It is your responsibility to watch out for the horse’s well-being, seeing as how you are the horse’s rider and owner. It is crucial to the pleasure and health of your horse that you have the ability to spot signals in your horse that indicate that your saddle does not fit correctly or that it is causing him or her distress. If you want to know more about How To Fit A Saddle To A Horse, then we suggest you keep reading!
Horses do not, by nature, have an inclination for disobedience or hatred toward other horses or other animals. They are often highly cooperative as long as two necessary requirements are achieved. To begin, they need to have an awareness of what it is that you are demanding of them, and in order for them to be able to carry out what it is that you are requiring of them, they need to be at peace and unencumbered by any pain or limitations.
If the saddle does not fit the horse correctly, it might be the cause of a variety of various problems, including behavioral issues.
Having said all of that, there is still another possibility to consider. You will be able to learn how to spot signs of a saddle that does not fit well, and you will also be able to learn how to recognize when it is time to call in a professional trained saddle fitter to look at your saddle and your horse for you. Both of these skills will be available to you after you have done the research together with the professional trained saddle fitters.
Table of Contents
The shape of the saddle
The tree is the starting point for saddle endurance. If the tree is shaped in such a way that it follows the curves of your horse’s back, the rest of the pieces will fall into place automatically. Because of this, you should begin your search for a saddle by gaining an in-depth understanding of tree form and how it is related to saddle fit.
Since its invention approximately 2,000 years ago, the fundamental design of the saddletree has not undergone significant transformations, except for some minor adjustments here and there. In point of fact, the modern saddletree is quite similar in appearance to the saddletrees used in ancient times. It consists of merely two strips of wood (or composite) joined by two arches, with a pommel or fork in the front and a cantle in the rear.
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Fitting a Saddle To A Horse – Saddle Placement
When it comes to saddling the horse, one of the most frequent errors that people do is positioning the saddle too far forward over the withers.
To correctly set the saddle on the horse’s back, you have to put it slightly forward over the withers, then slide it back until it seems to stop in a natural resting point. This will ensure that the saddle is in the correct position. When the saddle is in this position, the bars or panels of the saddle should be positioned such that they are 2 1/2 to 3 inches behind the horse’s shoulder blades. Changeable gussets on saddles make it possible to use the same saddle on a variety of horses by allowing the rider to adapt the fit of the saddle to the individual animal.
When mounting the horse, careful attention should be paid to the amount of space that exists between the saddle and the withers. You will need a lot of space above the withers as well as enough space on either side of the saddle so that when it is tightened, the gullet of the saddle will not interfere with the top of the withers and the sides of the withers will not be burdened. After you have mounted, check the distance again, and then do so once more after a few minutes have passed during the ride to ensure that the saddle has not moved closer to the withers. Keep in mind that as soon as you start adding weight, the saddle will begin to go lower.
On a horse with high withers, there may not be enough area for more than one finger width, while on a horse with flat withers, there may be adequate capacity for three or maybe more finger widths. After mounting the horse and placing weight in the stirrups, the challenge will be to maintain that clearance. When visually checking the placement of the saddle, the view from the side provides the most useful information. It should be even; if the front or rear is inclined, either the position is incorrect or the saddle does not fit the horse well.
Observe carefully how your horse acts at all times. The first sign that you have achieved the proper saddle fit may be a happy horse that no longer objects to being saddled after you have adjusted the fit of the saddle properly. After you have successfully mounted, you will find that the horse below you is more calm and eager to cooperate.
Final Thoughts & Things to keep in mind
When fitting your saddle, here are some things to keep an eye out for.
- Examine the symmetry of the saddle and search for any twisting in the tree that could be present.
- The placement of the saddle on the back of the animal. The lowest point on the back of a horse should be centered over the middle of the seat, and the saddle should be positioned such that it is sitting properly in the middle of the back.
- The tree must be planted so that it runs parallel to the withers and is situated behind the shoulder blade.
- The manner in which the tree of the saddle conforms to the horse’s withers. A high-withered horse may have only one or two fingers’ size between his withers and the tree, in contrast to a low-withered horse who may have four fingers’ length between each one his withers and the tree.
- The saddle seat needs to have a flat surface.
- It is important that the gullet be both broad and high enough to allow the rider to clear the spine.