There are soooo many things to consider when fitting a saddle! As a beginner, you really should get someone to help you with saddle fitting before you buy or there is a high chance that you could get something that doesn't fit you/the horse properly. A badly fitting saddle can cause so many problems including bad behaviour of the horse (i.e. bucking, napping, rearing, bolting.....) because the horse is in pain and eventually, the saddle can injure the horse. Some horses go for years with a badly fitting saddle without violently objecting because they are so good natured. What I am basically saying is, correct saddle fit is so, so, so, SO important lol (sorry for being slightly obsessive :roll:)
Factors to be considered include:
- wither clearance (3-4 fingers between top of wither and gullet of saddle.
- length of saddle (can't go past last rib)
- shoulder room (some saddles pinch the horse's shoulder if not fitted correctly)
- width (all horses back are different widths)
- balance (does the saddle tip forward or back? Is it level?)
- and a whole bunch of others too which are more complicated lol
And for the rider, one simple test is to have room for a hand width in front and behind you in the saddle. There are other factors too but this is a basic one.
Ok, I'm going to stop now before I either overwhelm, freak out or bore everyone lol
When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare