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What is Saddle Fitting?


A) Selling a saddle to you

B) Fitting the saddle to the horses back

C) Fitting the saddle to the horse and the rider

D) Looking at the horse with a holistic overview to look at what choices are best for now and the short term vs medium term, what physical challenges the horse and riders have (injury/conformation/current fitness, size needed vs size appropriate) and assessing this both static and in motion while  considering who else in the horses team needs to be worked with (massage therapist/physio/osteo or other body workers, bit fitters, farriers, vets, coaches).

If you think saddle fitting is A) then you need a new fitter.

If you think it's D) then you are on the right track.

The more we know about saddle fitting with research coming out on horse and riders, saddle design and the influence of hoof length & angles, riders weight, saddle widths & knee block shapes, influence of girths and half pads, and common physical issues of the horse like Kissing Spine and Cervical vertebrae malformation, the more complicated saddle fitting becomes.

Did you know that horses with "wither pockets" have been though to have had BAD SADDLE FIT, but did you know that it's usually to do with poor posture (which can be saddle related, but you do see this in unridden horses)? Horses that push saddles sideways are often compromising for biomechanical issues, and while flocking and shimming can help, this isn't fixing the problem, it just aims to keep it 'neutral' while the horse goes through rehab/ fitness/ heals from injury.

Posture is important, as this is what gives insight into what is happening for the horse on a biomechanical level. If your horse's posture isn't great, reach out to your horses body worker or vet.

Saddle fitting is part of TEAM work- and we all want the best for you and your horse.


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