It can take some time to measure your horse for the proper saddle. For the saddle to suit you and the horse properly, many different measurements must be taken. In addition to making your horse uncomfortable and possibly posing safety risks due to its likely instability, a poorly fitting saddle can significantly impair your riding style. By using this approach to measure and fit your horse for a saddle, you can lessen the frustration of saddle shopping for your horse. Here are some considerations on How to measure a horse for a saddle.
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Table of Contents
Create A Measuring Tool For Saddle Fitting
Cut a length of firm wire that is sixteen inches long, easy to mold to your horse’s contour, and that will keep its shape even after being removed from the animal. Soldering wire or coated wires like ROMEX work well. At the 8-inch point, place a marker in the wire’s midpoint.
Measurement Of The Withers
On an even surface, position your horse squarely. Locate and hold one or two fingers on the scapula, the back edge of the shoulder blade, using little pressure. Place your measurement device over the withers with your other hand. With eight inches of wire on either side and the marked center point placed over the area where your fingers are outlining the rear edge of the scapula, place it directly above the withers. Make the wire into a precise imprint of your horse’s withers by shaping and pressing it down. It must make touch with the skin of the horse directly behind the shoulder blade on both sides.
Based on their withers, different horse breeds may often fit into a certain sort of saddle. Withers that are more clearly defined in Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, and Tennessee Walking Horses typically fit in a medium or normal saddle. Withers of draft horses is frequently broad and flat, needing an extra-wide saddle.
Measurement of the Body Structure
Remove the measuring device from your horse with care so that the equipment keeps the animal’s shape. Measure 3 inches straight down and then side to side from the wire’s center. You can now measure your gullet thanks to this. The bar width across the shoulder is then determined by taking a straight-across measurement from wire end to wire end. Note these two dimensions because we’ll need them to calculate the right flare, bar angle, bar width, and swell height for a tree that fits your horse or mule properly.
Measurement Of The Gullet
You can determine your horse’s gullet size using the withers and body structure measurements. The width of the horse’s withers and shoulders determines the gullet size. Another suggestion for sizing your horse’s saddle according to gullet size is to leave two to three fingers between the top of the wither and the saddle’s gullet. The gullet of the saddle is too large if you can only fit one finger between the horse and it. The gullet is too small for your horse if you can fit your entire hand through it.
Measurement Of The Back Length
The saddle on your horse shouldn’t be too long for their back. Although most saddles are made without this issue in mind, you may need to take measurements for some horses with shorter backs in order to get a saddle that fits them well. Your horse will feel pain and irritation from a lengthy saddle. The height of the withers to the last ribs on the back of your horse should be measured. Although a saddle may be shorter, this dimension should be taken as the absolute maximum length for your horse’s saddle.
Saddle That Fit The Rider
By measuring the saddle’s seat and flap, you can determine the proper rider saddle fit. The saddle seat needs to be appropriate for both the horse and the rider.
A seat that is too short causes the saddle to contact the back in an unusual location, which may shift the rider’s center of balance too far forward. The hindquarter muscles might be hampered by a too-long seat, which will lower your horse’s performance. Because of this, the saddle must be properly fitted to the horse and rider as well as the rider’s size and shape. The art of horsemanship includes delicate situations like this.
Of course, the first thing to think about is the riding discipline you want to participate in. Specialized saddles will be used by several disciplines. Even though rider tastes vary, there are some fundamental fitting guidelines to adhere to. Your behind should rest at the base of the cantle without rubbing on the back of it, and there should be about 4 inches between the front of your body and the bulge of the saddle. Although tastes differ, it is usually preferable to purchase a little larger saddle than a tiny one if you are unsure of its size.
It can take a while and be challenging to find the correct saddle. Both you and your horse should feel comfortable in a properly fitted saddle. When buying a new saddle, consider equestrianshoponline saddles.