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General Purpose Saddles
General purpose saddles at Dogwood London
A general purpose saddle, which is more commonly abbreviated to the 'GP' saddle, is designed to serve the particular needs of a certain type of horse rider. These riders are looking for a saddle that is not restricted in its use to just one discipline; they want to use their leather saddle for a number of equestrian activities and thus avoid the expenses of purchasing a dedicated discipline saddle, such as one for jumping or dressage.
Riders who typically purchase GP saddles are those that enjoy leisure riding, showing classes or lower level competition. This is down to the individual makeup of the saddle as well as the needs of the rider that is using it. A GP saddle, whether it is a Kieffer, Stubben or Frank Baines, has certain design elements that ensure it can be used in a multitude of equestrian activities.
For example; unlike a jumping saddle whose flap is forward cut, the flap of a GP saddle is far less forward cut which means your leg will not feel out of place in normal length stirrups. Likewise the flap will not be as straight cut as a dressage saddle, so you have room to have your stirrups a bit shorter than you normally would in dressage. These particular design characteristics allow the rider to jump in their saddle one day and then use the same saddle the next day for dressage.