Saddle Fitting Guide for the Horse
A well-fitted saddle is an essential requirement of the horse rider in every manner. Not only will it help in equalizing the weight of the rider on the horse’s back, but it will also provide a proper fit and comfort to the rider. In short, a right-fitting saddle will promote the better performance of the horse and the rider.
We all know that a single saddle fitting may not be suitable for every other horse. That’s why specific rules help you take the correct measurements for the proper saddle fitting. Also, it’s pretty obvious to say that your horse’s weight may change over time. Thus, it’s better to look for the right saddle fitting guide for your horse instead of choosing any saddle online.
As we know, each and every horse differ in size and shoulder areas that define the length and width of the Saddle they require. Here we’ll help you out in figuring out the correct measurement of the Saddle for your horse.
Fitting the Saddle on the Horse’s back
As you place the Saddle on the horse’s back, there are bars that parallel either side of the gullet. They are there to protect the horse’s spine from the direct pressure of the rider’s weight. Thus, it evenly distributes the weight across the horse’s body.
If the rider is on the heavier side, it’s obvious they’ll need a bigger saddle for the horse. At the same time, make sure that the saddle size, rider’s weight and the horse’s size all lie in equal proportion.
How to Fit a Saddle to the Horse?
As we all know, finding the right Saddle for the horse can be a challenging task. In the same reference, you can determine the following points –
- Seat size: Every saddle seat size differs from the other. Make sure the Saddle must not sit at the last rib. It can either sits a little forward for feasibility.
- Saddle Skirt Length: The Saddle’s skirt should not be too far from the hip area. Likewise, it also depends upon the size of the horse you have.
- Width of Saddle: The Saddle width will allow you to check how wide the Saddle will spread.
One thing you have to be sure about is that Saddle should stay at the centre whenever you are checking it. If you want to check the most vital points, you must sit at the seat and check if it’s comfortable and convenient.
Saddle Features that Determine its Fitting
In accordance with the gullet width of the Saddle, people often forget to check the bar fitting. Similarly, they significantly impact the proper fitting of the Saddle for the horse. Here we have mentioned how the gullet or the underneath part of the Saddle will fit on the horse’s back.
- Bar Flare:
As the saddle tree is the first part that sits on the horse’s back, you can fix the bar by moving it back and forth for adjustment.
Make sure the front area does not fall too close to the horse’s shoulder, as it will interfere with the movement.
- Bar Slope:
The bar of the saddle gullet should be in the absolute curve as the horse’s back. In accordance, it should be in close contact with the horse but not too suffocating simultaneously.
- Gap or Bridging:
As the bars fit in the proper alignment over the horse, there’s no gap in between. However, if there’s a bridging between the saddle placement and the horse’s back, it will cause a dip across the back. Moreover, it will not allow the rider’s pressure to equally distribute over the Saddle.
- Bar Shape:
If the bar of the Saddle is too much bending over the horse, then it will not be suitable for the horse’s movement. However, it’s rare and doesn’t often occur with most saddle issues.
Check the Saddle’s Fit
Once you are looking at the Saddle that you have to buy, make sure you always look at the tree first. There are two essential parts that you have to cover first – gullet width and bar angle. Many combinations are available in the market; you just have to make sure which one fits your horse correctly.
Though there is no specific or standard sizing of the saddle tree, you can follow simple ideas for the proper fitting. As we talked about in the above passage, all you have to worry about is the gullet width and bar angle for the proper saddle fitting.
The width of the gullet will determine the placement of the Saddle on the horse’s back. Always make sure that the width is spread just 2 inches more so that it’s adjustable as per the horse’s comfort.
Measuring the gullet first is more convenient and then moving further with other parts. In addition, always make sure that you are taking the measurement right under the bars.
“Note that if the gullet is too narrow as per the horse’s measurements, it will keep the Saddle a little higher. On the other hand, if it’s too low, the Saddle drops down further without giving a proper fit. Hence, it’s always important to take the absolute marking when measuring the gullet width for the horse’s Saddle.”
It is obvious to know that the bar angle is mainly to be measured close to the horse’s back. However, most people do not likely forget to take measurements of that part for the correct saddle fitting.
Just in case with the gullet width, too much narrow or wide range of bar angle will not be suitable for the horse’s back.
Measurement of Horse Saddle
Remember that they differ in parts and structure when you are looking to measure a horse saddle. The seat size, gullet, saddle’s width, and tree size of the saddle will all be measured for the proper outlook of a saddle.
The proper way to measure any horse saddle is by sitting on a chair and taking the proper measures. You may use a measuring tape to be accurate, which defines the exactness of different angles.
If you are taking the measures for an English saddle, know that it does not have as large a cantle as the Western saddle. Similarly, there will be specific changes in an English saddle compared to the Western one. So, it’s required that you take the absolute measurements of the saddle before purchasing it online.
Saddle Fitting Guide: Size Chart
|Rider’s Weight||Rider’s Height||English Saddle Size||Western Saddle Size|
|60 – 100lbs||4’10 – 5’2 feet||15” – 15.5” saddle||13” – 13.5” saddle|
|100 – 140lbs||5’2 – 5’6 feet||15.5” – 16” saddle||13.5” – 14.5” saddle|
|140 – 180lbs||5’6 – 5’10 feet||16” – 17” saddle||14.5” – 15.5” saddle|
|180 – 200lbs||5’10 – 6 feet||17” – 18” saddle||15.5” – 16.5” saddle|
|200 – 220lbs||6’ – 6’2 feet||18” – 19” saddle||16.5” – 17.5” saddle|
|220lbs and above||6’2 and above||19” and above saddle||17.5” and above saddle|
If there’s any confusion in deciding the right size, you can always take it with your saddle expert. Also, whenever in doubt, you can always go for a size bigger than the actual measurement. Remember that taking a saddle that’s too small will make you sit on the cantle, which will be troublesome.
Remember that the saddle fitting of a horse is the utmost reason for going through all these calculations. So, it’s phenomenal to get the right saddle fitting for your horse and yourself. While other points can be put into use, you may also take professional advice from a saddle fitter. Hence, it will become easier to choose your horse saddle in the exact measurements.
Here we have listed the right angles that you can choose accordingly –
- Normal Angle: 86 degree
- Wide Angle: 90 degree
- Extra Wide Angle: 94 degrees
While there be other ways to measure the proper saddle fitting for your horse, you can follow the above-given information for reference. If you want to buy a saddle from our website, do not worry, as we can help you find the perfect fitting Saddle. You can call or email our experts, and they will guide you through the absolute fit for the horse.
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