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How To Fit A Saddle To A Horse

how to fit a saddle to a horse

Riding will be uncomfortable for both you and the horse if the saddle is uncomfortable for you. Blisters or sores can develop on you or your horse as a result of an uncomfortable saddle fit. Listed below are some ways how to fit a saddle to a horse.

When riding, a well-fitted saddle is also helpful! A saddle can send various signals through the horse’s back and flanks since it supports the rider’s weight. The horse can feel when you squeeze, sit down firmly, or move in any other way in the saddle seat, and will respond accordingly.


The Balance Of The Saddle

Pressure is put on the horse’s back by a saddle that is too high in the pommel and too low in the cantle. Your weight is placed too heavily on your horse’s final two floating ribs, making it extremely difficult for him to engage his back. Your saddle will pinch into the horse’s shoulder if it is too low in the front, which is quite uncomfortable for your horse. Your lower back discs may be put under stress if your saddle is too high in the back, causing you to put your leg forward and fall onto a chair seat to balance. It must be positioned such that the cantle and pommel are parallel.

The Clearance Of The Wither

On top of the saddle and along the side of the withers, there should be two to three fingers of clearance. His withers must have had an aperture in the saddle to allow for shoulder mobility forward and backward while moving. A horse may be reluctant to move forward if the saddle is pressing against his withers.

The Saddle Panel Contact

To evenly distribute the rider’s weight over an area measuring around 220 square inches and ending at the final rib, make sure your saddle’s panels are in even contact with your horse’s back the entire way down. Make sure that it doesn’t make rocking movements.

The Gullet Width

The back of your horse could be permanently harmed by a saddle with a channel or gullet that is too small or too wide. Each horse’s spine width will decide how wide his saddle gullet needs to be, and it needs to remain constant along the saddle’s full length.

The Angle Of The Tree

The tree’s angle must be changed to correspond with the horse’s shoulder angle. The horse’s shoulder rotates backward and upward as it goes. Verify that the saddle’s piping angle and your horse’s shoulder angle are the same.

The Tree Width

The width of the tree at the gullet plate must be sufficient to allow the horse’s shoulders to freely spin underneath the tree. Together, the tree’s breadth and angle need to be changed. The gullet plate needs to be changed; adding or removing flocking from the vertical panels of the saddle will not fix the issue. While some self-adjustable gullet plates allow for width modification, others only allow for angle adjustment.

The Saddle Length

Saddle placement must be behind the shoulder. Saddles that are too long frequently push the shoulder forward. The 18th thoracic vertebra serves as the last floating rib beyond which the saddle cannot expand.

The Angle Of The Saddle

The saddle’s angle ought to be in the middle and parallel to your horse’s spine. Horses are uneven by nature. The left shoulder of the majority of horses is bigger and more developed than the right shoulder. During motion, the larger shoulder kicks the saddle to the opposite side.

Final Note

Saddles that fit properly are part of proper riding discipline. Both the horse and rider should feel comfortable because you’ll be perched on their backs for a considerable amount of time. Always examine the fit of your saddle and make any necessary adjustments or purchases.