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The first saddle specifically designed for plus-size riders is now on the market.

The WOW Bounty has a deep profile seat “designed to offer supreme support and comfort to the larger rider”, says the company.

The average British woman is a size 16, so the market for suitable riding equipment in bigger sizes is growing.

Fuller Fillies also has a saddle in development, which the company had said could be available up to a 22in seat.

This prompted concerns from some experts that very heavy people should not be riding and that few horses have long enough backs to take such a large saddle.

WOW’s David Kempsell says he has addressed the issue.

He said: “We have designed a longer, larger seat without making a longer saddle, as many weight-carrying horses are short-backed. The panel of the saddle measures 18in, so it is suitable for all horses.”

The Bounty, which costs from £2,295, is based upon WOW’s stock saddle and has an upright cantle to support the pelvis and a deep seat.

“It is particularly useful for people with hip and pelvic problems and is a real confidence-booster, as it gives you a very secure seat and puts you into the right position,” said saddle fitter Jon Homer, who produced the saddle with WOW.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (24 January 2013)