How to Break in an English Saddle

While new saddles are clean and shiny, they are usually uncomfortable and need to undergo a considerable break in period to become useable. You will have to break in the saddle before using it, a process which requires a lot of patience. If you are planning to break in the saddle in the summers then it will take little time but if not, then you will have to wait for a rainy day to break in the saddle. Once the saddle has been properly broken in, you will be able to use it normally. Keep reading to learn how you can successfully break in an English saddle.


  • 1

    The first and the most important thing after buying a new English saddle is to make sure the girth fits. The girth will be longer at this time as compared to later, after the saddle is broken and the billets are stretched. During the break in period, it is suggested that you use a girth which fastens the buckles.

  • 2

    You should prefer to use an older set of stirrup leathers when breaking in a saddle.

  • 3

    It is advised not to break in the saddle the day you buy it. It is recommended that you buy a new saddle in the summers, as during this season you can break in the saddle with one ride.

  • 4

    You now need to tack up the horse but be extremely cautious regarding the girth as you need it to be properly adjusted.

  • 5

    You now need to ride the horse for almost an hour, and during this time it is imperative that you pay attention to your leg and seat position. You can ask a friend for some help regarding your position. Here you need to adjust the stirrups according to the way you most commonly ride. You also need to keep checking your girth frequently as during the first ride the billets stretch the most.

  • 6

    After finishing your ride you need to seal the leather with glycerine. You can use this glycerine on the underside of the saddle.

  • 7

    The top of the leather should now be buffed with a flannel cloth. After this, the leather will be softer, darker and shinier than how it was when you bought it.

  • 8

    You need to let the saddle sit in for about four to five days before you can actually start using it. The leg placement needs constant supervision during the first few weeks. You need to use a shorter girth when the billets stretch.

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