Is it really important to have your saddle correctly fitted?
From the horse’s point of view, he doesn’t actually need a saddle, or any form of tack come to think of it. He can get from A to B quite well thank you very much without having such a thing strapped to his back. Riders however, often needs all the help they can get.
To keep this partnership together requires that the horse be saddled with something of the right size, shape, fit and balance. Colour is optional and left to his owner’s discretion.
From the riders point of view, whether your discipline is a quiet hack around the countryside or competing at the highest level, you need to be able to sit in an optimum position that allows you to ride in a balanced, comfortable, secure and effective manner.
Put in the very simplest terms, think of the saddle as a shoe and the horse’s back the foot and you begin to understand the importance of comfort in order to allow full movement and performance for any given length of time.
It is important to remember that horses, like people, change shape. This can be due to many differing factors such as seasonal changes, change of environment, work and fitness levels. Younger / older horses develop or lose muscle tone & bulk as well as gain or lose weight. Also, any injuries or dental conditions could affect the horse’s way of going and thus the comfort and fit of the saddle.
The saddle needs to be monitored throughout all of this. The Saddle Fitter may advise adjustment, pads for short term use or even a change of saddle if you are to expect the horse to perform at his most willing and best.
This monitoring should be carried out regularly by the owner/rider and by the saddler every 6-12 months, depending on each individual case.
There are many indepth articles written about saddle fitting. The above is just a short, light hearted look at some basic but important reasons for having your saddle checked and monitored. Both myself or any Qualified Saddle Fitter will be happy to discuss and advise you with your individual needs. Peace of mind is often no more expensive than a phone call and chat.