If you are on this site, you are looking for a saddle for you and your horse that looks good, is comfortable, and most importantly, will fit your horse properly. RHMequine.com is the best saddle store online and would like to show how important proper fitting saddles are to you and your horse.
Picking out the wrong saddle is a problem. And it is not just one way that the saddle can fit poorly, there are a multitude. Imagine putting on a pair of shoes that don’t fit you. Either they are too loose, or too tight, too wide or too narrow, or even just wrong in one spot. Now imagine having to run around for an hour or so with these poorly fitting shoes on. Well, now you know how horses feel when they are not saddled up correctly. No wonder why some horses sometimes behave badly!
How Important Is the Saddle
A properly fitting saddle is a tremendous help to your horse’s comfort and performance, as well as your own. Now, it would be great to have the money to invest in a custom saddle for each horse/rider combination. But that often isn’t possible, and one saddle is often shared between many different horses. It’s important to take a serious look at the way the saddle fits the horse. Make adjustments if needed. If the adjustments are not sufficient, sometimes you have to make another purchase of a different saddle that will fit your horse’s back properly.
A proper saddle fitting starts with the horse. Are the withers high? Is the back straight, or is it roached or swayed? Are the muscles of the horse’s back well developed, or is the horse new to training and will be filling out in time? Once you have an overall idea of conformation, feel the horse. Feel for sensitive areas, muscle soreness, even saddle rubs. Often a chiropractic evaluation and adjustment is performed during this exam, which can yield more information about how the horse has been using his body.
Next, it’s time to take a look at the saddle itself. There are several lines of symmetry that should be evaluated. A well-made saddle should be symmetrical back to front, on both the topside and upside down, and through the gullet. The panels should be equally padded on both sides. The tree should give good resistance with compression. Finally, evaluate the integrity of the leather. Rotten billets or stirrup leathers may not present a “fitting” issue, but having one break while riding is a serious problem.
Finally, evaluate the saddle on the horse. It’s best to start off by placing the saddle on the horse’s back without any pads, girths or breastplates. Just sit it down and see where it settles in. Sometimes it’s helpful to walk the horse a few strides and see where the saddle “wants” to sit. All the contraptions in the world won’t keep your saddle in place if it’s naturally sliding off the horse’s hindquarters.
Evaluating saddle fit takes time, and a critical eye. Once you know where the trouble spots are, you can adjust them accordingly. Of course, no pad will make a very poorly fitting saddle fit “well”.
This is really great advice on choosing a saddle which is a very important decision. Now is the time to look into the best saddle store online has the best arrangement of equine blankets, English saddles, Western saddles, English saddle pads, Western saddle pads, as well as feeding and watering supplies on RHMEquine.com. If you are shopping on this website, you are already halfway there.