Last time here on the blog, we discussed skin issues associated with saddle fit. This time, let’s touch more on things specific to saddle fit.
A large portion of the time your horse will feel the discomfort of a poor saddle design or fit before you feel or see them. This is why it is important to inspect all your tack before saddling up. It’s like driving a car. One visually glances at the tires and checks the gas gauge before driving.
Let’s check out the seven common faults found in English saddles:
- A twisted tree. Twisted saddles do not sit straight, which can cause damaging pressure on the horse’s back.
- Panel problems. Uneven, lumpy, or overly stiff panels can cause pressure points on the horse’s back.
- A broken tree. Never repair or weld a broken saddle tree. Instead, find a new properly fitting saddle for your mount.
- Poor flexible points. If the leather does not cover the point on the tree fully, it can be painful to the horse.
- Poor panel fillings. Same as mentioned above, but be sure that the material is a high-quality long fiber wool and that it is not mixed with different types.
- Snapped girth straps. These should be repaired immediately. This is mainly for rider safety.
- Stirrup bar problems. Any defects with the stirrup bar are major safety issues for the rider.
The Horse.com has a more informative description on all of these in an extended article – follow this link to read more.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and Ride safe!
Crystal Sharp, CVT
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