How do you make sure your saddle fits your horse?
Note: The following excerpt is the transcript from a question I answered from my Facebook Live made in the Steady Horse Facebook Group on 5/29/19. Watch the video or read the text below to learn the answer to the question.
One of the things that you want to look for is making sure that the saddle isn’t rubbing or pinching your horse. What you can do is take a saddle and put it directly on your horse.
Be sure that there’s enough clearance under the front of the saddle so it’s not rubbing on the withers.
If that pommel sits on top of the withers, it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort for your horse. You want to make sure that the swell underneath the saddle and that’s where it’s going to be, that dip in the saddle, right where the front of your stirrup would be tied into the saddle. You want to make sure that fits right into the horses back and it’s making good contact all the way through. You want to make sure if they’re not dry or uneven wet spots when you’re riding your horse after you take that saddle off. There’s a number of things that you can do to try to make sure that that horse isn’t going to be uncomfortable.
It’s going to vary from horse to horse. And this is really important because there’s a lot of things like this with horses where people will give you these hard and fast rules like, place the saddle out a little bit behind the shoulder blade or make sure that the saddle always has six inches of clearance underneath the pommel.
The truth is you can’t really make those types of hard and fast rules since every horse and saddle is unique and different.
Think about rubbing points, friction points, think about places where contact would be. And also keep in mind that when you’re in the saddle that the saddle’s going to sit a little bit lower than what you’re seeing when you’re not in the saddle.
So, some of it is common sense stuff that you can troubleshoot and take a look at and try to make sure your horse is as comfortable as possible. And then there are other little nuances that you can get help with someone who knows a little bit more about your horse, that type of saddle. There are so many types of saddles out there that’ll fit your horse in different ways.
I definitely encourage you, if you’re able to take a picture of the horse and a picture of the saddle from different angles, go ahead and throw it up on the Steady Horse facebook group. There’s a ton of us out there that are knowledgeable. In fact, we even have some saddle fitters in the group that are experienced that could help.