Saddle Covers and Saddle Carrying Bags
Buying a horse saddle is a huge investment. To be perfectly honest, everything involving your horse is often a huge investment. So, it’s no surprise that when it comes to an expensive saddle, using something like a saddle carrying bag or a saddle cover is preferred by those who don’t want to damage such costly equipment.
If you’re interested in purchasing a saddle carrying bag but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. We’re going to go over why you need a saddle carrying bag, exactly what features to look for in a saddle carrier, and how to choose the best saddle cover to keep away dust and debris.
Why Do You Need a Saddle Carrying Bag?
Why should you spend so much extra money on a saddle-carrying bag? The answer is simple. If you travel a lot with your horse, packing around a big, heavy, and expensive saddle can turn into a huge pain. Not only is carrying a saddle around annoying without a special carrier, but you could damage the leather or cause premature wear by getting it soaked in the rain.
If you don’t ride very often, there’s probably no need to get a saddle carrier. This is really only a necessary piece of equipment for those who travel between the trailer and the stable frequently, or for people who ride every day or several times a week.
And in case you were wondering, saddle carriers of course come in various sizes and shapes, and you can get specific saddle carrying bags for your Western saddle or your English saddle.
What to Look for in a Saddle Carrying Bag
If you’re dead set on picking up a new saddle carrying bag, there are a few main features to look for.
First of all, you want a saddle that makes your life easier. Because you’re going to be carrying this heavy piece of equipment around with you, your saddle bag must make it easier to transport your saddle back and forth. Always check for sufficient padding so that you have a comfortable time packing around the saddle in its bag.
Also, padding is important so that you don’t feel the saddle bumping around while you’re carrying it, which of course can damage the leather. At the same time, you don’t want a bag that’s too padded or it’ll feel like you’re carrying around an extremely heavy marshmallow.
The interior of your saddle carrying bag should have a soft lining. You never want to worry that your saddle is scraping against the interior of its bag and damaging the leather. You want the saddle to look exactly the same when it comes out of the bag as it did when you put it inside.
For size, it’s a bit trickier. You want enough room inside your saddle bag to fit larger saddles. But at the same time, you don’t want your saddle to be loose inside the bag, otherwise it will shake around and be annoying.
Some people prefer to have a bit of extra room inside their saddle carrier to fit extra pieces of equipment. However, this can prove to be a poor decision. If you throw in bridle buckles with your saddle, all the jiggling around while you’re carrying the bag could cause the buckles to scratch the leather.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit tougher to find a multi-purpose carrier, meaning you’ll probably need to choose the proper saddle bag for your designation. Make sure that whether you have a dressage saddle or a jumping saddle, the carrier is specifically designed to fit it!
Finally, you need to think about shoulder straps and zippers. Shoulder straps are something that every carrier should come with. A shoulder strap will help you carry your saddle around, allowing you to have it resting comfortably against your hip while the shoulder strap bears most of the weight. You definitely want to pick up a saddle carrier with a shoulder strap.
As for zippers, these make it much easier for loading and unloading your saddle. Saddles are cumbersome objects and tough to get in and out of cases. This is especially true for heavy dressage saddles. Having a quality zipper that fully opens and closes the bag will make your life infinitely easier.
Western Saddle Cover
A western saddle cover will be a little different in terms of shape than an english saddle cover. The horn and overall size of the saddle will mean a bigger cover or carrying bag.
Why Do You Need a Saddle Cover?
Saddle carriers are great for taking the load off and for keeping your saddle in perfect condition while transporting it from one place to another. But saddle covers are also very important. Purchasing a quality saddle cover is critical for keeping your saddle out of the elements while in storage.
Yes, you can use a saddle cover when traveling. You can even combine a saddle cover with a saddle carrying bag. The job of the saddle cover is to keep your saddle clean and protected at all times. This will make cleaning your saddle much easier, it will keep all the dust away from your saddle, and it’s honestly the best way to keep your saddle stored.
Which Saddle Cover is Best?
There are lots of different saddle covers to choose from. A quilted saddle cover is the perfect way to protect your saddle while traveling, keeping it safe from bumps and scratches. It’s also a great replacement for a saddle carrier if you don’t feel like buying both.
You can also get a clear plastic saddle cover that’s cheap and still useful. This type of saddle cover is only used in the tack room or while riding to keep the rain off and your saddle free of dirt.
For at-home storage, you might want to consider a heavy-duty nylon saddle cover for complete protection. These kinds of saddle covers protect everything from the horn to the stirrup. These covers feature elastic bands that keep the cover snug to the saddle, that way it stays exactly where it is no matter where you store it.
Nylon saddle covers are a bit more expensive, but they do come in a wide variety of colors and give you the best protection available at the most reasonable price.