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.