Saddle Fitting Explained
Why have a saddle professionally fitted?
A saddle will probably be the most expensive single item which you will buy for your horse so it is really important that the choice you make is right.
Horse owners now recognize that to achieve optimum comfort and performance. The saddle, and the way in which it fits, is fundamentally important to the welfare, comfort and success of both horse and rider.
There is greater understanding by owners that horses 'change shape' for a variety of reasons. So the saddle which provided an good fit when it was purchased may require adjustment, alteration and even - in some cases - exchange at a later date. The size and width of the tree must be suited to the horse being fitted to.
It is recommended that the fit of your horses saddle should be checked and the saddle serviced by your fitter at least annually, possibly more regally should your horse require it.
A fitter’s extensive knowledge and experience in fitting saddles will help you to achieve this.
'The Saddle company' training covers the seven main points of fitting a saddle, taking templates, conformation issues, looking at different trees, using the template machine, how to flock a saddle.
‘The society of Master Saddlers’ Intruction saddle fitting course covers:-
Handling horses, back examination and recognition of gait malfunctions, lameness or un-level steps, recognition of asymmetric development, basic understanding of human anatomy, knowledge of individual disciplines, recognition of damage and defects in saddles, horse description and record keeping.
The most important aspect of all however is fitting saddles to horses according to their varying breed, type, size and conformation. The horse's welfare is always the most important consideration together with the rider's needs.
What should I look for in a correctly fitted saddle?