General purpose (GP) saddles – sometimes called all-purpose saddles – are a popular choice as they’re designed for riders who like to do a bit of everything and don’t want or need a specific dressage or jump saddle. If you’re looking for a new GP saddle, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite models from a selection of the best English saddle brands to give you somewhere to start.
Sorting through the best GP saddles to find one that fits and works for both you and your horse isn’t something you can do solely online, but it’s a good place to begin your search. Unlike most horsey purchases you make, this purchasing decision really has to strike the balance between getting the right saddle for you and the best fit for your horse. You can, however, spend as much time as you like before this stage browsing the latest releases and the returning favourite models. With a range of colours, leathers, shapes and personalisation options, there’s plenty to consider.
H&H recommends consulting a qualified saddle fitter prior to purchase and following up with regular checks to tailor the fit to your horse’s changing shape. The links below should help direct you to local stockists.
Here’s a selection of some of the best GP saddles on the market for you to add to your shortlist…
Albion K2 GP
Colours: Black or brown | Seat sizes: 16.5–18.5in, N–XW | RRP: £1,860 |
Designed for riders looking for a comfortable, high quality, all-round saddle, suitable for jumping and showing, this saddle offers a supportive seat and leg position. It has a wide panel bearing surface and an adjustable tree.
More info and stockists at albionengland.co.uk
Bates All Purpose +
Colours: Classic black or classic brown | Seat sizes: 16–18in | RRP: £1,399 |
Described as a high performance general purpose saddle that features cutting edge design and technology not previously seen in general purpose saddles. It offers comfort, security and balance, ensuring the most comfortable deep seat for leisure riding, flatwork and some jumping.
More info and stockists at batessaddles.co.uk
Fairfax Classic GP
Colours: Black or brown | Seat sizes: 17–18in | RRP: £1,590 |
This high-comfort saddle is ideal if you want a little extra luxury and support from your saddle, while your horse will benefit from all the research and development that has gone into the company’s Performance range. The stitched-on knee block provides leg support, while cushioning over the knee rolls accommodates for a variety of leg length, which is useful for those who intend to ride with different stirrup lengths – for example, when hacking or jumping.
More info and stockists at fairfaxsaddles.com
GFS Transition GP
Colours: Black or brown | Seat sizes: 17in or 17.5in, N-XXW | RRP: £1,250 |
This versatile saddle is designed to fit a wide variety of horses. It has a flexible carbon fibre webbed tree, which gives comfort to both horse and rider and allows movement with the horse. The saddle has X-change girthing points for ease of changing the position of girth straps and knee blocks can also be customised to suit your leg length.
More info and stockists at gfsriding.co.uk
Harry Dabbs Avant GP
Colours: Black or Havana | Seat sizes: 16–18.5in | RRP: From £1,800 |
This saddle helps to put you in the correct position and the semi-deep seat and soft knee pads will ensure a comfortable ride. It features the popular wool-flocked performance panel that curves away from the back sooner to offer greater freedom of movement and aid hind quarter engagement.
More info and stockists at harrydabbs.co.uk
Jeffries XP GP
Colours: Black or Havana | Seat sizes: 16.5–17.5in, W–XXW | RRP: From £1,540 |
This sadde is described as an ideal choice for native or traditional types that often present a broad wither and flatter back. It features deep English panels for a greater overall bearing surface, a soft dual density seat and generous knee pads that provide comfort and seat security.
More info and stockists at ejeffries.co.uk
The Native Pony Saddle Company Mountain & Moorland
Colours: Rich dark brown or black | Seat sizes: 16.5–18in | RRP: £1,595 |
This saddle is a great option for those who prefer a slightly straighter GP saddle or have horses who require one for the correct fit. It has a flatter seat, supportive knee rolls and a thigh pad, and it comes in close contact flock, which is ideal for flat-backed cobs and native breeds, with tree and panel options to suit other breeds of horses.
More info and stockists at thenativeponysaddlecompany.com
Solution Saddles Smart Native GP
Colours: Black or Havana | Seat sizes: Available in 4 seat sizes | RRP: From £2,425 |
This saddle is ideal for wide horses with flat backs – the low-profile, flexible base panel accommodates the rounder back shape, ensuring saddle security and eliminating any rocking, twisting or slipping typically associated with traditional native breeds and cobs. Weight fluctuations and changes in back shape throughout the season can be easily thanks to the FlexTech technology and balance pad system.
More info and stockists at solutionsaddles.com
Stübben All Purpose Roxanne VSS
Colours: Black, Havana, ebony or tobacco | Seat sizes: 16.5–19in, N–XW | RRP: £2,390 |
This all-purpose saddle of the Roxanne series has a slight emphasis on jumping – the banana-shaped knee roll and a flat calf block stabilise your leg over the fence, without wedging it during dressage lessons. There are also plenty of customisation options available.
More info and stockists at stuebben.co.uk
Whitaker Madrid GP
Colours: Black or light Havana | Seat sizes: 16–18in, N, M or W | RRP: £1,350 |
Part of the Whitaker Performance collection, the Madrid GP has a slight forward tilt to the flaps that aids stability when jumping, while the large added knee roll supports the leg when riding with longer stirrups. The panels are made from a durable printed leather that can withstand daily use, yet are slim enough for a close contact feel. The medium-depth seat is covered with calfskin leather and has a memory foam crumb cushioning for comfort.
More info and stockists at johnwhitaker.com
WOW Competitor GP
Colours: Wide range of combinations and customisation options | Seat sizes: 16–19in, N-XXW | RRP: From £3,050 |
This saddle can be designed to suit the riding you do – for example, choose flaps with fixed or moveable blocks to go with a flat seat if you hunt or event, or opt for a deeper seat if you focus on flatwork. The unique shape of the tree enables the front of the saddle to move with the shoulders, while the option of Flair air flocking encourages your horse to lift through his back. D-rings and other fittings can be added to accommodate everything from an air jacket lanyard to a hip flask.
More info and stockists at wowsaddles.com
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What is a GP saddle?
Sometimes called an all-purpose saddle, a GP (general purpose) saddle is forward cut enough for low-level jumping, while still being suitable for flatwork and hacking.
Can you jump in a GP saddle?
Yes – although the knee roll is smaller on a GP than a jump saddle, it will still give you enough support to jump occasionally. If showjumping is your main discipline, it is worth considering a specifically designed jump saddle.
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