Does Your Saddle Meet These Criteria?
If your saddle is fitting correctly then it should comply with the following criteria:
- The width and length of the saddle must be suitable for the horse's shape.
- Your saddle must have total clearance of the spinal process through the gullet.
- Your saddle should be positioned correctly behind the horse's scapula (shoulder).
- The bearing area (panel) should be in contact all the way along the back.
- The saddle should be balanced, you should be sitting centrally in the seat - any tipping forward
or back can cause pressure points and, ultimately, soreness.
- Your saddle should be suited to your horse and you. Generally, a smaller rider on a big horse
isn't a problem within reason, whereas a larger rider on a small horse can cause your saddler
a multitude of problems. The horse will always be my priority.
- Your saddle should remain central on your horse's back whatever his/her paces. It shouldn't
swing from side-to-side or lift off the back too much, although there is an acceptable amount of
movement and some horses just have a more bouncy action.
- Your saddle panels should be completely symmetrical, unless a qualified saddle fitter has
flocked it to match your horse's asymmetry.
- The flock in the panel of your saddle should be soft and free from lumps. If it feels hard, then it
probably needs a re-flock, something only a qualified saddler can do.
If your saddle fails any of these criteria, you should contact me for help.