Jump Saddles – Close Contact, Hunter Jumper

Nothing puts you in better contact with your horse over fences than top quality, perfectly balanced jump saddles. Welcome to a super selection of show jumping, close contact and hunter/jumper saddles, as well as all-purpose English saddles suitable for over fences, hunter under saddle classes, and hunter equitation.

Find children and pony tack to adult and pro jumping saddles up to 18-inch seat sizes. We offer saddles online via our partnership with Horse Saddle Shop. Enjoy the very best values, price ranges, with free shipping on all saddles anywhere in the USA.

Jumping Saddles for Sale

Collegiate jump saddles Collegiate saddles: including the convertible Diploma close contact saddle, the Collegiate close contact jumper, and the Collegiate all-purpose English saddle featuring supple leather and classic deep seat for extra security. Many more. 

Wintec close contect saddlesWintec saddles: A diverse selection of jumping and close contact saddles, Wintec leather-look saddles all have top performance features. The Wintec jumping saddle is used in all levels of competition and training, from flat to deep seats, or narrow waist for super close contact. Excellent kids and pony saddles too. 

Kincade close contact saddlesKincade saddles: Leather close contact and jumping saddles; Designs include medium deep seat, padded flaps and knee rolls with stabilizing memory foam panels for your horse’s comfort. Also child and pony close contact / jump saddles by Kincade.

Bates jump saddlesBates saddlery: Jump saddles feature seats that supports correct position and controlled performance; including Bates Caprilli jump saddle, Bates Elevation DS (deep Seat), Bates all purpose, and Bates Pony Elevation saddles. 

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PLUS:  See today’s selection of used English saddles – expertly cleaned and reconditioned

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Fun facts about the history of jump saddles

from archaic, weighty work tack to a lean, mean jumpers’ dream.

Images of 14th century English saddlesThe working “English saddle” of the past had a very distinct look in comparison to the English saddles of today. The predecessor of the modern day English saddle was built for working.

The first saddles were used for combat, herding animals, and traveling over rough terrain for long distances. Because these older versions worked hard, the main objective was to give the rider a safe, stable seat.

They featured raised and pronounced pommels and cantles that would support the rider picture of 18th century English saddle staying in the saddle.

This earlier style of saddle was also used for classical dressage, and in turn, became the standard, in those times, for maintaining a secure seat while executing advanced movements.

How saddles evolved for jumping

Eventually, fox hunting entered the scene for the horsemen of England. The dressage/combat type of saddle had to evolve to fit the needs and rigors of the fox hunt. While riding to the hounds, equestrians in the early days had to travel long distances at a fast pace while simultaneously encountering obstacles that the horse and rider had to jump.

1839 Foxhunting scene

The high pommel in conjunction with the pronounced cantle of the earlier saddles gave way to a much flatter seat with a greatly lowered cantle and pommel. These changes allowed for a much greater freedom of movement while negotiating fences, ditches and hedges. These significant changes revolutionized certain types of English saddles and established parameters for many of today’s most prevalent styles.

Some of the most popular English saddles of modern times are the jumping saddles (aka; close contact saddle, forward seat saddle, or hunter saddle.) Just as the names imply, this is the class of saddles used specifically for jumping, hunting, and hunter equitation.

Whether jumping oxers, hedges or water hazards, the riders change positions back and forth, constantly transitioning from the half seat, to the forward tilt for the jumping position, to the balanced seat in between jumps. The jumping, or close contact saddle, must allow for smooth transitions in positions that the rider will execute when negotiating jumps, or galloping in-between them.

Picutre of jump saddles design to keep riders close to the horse's motion

By design, the features of the saddle, such as the pommel, seat, and cantle, are extremely low and flat. Since these saddles are low profile, there is nothing that will inhibit any position in the saddle that the rider might need to assume.

To maintain proper balance while negotiating obstacles, the equestrian uses a “two point” riding position for large portions of the ride. This position requires the rider to lift slightly out of the saddle in an elevated position while using their knees as a pivot point.

To accomplish this position, the rider must ride with a shorter stirrup than usual. On a close contact saddle, this shorter bent leg position, is accommodated Example of forward cut flaps on jumping saddleswith forward cut saddle flaps. The position of the knee is of great importance for balance and stability when jumping. As the leg shortens, the balance point of the saddle adjusts farther rearward, and the knee is pushed farther forward.

This positioning helps the rider avoid being “ahead of the motion,” getting thrown forward and becoming unbalanced, while still allowing for the forward tilt needed when taking a jump.

A quality jump saddle will keep the rider close to the motion of the horse.

There is a portion of the seat that is somewhat narrow over the twist to provide a better feel and contact with the horse. Stirrups are typically hung slightly forward to counterbalance the slightly rearward position in the saddle.

Knee rolls on a hunter saddleSome jump saddles have knee rolls built in for security, but beware that a large knee roll can act in reverse, causing your leg to twist out of position and decrease your leg’s close contact with your horse. Some riders prefer to use saddles with little to no knee rolls.

A working hunter saddle tends to have knee rolls that are hidden underneath the flap, and the seat is extremely flat.

No matter what individual design choices you make when buying or ordering a close contact / jump saddle (stirrup leathers, knee rolls, etc.) be sure to have the saddle fitted, both to yourself, and to the horse. Fitting the saddle to the horse is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure that your horse will be comfortable while taking fences and working on the flat.

Always remember, when your saddle fits your mount correctly, it pays back great rewards in the quality the ride. A happy horse equals a great performance!

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