantly to the longevity and safety of a jump saddle, making them critical for both competitive and recreational riders.

What Are The Top Brands Of Jump Saddles?

The jump saddle market is populated with renowned brands that offer exceptional quality and performance, with top players including CWD, Antares, Butet, Pessoa, and Voltaire Design, each known for their distinct innovations, craftsmanship, and rider-focused saddle solutions.

These brands have built their reputations on producing saddles that cater to the specific needs of jumping riders, offering innovative designs that prioritize comfort, balance, and stability. CWD, for instance, is celebrated for its emphasis on precision engineering and high-quality materials, resulting in saddles that provide exceptional performance and durability.

Likewise, Antares has gained recognition for its commitment to craftsmanship and attention to detail, producing saddles that not only excel in performance but also offer a level of refined elegance. Butet is known for its dedication to the art of saddle making, creating custom-fit saddles with meticulous care and expertise.

Pessoa has consistently delivered saddle solutions that blend tradition with modern technology, focusing on the rider’s needs for precision and security, while Voltaire Design stands out for its innovative approach, incorporating advanced materials and technology to enhance both performance and horse well-being. Their saddles are carefully engineered to provide a responsive and comfortable ride, reflecting a deep understanding of the partnership between rider and horse.


CWD stands as a prominent name in the jump saddle arena, synonymous with high-performance, innovative design, and a commitment to crafting top-tier saddles that cater to the diverse needs and preferences of riders across various jumping disciplines.

The CWD jump saddles are meticulously crafted, integrating advanced ergonomic features to provide unparalleled comfort and security to riders during jumps. These saddles are renowned for their balanced design, facilitating optimal rider position and close contact with the horse, essential for precision and control during jumps. With a keen focus on performance, CWD’s commitment to innovation is evident in the materials used, such as high-quality leather and advanced tree designs, ensuring durability and flexibility for the rigorous demands of jumping competitions. Whether for show jumping, eventing, or hunter/jumper disciplines, CWD jump saddles excel in meeting the needs of riders across a wide spectrum of jumping activities.


Antares is renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship and luxurious approach to jump saddle design, delivering premium products that exude elegance, comfort, and top-tier performance, catering to discerning riders seeking the epitome of quality and style.

Each Antares saddle is meticulously handcrafted, utilizing the finest materials and innovative techniques to ensure unparalleled quality and durability. The meticulous attention to detail is evident in every aspect, from the sleek lines to the supple yet supportive seat, providing riders with both a sense of luxury and functionality.

Antares saddles are designed to offer exceptional comfort and balance, allowing riders to maintain optimum positioning through their jump performances. The advanced features, such as customizable options for flap length and tree width, cater to the unique needs of each rider, enhancing the overall riding experience.

The exquisite design and precise construction contribute to the saddle’s ability to promote harmonious communication between rider and horse, elevating the performance to new levels of excellence.


Butet embodies a tradition of excellence and French artisanship in crafting jump saddles, offering riders a blend of heritage, precision, and superior craftsmanship, resulting in saddles that exemplify the timeless elegance and functional superiority associated with the brand.

With a legacy dating back to 1985, Butet has honed its craft, integrating the finest materials and meticulous attention to detail in every saddle they produce. The Butet saddles are renowned for their traditional values, incorporating the principles of balance, comfort, and close contact, elevating the riding experience to a whole new level.

Their dedication to preserving the art of saddle-making is evident in the nuanced designs and the use of top-quality leather, ensuring a bond between rider and horse that goes beyond functionality.


Pessoa jump saddles are synonymous with a legacy of performance and innovation, delivering rider-centric products that combine advanced technologies, ergonomic design, and a rich heritage, reflecting a commitment to excellence and continual improvement in meeting rider needs.

The designs of Pessoa jump saddles are crafted with a focus on enhancing the rider’s connection with the horse, ensuring optimal balance and support. Their innovative approach incorporates cutting-edge materials and construction techniques, resulting in lightweight yet durable saddles that offer superior comfort and performance.

From the precision-engineered tree to the custom-fit panels, every aspect of Pessoa jump saddles is meticulously developed to provide a harmonious and secure riding experience. The brand’s dedication to continuous research and development fosters innovative solutions that adapt to the evolving demands of equestrian sports, making Pessoa a trusted choice for riders at all levels.

Voltaire Design

Voltaire Design sets itself apart with a dedication to customization, comfort, and performance in its jump saddles, offering riders a personalized experience that accentuates the harmony between rider and horse, supported by an unwavering commitment to quality and innovation.

This approach to saddle craftsmanship goes beyond mere functionality — it’s a philosophy that Voltaire Design incorporates into every aspect of their design process. By considering the personalized needs of both horse and rider, these saddles enhance the connection between the two, allowing for seamless communication and mutual understanding. The brand’s continuous pursuit of innovation ensures that each saddle is not only meticulously crafted for performance, but also tailored for the ultimate comfort of both horse and rider.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best jump saddles for competition?

There are many great options for jump saddles that are suitable for competition. Some popular choices include the Bates Innova Mono+ and the CWD SE01. It ultimately depends on the preferences of the rider and the conformation of their horse.

Do I need a specific type of jump saddle for different disciplines?

While some jump saddles may be designed with a specific discipline in mind, such as show jumping or cross-country, many high-quality jump saddles can be used for a variety of disciplines. It’s important to choose a saddle that fits both you and your horse well, regardless of the specific discipline.

What makes a good jump saddle?

A good jump saddle should have a secure and comfortable seat, provide proper balance for the rider, and allow for freedom of movement for the horse. It should also have high-quality materials and construction for durability and longevity.

Are there any specific features I should look for in a jump saddle?

Some important features to consider when choosing a jump saddle include a forward flap for jumping, knee and thigh blocks for added support, and a deep seat for stability. It’s also important to ensure the saddle has a wide enough channel for the horse’s spine and a good gullet clearance.

What is the difference between a close contact and forward seat jump saddle?

Close contact and forward seat jump saddles are often used interchangeably, but they do have slight differences. A close contact saddle typically has a flatter seat and a more forward flap, while a forward seat saddle has a deeper seat and a more upright flap. Both types of saddle are commonly used for jumping.

How often should I have my jump saddle fitted?

It’s important to have your jump saddle fitted regularly, as the horse’s conformation and the rider’s position can change over time. It’s recommended to have your saddle checked at least once a year by a professional saddle fitter, or more frequently if you notice any changes in your horse’s movement or behavior.

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