The last word on English saddle fitting

The last word on English saddle fitting

Nine informative videos to help you ensure your saddle fits your horse!

A couple weeks ago I blogged about the importance of finding a saddle that fits both you and your horse.  I also posted a link to a helpful video on doing a wither trace and determining correct saddle fit.

Shortly after blogging about it, I was in a tack shop for something else, and saw an older saddle on consignment for an unbelievably good price.  I took it with me on loan to try it out on both my horses.  (Any good saddle shop will either let you take the saddle on loan, or offer a return policy so that you aren't stuck with a saddle that doesn't fit.)

I was lucky in that the saddle did fit my younger horse, the one with the wider withers, who is currently in training.  It's not a perfect fit, but it doesn't feel like it will pinch or otherwise hurt him, so it will do nicely as a first saddle.

In determining the fit of the saddle, I relied heavily on a series of videos I found on YouTube, which described English saddle fitting more thoroughly than anything I've ever seen before.  There are nine videos, each of which deals with a different aspect of saddle fit:

  1. Balance
  2. Wither clearance
  3. Gullet channel width
  4. Full panel contact
  5. Billet alignment
  6. Saddle length
  7. Saddle straightness
  8. Tree angle
  9. Tree width

And none of this, of course, takes into account whether the seat fits the rider.  Who knew that fitting a saddle to a horse could be so complicated, or that an improperly fitting saddle had so many different ways to hurt your horse?