Measure saddle width here over bone. from highest point of wither..JPG

SADDLE FITTING GUIDE

If you’re looking to buy a saddle from Saddlewise-Southwest then take a look at our guide below which will help you choose the right option. We’re based in Plymouth and supply across the UK.

 

REMEMBER: SADDLE FIT FOR HORSE + SADDLE FIT FOR RIDER = BALANCED RIDER!

SADDLE FITTING GUIDE
CURVE DETAILS AND MEASUREMENTS

Narrow - 9"

Medium - 11.2"

Wide - 12"

Extra Wide - 13"

Extra, Extra Wide- 14"

 

CONSIDER THESE POINTS:

  • Head shaking?

  • Makes faces when you approach with a saddle?

  • Bites or shakes his head when girthing?

  • Twitching in saddle area under your brush / touch?

  • When mounted, do you feel pushed forward? Or are you tipped back?

  • Is the saddle level (when mounted, the pommel and the cantle should be level, although there are some exceptions depending on the make of the saddle)?

  • Does the saddle swing at the back (not to be confused with his hips moving side to side)? A saddle may have to be lifted to allow this movement hence springing in tree. It must always return with the gullet over the dorsal line.

  • Tosses his head when jumping or in rising trot?

  • Tosses his head up and down particularly coming homewards from hacking?

  • Nap or rear? Heavy on the forehand with short stride?

  • Tracks up after warm up? Refuses fences?

  • Does he move as well as when he’s on his own in the field? Does he move freely forward? Is he soft to the bit and free when it comes to shoulder movement?

  • Downhill - is he freely forward or mincing his steps?

  • Does he have white patches or hollows behind the wither?

  • Is his coat rippled when you remove the saddle?

  • He may have mental issues too.

  • Does he have poor top line dropping each side of the spine?

More questions are answered here.

 

If any of these issues occur, your saddle probably does not fit and the tree will not match his frame. Most likely, it will be the incorrect width for his shoulder.

Does the saddle push to one side (Tip: with saddle on horse, stand in front of head and look at the shoulders on each side. Get the horse to lower their head straight to front on level ground and gauge shoulder shape on each side. Use bucket food or titbits. If his shoulder is more pronounced on the right from front than the saddle will be pushed to your right as you ride – you will need to use Stephen Gel-eze Pads to pump the blood around the muscle to help it recover).

To avoid saddle rubs, use your saddle straight on the horse's back. Damp and movement will mould it to his changing shape as he develops and make it much more comfortable for the horse!

Most riders choose a saddle for looks or fashion – ‘it’s a must-have because of the name!’ They do not realise they are paying for the advertising of that name! Many saddles are made by one-person businesses. If the saddle is of excellent quality, there is no need for a name as they are sold as soon as they are made – they’re craftsmen in their own right. However, your comfort is your choice. Every rider has a different feel, a different width of pelvis / seat bones, also a different length of leg "knee to hip". This determines what size saddle you require - every rider has their own style! Some insist on riding short and gripping with their knees and have been taught to ride this way instead of on a 3-point seat with a longer leg.

The space above the wither is important but it’s not the only criteria for saddle fitting. It is not a specified height! Also - where the girth hangs and fits the horse – this is down to the horse’s conformation. The slope of the horse’s shoulder, conformation, ribs, panel depth, weight of rider - all determine a comfortable fit.

It may not be your riding after all that is at fault. I have a large selection of used saddles and you are welcome to email pictures for an opinion.
 

 
 

FOR MORE INFORMATION WHEN IT COMES TO SADDLE FITTING, CALL SADDLEWISE-SOUTHWEST ON 07875 707683