Saddle fitting is not rocket science, but it is a skill that must be learned – the ideal combination of art (feel) and science (analysis of measurements to determine the optimum fit). It’s relatively easy to go out and take measurements and do drawings; it’s what you do with this information that is crucial.
There are 9 basic points of saddle fit that will be discussed individually in future tips, but once you have ensured that your saddle basically fits in accordance with each of these, you need to remember that at any given time there are still several outside influences that can affect either the horse, the rider, and ultimately the fit and balance of the saddle. These are just some of them, and this is why it is important to ensure you have ongoing maintenance and saddle fit evaluations.
Ability improves; changes disciplines; new trainer with different expectations, rider weight loss or gain.
Training/Conditioning; teeth floated; age; nutritional changes; health swings; new shoes.
Flocking shifts; leather condition; billets stretching; tree twisting (due to uneven musculature of horse and/or rider); seat foam settles.
Jochen Schleese, Certified Master Saddler and Saddle Ergonomist developed the Saddlefit 4 Life 80 point diagnostic evaluation to help you and your horse achieve optimal saddle fit! Book a Saddlefit 4 Life Educational event for your group!