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How to measure a horse for a saddle

fitting a horse saddle

If you are a beginner at horse riding, the most important thing you need to learn is how to fit a saddle. More or less, it is the essential skill you need to learn being a horse owner and learning the correct techniques to ride. Furthermore, a properly fitted saddle will allow you to enjoy a comfortable ride with your Horse without any accidental falls. Similarly, if the saddle does not fit right, it may develop sores on the Horse or even the rider.

Whether you are using an English saddle or a Western saddle, the basics of fitting are the same. However, you can apply different fitting techniques for distinct types of horse saddles available in the market. More so, the first thing you need to do is measure the Horse before fitting the saddle.

What’s the importance of a proper saddle fit?

The purpose of the saddle is not to provide comfort, but it acts as an intermediary between the Horse and the rider. It simply means, if your saddle does not fit properly, it will not give the right signs to the Horse about the rider’s command. Thus, it will not allow the Horse to be in close contact with the rider for proper communication.

fit a horse saddle

Here are some of the essential aspects of a horse saddle’s proper fit –

  • The proper fit of the saddle is essential as the panel sits on either side of the Horse’s spine and the muscles. An improperly fitted saddle will slip and cause blisters to the Horse and shoulder muscle aches.
  • If a saddle is too big to sit on the Horse, it will keep on slipping and cause painful back sores. Thus, a well suitable saddle will not cause any such issue.
  • A well-made and proper fitting saddle will last for many years in the same condition.
  • As the Horse gets older, the shape and fitting of the saddle may also change as the passing years. Furthermore, you can always change the fitting as per the needed adjustments.
  • After the purchase price of your Horse, the saddle is the next expensive thing that you’ll need to buy. Thus, investing in a proper fit saddle will save your money from the other remodelling of the equipment.

Note – Just like it’s impossible to walk in a poorly fitted shoe, similarly, a badly fitted saddle will be painful for the Horse and the rider as well. More so, there will be more chances of accidental falls from the Horse due to improper fitting of the saddle.

1. Measuring Horse for a Saddle

It can be a bit tricky to measure your Horse for the correct saddle fitting. You can follow specific points for the right saddle fit for the Horse. Also, if you have no knowledge about the measuring procedure, you can ask a nearby saddler to come and help you out. Moreover, an experienced person will always have the best techniques to apply in the process.

See also: How to choose the right saddle for your horse?

Apart from taking the help, measuring the Horse by yourself will be more advantageous. It further means that fitting a saddle to a horse will bring in learning points to the owner of the Horse. Alongside, you’ll need some basic information like – the saddle’s size, type, and construction according to your Horse. The first thing you need to choose is the type that may come under – narrow, wide, extra-wide or flexible.

2. Saddles: Wither Test

Before placing on the blanket, you need to slide the saddle onto your Horse to see if it’s the right fit. Though it’s not advisable to ride without a pad yet, checking the exact fit is a must for further references.

Now, you will be required to check the tree that settles under the saddle and how well does it fit. Do not push hard on the saddle and let it sits naturally on the Horse’s back. You can also slip your fingers underneath and check whether it fits rightly or not. Make sure that it’s not too close to the Horse’s back, as when you sit, it adjusts the gap in between.

3. Body Structure Measurements

The most obvious thing about buying the right fit saddle for your horse is by taking the correct measurement. The structure of your horse’s body will determine which saddle you need to buy. Needless to say, your horse’s body type will identify the saddle’s exact gullet size.

There can be different types of horse body structures, and they all vary in using the type of horse saddle. Likewise, you can buy a saddle once you have the appropriate body structure of your horse. Here we have stated the average size of the gullet according to the horse structure –

  • Pony – 5″ to 5.5.”
  • Narrow Build Horse – 6″
  • Average Build Horse – 6.5″
  • Wide Build Horse – 7″
  • Draft Horse – 8″

Those who are willing to buy the horse saddle online can easily measure the exactness of the saddle’s gullet. Likewise, if you are willing to purchase a saddle online, you must be willing to take it at the lowest prices. Therefore, it’s common to say that most people look for readily available options in the market.

4. Saddles: Balance and Level Test

As the saddles sit on the Horse’s back, make sure that it sits according to the topline. In general, all types of saddles should have a slight U-shape that goes along the back of the Horse. More so, the dip in the saddle should be in the right balance according to the Horse’s back and size.

See also: How to perfectly measure a horse saddle?

Before buckling up, you can sit and walk around on the Horse to check if the saddle looks even on both sides. Furthermore, you should be in the central position, and the balance must be equally maintained.

5. Evaluate the Saddle

Once you have chosen the saddle, you can clearly determine its factors for the proper fit. For this, you can check the gullet clearance, sweat patterns and levelness of the saddle. Likewise, you have to measure the gullet size by figuring out the space between the gullet and the animal.

If you have to check the levelness, you can take a step back and see if the saddle is in the right position. Moreover, if it’s not in the right adjustment, there certainly may be an occurrence of sliding back and forth on the saddle. Thus, you should always consider taking the right measurements before you buy a saddle online.

Final Thoughts –

It doesn’t matter what riding discipline you are using; if it fits best, you and your Horse will be in the most comfortable position while enjoying the ride. Also, it will boost up the natural gait and stride of the Horse, and you’ll feel at ease while riding. In addition, if you feel the need, you can certainly choose to buy saddles online from our website. More so, you need to keep in mind the right fit and size of the saddle according to the Horse.

Related Source:-

Different Parts of Horse Saddle

Horse Saddle and Strength

Gaited Horse Saddle

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