Fair-weather riders may soon be able to practise their skills in the comfort of their own sitting rooms.

According to gaming websites, Nintendo has applied for a patent for a new “horseback riding saddle” for their interactive Wii computer game console.

Riders will control their virtual horse by rocking and bouncing on an inflatable saddle, which is used to sense movement.

By holding the controller — or nunchuck — riders simulate holding a horse’s reins, or as the patent states, “a raised hand for balance as in bronco riding, a lasso, a sword or other weapon”.

The unit may display “the back of horse’s head, the background of a trail, a field, a battlefield or other environment the virtual horse is being ridden through”.

And apparently if horses aren’t your preferred choice of mount, the seat can be used to simulate other animals from “bulls, camels, elephants and whales” to “dragons, unicorns or giant eagles” or even “hang gliders, jet skis and magic carpets”.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (27 August, ’09)