Common Equine Saddle Faults

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:
  1. A twisted tree.  Twisted saddles do not sit straight, which can cause damaging pressure on the horse’s back.
  2. Panel problems.  Uneven, lumpy, or overly stiff panels can cause pressure points on the horse’s back.
  3. A broken tree.  Never repair or weld a broken saddle tree. Instead, find a new properly fitting saddle for your mount.
  4. Poor flexible points.  If the leather does not cover the point on the tree fully, it can be painful to the horse.
  5. 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.
  6. Snapped girth straps.  These should be repaired immediately.  This is mainly for rider safety.
  7. 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