Western Saddle Fit – Great information

Many horses are being ridden in pain which can cause dangerous behaviors leading to serious injury. This can be easily fixed by having a basic knowledge of proper saddle placement and fitting. Although not an exhaustive teaching on saddle fit, this video covers the necessary basics of Western saddle fit. For more information on Pam Tanner, training, horses for sale and more training videos please visit www.pamtanner.com

Horse Equipment : How to Measure a Western Saddle

A western saddle needs to be measured in order to make sure that it is comfortable for the rider. Find out how to bring measuring tape from the back of the pommel to the seam of the cantle with help from an internationally-certified horse trainer and instructor in this free video on measuring a western horse saddle.

Expert: Rebekah Larimer
Bio: Rebekah Larimer is an internationally-certified horse trainer and instructor.
Filmmaker: Lisa Fenderson

Saddle Fitting Your Horse – Where To Fit a Western Saddle

It is a very important where you position your saddle on your horse. A proper saddle fitting begins with understanding your horse’s anatomy. It is helpful to find and study a chart in order to know where the horse’s shoulder blades are located. The shoulder blade is also referred to as the scapula.

The saddle bars should always be positioned behind the scapula. If the saddle is placed on the scapula bone, it will restrict freedom of movement.

If the saddle is too tight at the withers, you will need a wider gullet; the gullet is the arched area in the front of the saddle. If the gullet is too wide, it will sit down on your horse’s withers, this also will create a lot of discomfort to your horse. The width of the gullet is very important.

The skirt of the saddle should lay flat and not rub the hip area, you should be able to slide your hand under the skirt with ease. If you have a short backed horse, an Arabian or gaited horse, you will more than likely need a round skirted saddle.

You will need to continually recheck the fit of the saddle as your horse’s muscle structure changes; gains or losses weight. Your old saddle may not fit your new horse.

If you think the saddle fits your horse; saddle your horse using a saddle pad with a proper fitting girth and a familiar bridle. Ride your horse long enough for it to sweat. Be sure to walk, jog and canter both directions. Ask your horse to side step, back up and turn on the forehand. Pay attention to your horse’s attitude. Is your horse wringing its tail, are the ears flat back, is there a lot of head tossing, does your horse not want to go forward? This could indicate that the saddle does not fit your horse.

Check before you remove the saddle, did your saddle stay in the proper position? Take a look at the sweat pattern, is it even or are there dry spots? The sweat pattern should be even and the hair of the horse should be smooth laying in the same direction. You may need to try several saddles before you find the perfect fit.

A properly positioned and fitted saddle will be the beginning of a great ride. Now that the horse is happy with the saddle, are you? In the next article, we will discuss how to fit the saddle to the rider.

Kathy Yaskin, http://BestBuyHorseTack.com/ is your premier horse tack connection. We work very hard to bring you quality products at the best price. We offer products that we would use on our own horses, so you can have complete confidence in your every purchase.

Having been a professional horse trainer, clinician and riding instructor for the past 23 year, I understand your needs and have extensive knowledge of equestrian tack, training and horse behavior.


Origins of the Thoroughbred

As mentioned in our previous article, the origins of all horses belonging to the Thoroughbred breed have been attributed to three Arabian Stallions. The Byerley Turk (the earliest of the three), The Darley Arabian, and The Godolphin Arabian.

The Thoroughbred Jockey Club has documented some 3 million Thoroughbreds in their “Stud Book” and approximately 40,000 registered each year. The extreme diversity of Thoroughbred Stallions is reflected by the industries’ demand for a “Live Cover” by the Stud being used. That is to say the Thoroughbred industry does not permit transported semen or artificial insemination of any kind. The Arabian Jockey Club does allow for transported and frozen semen which limits the diversity of Stallions.

The Thoroughbred Jockey Club owes its beginnings to James Weatherby who created the first “Stud Book” in 1791. He listed pedigrees of over 350 mares, each of which could be traced back to “Eclipse”, a descendant of The Darley Arabian, Matchem, a grandson of The Godolphin Arabian or Herod, A great grandson of The Byerley Turk.

The first TB to reach America was a Stallion named “Bulle Rock” in 1730. Some 186 Thoroughbred’s would be imported to the colonies forming the foundation of the Thoroughbred family tree. Colonel Sanders Bruce published the first American Stud Book in 1873 and was subsequently taken over by The Jockey Club.

Progeny of Stallions and mares relate primarily to earnings on the race track. “Storm Cat” commanded a stud fee of $500,000.00 and his sons and daughters have won over $100,000,000.00 and he is considered to be a “Sire of Sires.” Just as important as the Sire is the Mare, and one of the most important bloodlines of the 20th. Century is the Mare “La Troienne.”

A number of Champions trace back to her including Seattle Slew, A.P. Indy, Sea Hero, Go For Gin, Easy Goer, etc., etc. Smarty Jones also has two crosses to La Troienne and he has bloodlines that go back to a War Admiral and La Troienne cross.

So it must be obvious that with 40,000 registered Thoroughbreds it is impossible to give anything except a brief overview of Thoroughbred bloodlines. I would refer the reader to three excellent books: Designing Speed by Ken McLean; Racehorse Breeding Theories by Frank Mitchell; and finally The Byerley Turk by Jeramy James in which he characterized the first and greatest Arabian Stallion and his rise to prominence through Capt. Robert Byerley.

We’ll next take a look at the Standard bred Horse as well as the ever popular Quarter Horse.

Joy D. Cox