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With the average saddle tipping the scales at around 10kg, common sense might tell you that a lighter saddle will lessen the load for a horse with a sensitive back. But advances in design mean that both synthetic and leather models are now available if it’s a lightweight saddle you’re after

Mark Todd Charisma Event Saddle
This close-contact French leather saddle has been designed to reduce bulk. A mono flap, lightweight foam-filled panels and a synthetic tree all help it to weigh out in the featherweight division.
Weight: 4.5kg
Sizes: 17-17.5in
Price: £1,350
Tel: 01303 872277;
www.wefi.co.uk
Kontact Lite
Created in conjunction with William Fox-Pitt, this saddle is said to minimise pressure over the loins and shoulders while eliminating movement. This leather saddle can be individually fitted and fully customised.
Weight: 5.9kg
Sizes: 16.5-18in
Price: £1,599
Tel: 01922 646210;
www.albionsaddlemakers.co.uk
Vinici Dressage Saddle
This single-flap design is said to allow the rider excellent contact and closeness to the horse. It features a medium deep seat and knee roll configuration for added security in the correct seat.
Weight: 5kg
Sizes: 15-19in
Price: from £1,800
Tel: 01543 578243;
www.blackcountrysaddles.com
Equipe Freeland Saddle
Intelligent thinking has produced this top-of-the-range single flap eventing/jumping saddle, designed for durability. It is made from Italian calfskin with a wooden Arconnerie tree, variable panel depths and Equipe foam panels, designed not to break down or sag.
Weight: 4.8kg
Sizes: 17-18in, narrow-wide trees and short-extra long flaps
Price: £1,995
Tel: 01942 681002;
www.zebraproducts.co.uk
Tekna Jumping Saddle
Looks can be deceiving. This jumping saddle looks as though it is made from leather, but is synthetic and breathable to the core. Low-maintenance and with an appealing price tag, it’s no wonder this brand is proving so popular.
Weight: 4.5kg
Sizes: width and seat
Price: £420
Tel: 01303 872277;
www.wefi.co.uk
Wintec Pro Close Contact
Featuring an ultra-narrow waist and flat seat, this high-performance saddle is designed for perfect balance, grip and stability.
Weight: 5.55kg
Sizes: 16.5-17.5in
Price: £599
www.wintec-saddles.com

For the full article on the benefits and technology of lightweight saddles, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (29 July, ’10) — ON SALE NOW

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