Why is saddle fitting important

Having a saddle correctly fitted is important if you aim to get the best from your horse and help promote free movement, comfort, muscle development and a well natured horse.

P1020067Sizing up the saddle

Saddle fitting can take between 1-2 hours but we do need space to work when doing it.   Initially we assess the horse an check its back before moving onto the rider and existing saddle.

We’ll ask you to walk up the horse so we can watch its movement both with and without saddle.

What’s important to realise here is that a saddle may fit a horse but not the rider so the time we spend with you and your horse is very important.   If either fit isn’t right then we need to look at options and this may be to go for one of our Custom fitted saddles.

Regular saddle checks

After fitting the saddle it is important to keep an eye on the horses development as this can affect the saddle fit so a regular check is worthwhile.

Reasons for changes in the saddle fit could include:

  • simple seasonal changes including horses spending more time out on pasture or winter when we may use more hard feed.  Obviously there are numnahs and pads available to accommodate for minor changes but these shoud not be used in place of a proper saddle fitting.

  • new pasture – it may be you have moved yards and are now on new pasture or may have changed the feed.  

  • physical changes – your horse may have been out of work and the muscles may have wasted or softened which could see the saddle dropping considerably.

  • age – young horses are underdeveloped and will see growth spurts like small children whilst aging horses will begin to experience muscle reduction and skeletal changes.

Understanding your horses musculature

If a horse has lesser developed muscles including hollows behind the wither, you will need to make sure the saddle fits comfortably to accommodate this but will most importantly need regular checks and adjustments.

We can’t say how important it is that the muscles are allowed freedom of movement as this promotes muscle development. Too many times we have seen tight fitting saddle that restrict movement and therefore cause all sorts of muscle tissue damage which in turn destroys any chance of correct development.