Saddlefit- Properly fitted equipment is imperative! (did you know some mystery lamenesses are 100% due to poor saddlefit?)
The horse's anatomy dictates how the saddle should fit, regardless of the brand, English, Western, Australian Stock, even Treeless. Knowing the basic anatomy of your horse is imperative, and understanding the basics of a saddle tree, panels, and construction is required education for a pain-free fit! The grid contains some of the more common saddle-fit issues I see in practice, but did you know that sometimes there aren't any outward signs like lumps and bumps, and the issues are 100% behavioral? Bucking, rearing, swapping leads, biting when saddled and girthed, ears pinned, yawning in the cross-ties, won't stand still to be saddled or mounted, and bloating, are all potential signs of ill-fitting tack and soreness!
Saddlefitting and finding the right saddle for you and your horse can be a time consuming and frustrating process. But when you understand HOW the saddle is supposed to fit, it can streamline the process. GET EDUCATED!
Current Saddles for Sale Listed at the bottom of this page!
dry spotsPressure from an ill-fitting tree creating dry spots behind the withers - this may progress to white hairs and galls if not corrected
White Hairs, Gall SoresWhite hairs, known as a Gall, created by a pinching saddle. Permanent damage to the skin creates scarring, and the muscles and nerves beneath may also be irreparably injured.
Shoulder AsymmetryUneven shoulders may create problems for saddlefitting; most horses are bigger on the left side.
Saddle ThermographyThermographic imaging highlights uneven flocking and panel contact on this dressage saddle.
Panel Too LongMany horses have short backs, creating problems when panels are too long and put pressure into the loin, resulting in pain, bucking, and hollowing.
ears pinned, teeth grindingbehavioral response to saddling, including pinning ears, biting the bars, grinding teeth and tensing
Saddle channelChannel is TOO NARROW to clear the spine, creating rubs, pressure, and behavioral problems
I have worked with Master Saddlers for 15 years, and am wholly familiar with English and Western saddles, as well as treeless, adjustable tree, adjustable panel, and more. As part of a saddlefitting evaluation, your horse's anatomy is reviewed, and current tack is assessed. The balance, length, angle, width, condition, and comfort are all reviewed. If it fits, it fits! If it doesn't, I am able to help guide you to styles or brands that may fit you and you horse's needs. Finding the right saddle can be a frustrating process and takes time, skill, and a financial investment. A properly fitted saddle is IMPERATIVE for your horse's comfort, soundness, and longevity.
In addition to being a Certified Saddlefit Technician through Saddlefit4Life(R), I am also a proud Authorized Saddlefitter for Peter Horobin Saddery, saddles including an adjustable Stride-Free(R) tree, pure merino wool-flocked panels, and the highest quality leather line of English, Racing, and Endurance saddles. A fitting session includes full measurements of you and your horse, demo rides whenever possible, and discussion of custom options. Learn more about the ANATOMY of SADDLEFIT and Peter Horobin's Story in the videos below.
I also ride and compete in Western Dressage and can help you with your Western saddle needs. See more on the Videos and Education page, and pick up a copy of my book Recognizing the Horse in Pain.
A Sample of the Peter Horobin Saddles
Current Sale Saddles:
Schleese Saddlery Custom Essential Dressage Saddle. Shoulder-relief and wedge relief custom panel, wool-flocked, Adaptree adjustable gullet/tree. In excellent condition. Perfectly suited to a shorter-backed horse with decent wither and shoulder, but completely adjustable by a Schleese rep. $3000. Email for more info.