Check it’s a good fit

Your Horse (UK) - - Ask The Experts -

QHow can I check my sad­dle fits prop­erly and how of­ten should I get it checked? Theresa Collins, Nor­folk

AWhen you buy a new sad­dle, your sad­dle fit­ter will ad­vise you to have it checked around two months af­ter pur­chase. The flock­ing may have set­tled and it’ll need top­ping up if the sad­dle is wool flocked. Af­ter this, get a check ev­ery six to 12 months.

How it fits

When check­ing your sad­dle, en­sure that it sits level on your horse’s back so it en­ables you to sit cen­trally. Un­der your weight, there should be ad­e­quate (but not ex­ces­sive)

clear­ance over his spine and the bear­ing sur­face of the sad­dle shouldn’t ex­tend be­yond his last rib. When the sad­dle’s rid­den in, look for ex­ces­sive move­ment – it’s a prob­lem if the back of the sad­dle lifts up and down in ris­ing trot, or the sad­dle sits off to one side, like­wise if it slips for­wards or back­wards. Fi­nally, it’s good prac­tice to check all the girth straps are in good or­der and that the pan­els are smooth and soft. Hard lumpy pan­els won’t do your horse’s back any good.

Your sad­dle should re­main still when you’re rid­ing

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