If the saddle doesn't fit YOU, does it affect your horse?

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If the saddle doesn't fit YOU, does it affect your horse?

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    10-23-2010, 11:39 PM
If the saddle doesn't fit YOU, does it affect your horse?

So today I tried out a horse and a saddle at the same time. The saddle was a 16" and I typically ride a 17" - 18" saddle. I knew it would probably be a bit snug on me but I was still interested, because it was a nicer saddle and I could have definitely found use for it. Anyway; I got on him and he was okay until he turned his head, and then he started jumping around. I knew immediately it was a pain issue... he was trying really hard not to rear or buck or do something back, so I stepped off and checked everything. I'd checked his back before I rode him for soreness and there was none, so something was probably pinching him.

Here's my question: If your saddle doesn't fit you, could it apply pressure in all the wrong places and hurt the horse? I thought about it and it makes sense, but I couldn't find any reading material on it. I have a video of the horse's incident; I will post whenever I get it uploaded to YouTube.

Also, I found this website. It's about a certain saddle pad or something, but it has good info on saddle fit. Saddles are a major problem for all horses. Here’s why:

Thanks in advance HF!
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    10-23-2010, 11:59 PM
Typically I would use a mounting block, but they didn't have one and I didn't trust those panels to climb on.
    10-24-2010, 12:01 AM

The first time I had ever seen Dancer was after I bought her. I figured I'd better go see what I got myself into. Daughter met me at the owner's house and brought her saddle with her. Daughter saddled up both Dancer and DJ and had no issues. Owner mounted Dancer and rode her for only a moment before Dancer suddenly pitched a bucking fit and threw her owner. The woman wasn't large by any means, but my daughter is tiny. She's been mistaken for a twelve year old, and she's 27. Daughter's saddle was a 14" saddle and didn't fit Dancer at all. Daughter got away with it because she only rode for a very few minutes and didn't weigh much. (This is one of the reasons I've been trying to find the right saddle for Dancer, with the right seat size for me - I weigh 260 and need a large seat size to distribute my weight over a large enough area as to not cause Dancer any pain. I'm old and don't bounce so well anymore!)
    10-24-2010, 12:04 AM
Thanks, Dee!

If the saddle fits the horse fine, but doesn't fit the rider, does it make a difference? That was my main concern... it's a gimme that if your saddle doesn't fit the horse then it will cause problems, but what if it fits just fine? Will adding a rider that doesn't fit the saddle change the way the saddle distributes pressure across the horse's back?
    10-24-2010, 12:10 AM
Sorry - I used a lot of words and didn't make a clear point. Yes - if your saddle seat is too small, it won't distribute your weight properly. Even if the saddle fits the horse, if it's too small for the rider, the weight is concentrated in too small an area and can be uncomfortable - for both horse and rider. It can also affect the riders balance and ability to move with the horse, making things worse.

I ride in a western saddle, but I'm sure the principle is the same in an english saddle...
    10-24-2010, 12:12 AM
Thanks again - that's kind of what I was thinking. This horse moved out just fine on the ground with this saddle, but as soon as I added my butt to the equation, he gave me a big fat "ouch!"

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