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Does my saddle fit my horse?

In this article we will discuss all things saddle fitting and why your saddle fit is so important for both you and your horse. 

A saddle is probably the most important piece of equipment for horse and rider. It helps distribute weight evenly across the horses back. However, a poorly fitted saddle can be costly to your riding and the horse’s performance. How your saddle sits on your horse can easily go unnoticed. Don’t forget, horses are constantly changing shape. If you have a saddle fitted to your horse from a young age, the likelihood is that as the horse gets older it no longer fits. We feel the fitting of your horses saddle sometimes goes unnoticed by their owner. Here at The Saddle Bank, we want to change that.

If by the end of the article you are not still not sure the best way to  measure your saddle’s seat size , why not get in touch with our friendly customer support team via phone 0345 030 4916 or email info@thesaddlebank.com. Our lovely team are always happy to help as much as they can and provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for you and your horse.

Did you know? A correctly fitting saddle is as important to an equine athlete as correctly fitting shoes to the human athlete.

Does my saddle fit


How should a saddle sit on my horse?


Your saddle should sit evenly on the horses back. With even pressure either side. A badly fitted saddle can cause pain to the horse. The front of the saddle should be positioned behind your horses shoulder blade. The place of your saddle is vital, it impacts directly on the horses movement. If you are competing professionally, having a horse with restricted movement is costly. Does your saddle sit too high at the front of the saddle? It could mean your saddle is too narrow. If your saddle sits too low, it could mean your saddle is too wide. The bars of the tree should not pinch the horse.

In simple terms, a saddle should support the horse in every sense. A saddle should not interfere too much with any part of the horses body. A good saddle will improve the horses movement, balance and rhythm. For the rider, it will improve the general feel of the horse, their balance, recovery if jumping and the riders position will be able to be maintained a lot easier throughout each movement.


Is your saddle causing issues for your horse?


Horses are highly intelligent animals, they can show us what is wrong by their body language and attitude. It is up to the owner/ rider to understand these differences and do what they can to make the horse happier.
If your horse is showing any of the following, it could mean your saddle doesn’t fit correctly:

  • Sores under the saddle,
  • White hairs under the saddle,
  • Swelling under the saddle,
  • Sensitivity in the saddle area,
  • Resistance to work,
  • Negative behaviour when doing up the girth,

As riders, we should always be observing the horses coat, particularly where the saddle sits. We can fix a problem before it becomes a problem. This is what makes riders great. If you ride in a badly fitting saddle, it could mean your horse doesn’t develop the correct muscles.

Does my saddle fit

When riding, pay attention to what your saddle is doing. If it does any of the following it could indicate, you need to investigate your saddle:

  • Saddle slips to one side,
  • Saddle raises up at the back
  • Clear gaps under the saddle
  • Too much movement in the saddle.

Top tip: You can see how your saddle is moving if you lunge your horse with your horses saddle on. Doing it this way means the rider can directly see how the saddle is moving without them on top.

If the saddle moves too much without the rider on, how is the rider supposed to stay stable with them on it! Check out our blog to check the fit of your saddle here

At The Saddle Bank we would always recommend having a qualified Saddle Fitter to fit your saddle and to routinely check the saddle. In between checks we recommend you regularly asses the fit of your saddle by taking a template of your horse or pony’s back every month. You will then know if your horse is changing shape or if the saddle isn’t fitting quite right.

Overall, saddles are vital for horse and rider as a partnership. We cannot expect our horse to perform to maximum capability if they are not happy. It could mean your saddle just needs re-shaping, most saddles we sell are adjustable. Sometimes you may need a new saddle, but don’t panic. At The Saddle Bank we have over 650 saddles in stock. This is a mix of new, ex demo and second hand saddles. So grab yourself a bargain and take a look at our website today!
Does my saddle fit

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Learn more about how saddles should fit….

Are you a horse owner/rider who would like to learn more about saddle fitting? Or learn how the saddle can impact your horses performance and welfare?
Click on the link below to learn more about how to recognise signs of a poor fitting saddle.

Thank you!

Thank you for reading this article on the Albion K2 Jump Adjusta Saddle! We hope you found it useful!
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The Saddle Bank Team x


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