Fitting a Saddle to a Horse
Horse saddles are used between the rider and the horse’s back. Fitting a saddle ensures an easier ride, more comfort and increased balance. Without horse saddles, a horse’s muscles and spine can be damaged due to lack of protection. For information on how to fit a saddle, see below.
Fit a Saddle – The Gap
To start fitting a saddle, put it on the back of your horse on its own. Taking a step back, check to see that the front and back (the pommel and cantle) are level and even. Confirm that there is a gap between the saddle and the horse by seeing if you can make out a line of light over the spine. The saddle should not be in contact with the spine at all.
Fitting a Saddle - Pinching
Next, when you fit a saddle check to see that the saddle does not pinch the withers. If you notice that it does, you will probably require a tree that is wider. However, if you think the pommel rests too low in respect to the withers, a narrower tree will be needed. Once you are on the saddle you should check there is still enough room in between the saddle and the horse.
Horse Saddles – Final Check
The flaps should be evenly lying against your horse. Once you are satisfied with the horse saddle’s position add a pad and get riding. When you are done riding have a look under the saddle to check there are no dry areas. If you find some it is likely weight is not being distributed how it should be, and it may result in soreness in the horse. Fitting a saddle until you know it is perfect is very important.