Youth and pony saddles are small-sized Western saddles appropriate for children and ponies. These saddles are pint-sized versions of Western saddles, and you’ll find that many of these saddles have just as much detail and craftsmanship as traditional Western saddles do.
Most ponies’ backs aren’t long enough to accommodate even a smaller sized adult Western saddle, but pony saddles are cut to better fit a pony’s back. A traditional saddle’s skirt (and sometimes the cantle) would extend to or past a pony’s hip, inhibiting his motion. Additionally, the weight of a traditional saddle would be prohibitive to a smaller pony. But youth and pony saddles features a smaller seat size and a shorter skirt, so most ponies can comfortably carry these saddles.
A saddle’s overall fit is important to the rider, which is why these youth-sized saddles are created. A 15” or 16” saddle will be far too large for a child, so these saddles feature more appropriately sized seats such as 12” or 13”. A child will feel more secure in an appropriately fitting youth saddle. Additionally, children can handle these lighter weight youth saddles, learning how to tack up their horses on their own.
When you shop for a youth or pony saddle, you’ll find that these saddles are available in various styles and for various purposes, from show to pleasure to roping. Look for a quality saddle which fits your child well. Youth saddles often feature fun designs and accents, so your child may want to participate in choosing their own saddle, too.