Getting the Right Saddle for your Horse
Ensuring that you select the right saddle for your horse is
vital. It not only affects the position in which the rider will
sit, and therefore can be beneficial in preventing back ache or
muscle pain, but it also affects the horse. No responsible
horse owner would want their steed to be in discomfort and pain
and so choosing the best saddle is very important. There are
companies available who will measure your horse and recommend
the saddles that they think are most appropriate but as with
most things this service costs money. I highly recommend this
service as it ensures that you will not be causing any distress
to your horse when you ride it.
Once the correct saddle has been purchased it is important to
remember that positioning the saddle on the horse’s back is
also vital in ensuring your horse is comfortable when ridden.
There are three main muscles in the horse’s back which can be
affected by the use of a badly positioned saddle. It is
important to familiarize yourself with these and their
locations before attempting to position the saddle on your
horse. This will give you an idea of where the saddle needs to
sit in order to be most comfortable for the horse.
In addition to the muscles which can be affected by the saddle
you must remember that the saddle is positioned on the horse’s
back and so this can have an effect on the spine and its
vertebrae. Remembering this should remind you of how important
this lesson is and that you cannot afford to take risks with
your horse if you want it to lead a long and painless life.
Firstly, place the saddle on the horse’s back, forward of the
wither. Once you have done this, slide it back along the back
of the horse until it cannot comfortably go any further. This
will vary dependent on the shape of the individual horse but
the lowest point of the saddle should correspond to the lowest
point of the horse’s back. If the saddle is in the correct
position, the saddle tree will not be pressing on the scapula
(the shoulder of the horse) but will rest in the natural
grooves behind them. The most common mistake is to position the
saddle too far forward and this then causes the saddle to press
on the muscles in the scapula causing pain, impeding movement
and creating the possibility of saddle sores.
Once you have learned how to position the saddle you will find
it comes naturally after a time. It is worth taking the time to
do it properly though if you wish to remain the owner of a
healthy, happy horse.
About The Author: The author is a regular contributor to Saddle
where more information about
saddles and saddle sources is freely available.
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