The endurance saddle was created for competitions in which the horse and rider traverse 50 to 100 kilometres in a single day. To be competitive, a rider needs a saddle that is light in weight but strong enough to handle long distances over rough and steep terrain. This saddle is designed for tight touch with the horse and minimizes bulk wherever possible.
- Long hours in the saddle require a very comfortable, generally padded, seat.
- No horn is usually used to protect the rider from being poked in the stomach while posting, trotting, or jumping trail obstacles.
- To lose weight, the skirt is quite short and rounded.
- Comfortable deep stirrups.
- To keep the saddle from tipping, single rigging is used, usually in the center-fire position.
- Saddle strings and rigging dees in abundance for securing gear
- Reduced size and weight
The endurance saddle, while created for competition, is gaining appeal as a general trail saddle. Its odd styling, influenced by English variants, gives it the most “original” appearance of all the western saddle forms.