Disabled Rider Horse Saddles

Handicapped saddleI’ve never really given much thought to it but there are probably a lot of people out there who would love to be able to ride a horse but can’t due to a disability. Today I came across an article on Grit.com about a saddle maker that crafts horse saddles for special needs or handicapped riders. From kids to disabled veterans, I’m sure the right saddle could be a dream come true to those who thought they would otherwise never be able to ride a horse. If you know of anybody in this situation, perhaps these links could be useful:

Horse Saddles for Disabled Riders article on Grit.com

Handicap saddles by Grays Custom Saddlery in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.
Tel: 870-670-4800

About Bill

Long-winded horse newbie, aspiring amateur barrel racer and cowboy mounted shooter. Bill has a "horse problem" and regularly wears a t-shirt that reminds him "I don't need another horse." A favorite quote is from John Wayne: "Courage is being scared but saddling up anyway," which pretty much describes how he feels every time he gets on a horse.
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9 Responses to Disabled Rider Horse Saddles

  1. Jodi says:

    My first experience with horses was when I moved to college and found a group called Rainbow Riders. I volunteered to warm horses up and then be a “walker”. My job was to walk next to the horse and hold onto a child with phyiscal disabilities as they rode. We used regular saddles (although some had hand grips added) but the children wore a waist belt with loops for walkers to hold onto. It was a great exercise for the children because riding a horse, as wel all know, works muscles and really adds self esteem and confidence. Riding a horse also imitates the muscles we use when we walk. Anyway, thought I’d add my two cents.
    Jodi

  2. Bill says:

    Thanks Jodi. What a great experience.

  3. Elizabeth P. says:

    I know how sad it is :(. There is this barn in Atlanta that has a people who ride with disabilities and it is sad because they have a hard time. But when you have a disability and ride, honestly, it gives me joy to see it :).

  4. Tiffany Martin says:

    One of my clients is trying to start a riding program for handicapped riders here in Central Texas. he is looking for saddles. Anyone know where I can find some?

  5. Heather says:

    When I started feeling the pain in my hands back in July of 2000, I thought I had carpel tunnel and would just have to have some minor surgery and would be back in the saddle again in no time. As time went on and I had stranger symptoms, I thought that nothing could ever take away my riding ability. Then I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and my world turned upside down. I lost the one thing that I loved to do more than anything else….ride. For many years, my disease kept me on the ground. I learned more about my horse than I ever knew before. I learned more about ground training and equine health issues. Then, I was pushed (lovingly) by a fellow horse lover and friend to just try. I got on and although it is often a struggle, I haven’t stopped since. My main issue is balance and leg strength and having issue with those two has given my confidence quite a jolt too. What used to give me joy and freedom in cantering or even trotting, now makes me nervous and unsure of myself. I’ve been searching for a saddle to help me, but honestly, the only ones out there are for SEVERELY disabled (ie. muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy), plus, they are several thousand dollars. For me, the search continues, but my will to make it work will never again fail.

  6. Sandra Armstrong says:

    I have a friend who has always been a horse/mule man since he was a child. He has recently suffered a spinal cord injury. He is adjusting well to his new world and limitations, but does not want to give up on the possibility to ride again. He is doing extensive therapy to pursue regaining his abilities. He is in his later 30′s in age and is tall but of slight or slender build. A saddle of 15″ or 16″ would most likely be the correct size. If anyone has specific information about saddle purchase options, I would love to hear about it. Is there any used equipment out there? Please contact me at stellahorsewoman@yahoo.com with any information. Thank you. Great Website, thanks.

  7. sandra tulga says:

    I have not been diagnosed yet. I have no strengh in right foot and partial strengh in right leg. Went horse back riding in september of 2010 could not keep balance because of right leg. For the first time in my life I was scared since I didn”t have sure balance beside the fact that even with steps it took 2 people to get my rihgt leg over ssaddle. I miss it do you have any type of saddle that would help me?

  8. Jillian. Martinson says:

    Hello I have had a horse my whole life. I have ridden since I was two (that’s what my late parents said) for the first time in my 44years I can no longer ride without help I have been disabled for one year. And I cry daily I really miss getting out for a trail ride or hunting by horseback. Please help
    Jillian

  9. nate says:

    I have no legs from the knees down, i often ride but still have a balancing issue even with my prosthitics. I really dont need a high back on a saddle, but use the horn a lot. I usually ride bareback because i cant find a saddle that works. Does anyone have any ideas on a saddle thatll work better for me? I love to ride (even though not that good because of balance), and after 31years of suffering to walk, it feels good to sit on a horse and having the experience to for the first time in my life to be able to run. Thanks nate

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