Sunday, June 03, 2012

Saddle Fitting 201

Now that Guinevive is here it has decided to rain.  On Saturday, it didn’t just rain, it POURED.  So she took that time to clean up our all-purpose, hunter/jumper, and Wintec saddles.  Today, as we had a break in rain this morning, we loaded up the truck (after I washed all the manure out of the bed from having made a delivery in the rain yesterday) and visited all the horses to check which saddles fit them better.

2 fingers between point and shoulder blade
In fitting a saddle to a horse it is imperative to make sure you have placed it in the correct position first so that the saddle never impinges on the movement of the horse’s shoulder blades.  You want the forward points of the saddle to be an inch or two behind the shoulder blade; we use two finger widths as an easy and portable measuring device.  Additionally, you want the saddle short enough so that it doesn’t go beyond the last rib as there is no way to support the rider’s weight if it does.

Flatten fist for measuring the pommel arch
Next check is the distance between the pommel (or horn) arch and the horse’s withers.  If you are not on the horse, an easy measurement is a flatten fist.  If you have a rider who can get on the horse, then you want a distance of about two fingers.  The flatten fist also allows you to ensure that the width of the arch isn’t too narrow so that it doesn’t pinch the horse.

Once these are assured then you will want to saddle up and ride the horse.  If you ride hard enough to produce sweat and then take the saddle off you should be able to see the mark/shape from the saddle on the horse’s back.  It should be a complete print without any missing spots.  For a more complete description of all you should check please visit this  great site!

As I mentioned above, we went around to all the horses, except *Walker who uses a treeless saddle and *Glory who is completely retired, to find out which saddles would be the best choice for them.  Once one horse had had a saddle on its back, all the others were eager to try one on for size and came up to whomever had the saddle in their hands to “present” themselves.  Even young *Andi, who is too young for riding in our opinion, just had to try them on!  That little lady is one horse who just loves to try new things and do whatever the human next to her suggests.

Beautiful Z Silken, our saddle model.
We certainly enjoyed our time with them and hope you also had a great day with your horse!

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