Info: Saddle Fitting

* The criteria of fitting a saddle properly to the horse is a very important subject. The saddle works as an adapter to join the two dissimilar bodies into a working unit. It should provide comfort to both parties and enhance the pair's ability to move and communicate in unison. Often riders are unaware of a saddle fit problem. They may have difficulties with saddles that will not stay in place. If the saddle slides forward, the tree may be too wide. However, a few horses are exceptions to this rule and will require breastplates or tail cruppers to keep the saddle in the desired location. In extreme cases a saddle may still slip even when it fits properly. Excessive layers of fat around the girth area or behind the shoulders can make it difficult to secure and position the saddle. In such a case, our German made saddles can be ordered with POINT BILLETS which extend from the tree points.

* The natural dip behind the withers on most horses is the perfect placement area for the saddle. To find this spot, place the saddle on the horse's back, slightly forward onto the withers. Press down on the pommel and slide the saddle backwards until it comes to a stop at the proper resting place, then push it slightly forward again.

* If the saddle's position keeps throwing the rider's leg forward and his body backward behind the motion, the tree may then be too narrow.

* A rider can spot a problem from the ground. With the horse standing upright on level ground, look at the saddle from the side.

On all our deep seated saddles, the pommel should
sit about 1" lower than the cantle.

On all our flat seat close contact style saddles with a more shallow seat, the pommel should sit about 3/4" lower than the cantle.

* However, it is very important to remember that a new saddle should sit a little high in the front. An allowance has to be made for the panels to break-in. The saddle needs to be girthed down and the rider should sit in the saddle. Depending on the breed of horse, there may be a clearance of up to four fingers between the withers and the underside of the saddle's pommel, but the seat should be balanced. If your horse has low or no withers, an opening in the pommel area is of no significance as long as the seat is balanced and the rider sits in a central position.

* We recommend that you ride your new saddle for about twenty hours without using a saddle pad. This allows the panels to mold to the horse's back for a proper fit. After the saddle is broken in, a suitable saddle pad may be used.

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