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The Ainsley polo saddles

Article on polo saddle requirements, first published in the Polo Time, May, 2018

The article may be downloaded

It is often said that our horses make up 70-80% of the game, and we therefore seek to have the best possible horses in our string, However, all too often, our polo saddles do not allow our horses to perform to their full potential, instead causing discomfort and pain and, in some cases, injury. Most polo saddles fail to flex with the movements of the horses back, which will cause the horse to avoid the movements that cause discomfort or pain. Sometimes, issues are of our own doing: as players, we are often tempted to position the saddle too far forward in order to position ourselves over the horse"s shoulders, but in doing so we may restrict the the movement of the horse's shoulder blades.

We control and direct our horses mainly through the connection between the saddle and our upper legs. Ideally, a polo saddle should provide a long, flat surface against which the player's upper legs can grip to provide maximum control and a solid hitting platform, Traditionally, many polo saddles have a round form, which makes it difficult if not impossible, to grip the saddle with the full length of the upper leg, therefore limiting the degree of control and direction that the player can exercise.

Polo saddles may last anywhere from two to 20 years, depending on the design, the materials used, and the craftsmanship of the saddle maker. Cheaper saddles tend to change shape with type, widening at the shoulders, and may eventually sit on the withers. 

Ainsley polo saddles are designed with one thing in mind: performance on the field, enabling both players and horses to be as efficient as possible. For polo ponies, this means giving them freedom of movement to fully utilize their bodies and eliminating causes of pain or impediment. For the player, it means providing a stable and comfortable platform, enabling a strong connection to the horse.

In other equestrian sports like dressage and show jumping, saddles are considered crucial to the collaboration between horse and rider and riders pay significant attention to their saddles and their fit and function. In polo, even though we demand more, varied athleticism from both horse and rider, we have grown accustomed to fairly cheap saddles that often fit poorly and wear out in a few short years.

Ainsley saddles is an investment in your horses and your polo, allowing your horses and you to play your very best for many years to come.

Clarkin polo saddle by Ainsley Polo

Clarkin polo saddle 


Starting from the Original Roughout saddle, which was designed primarily for high withered thoroughbred type polo ponies, Nina and Ross designed a new polo saddle incorporating all of the benefits of the Original saddle, but with a slightly modified saddle tree, which accommodates ponies with wider shoulders.


Nina added an eye catching, signature purple seat made from the same roughout leather as all the other AInsley saddles. Also available in dark brown.

Nina Clarkin +10
Elite MVP polo saddle used by Pelon Stirling

MVP polo saddle 


With Pelon, Ross has designed what may well be the best polo saddle available. At the core of the MVP, the synthetic tree not only makes the MVP lighter than most saddles, it also  gives your horses the freedom of movement where and when it is needed. Due to the adjustable gullet width, sculpted panels, a wide gullet and ample space at the withers, the MVP will fit almost any polo horse and allow both horse and player to ride and play as efficiently as possible.

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