Saddles too far forward??... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Saddles too far forward??...

So on a thread a little while ago people told me my saddle was too far forward on the horse's shoulder. I was confused, and am now questioning how I have always been tacking up horses, as well as paying attention to other peoples' horses and how they tack up and now I am confused at just exactly HOW forward is TOO far forward. I understand that shoulder movement is important, and the saddle can restrict the movement if placed incorrectly. I found this video and thought the saddle looked WAY too far forward. It's hard to judge because I can't see the rest of the horse's body, but if you watch the shoulder you can clearly tell it's moving under the saddle. I may be pegging it wrong; what do you guys think? I'd love to learn more.

Also, a picture of the horse that people told me the saddle was too far forward on.

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post #2 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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bumpedy bumppp

I'm so busy, I don't know if I've found a rope... or lost my horse...
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post #3 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 02:13 AM
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saddle placement in general

I haven't watched the video yet but let me answer you question regarding the placement of saddles. I looked at your photo and it may be a bit too far forward, the photo is kind of dark so that it's hard to see where that horse's shoulder blade and its' back edge really are. In any case, in a Western saddle, the conch (which marks the front edge of the tree) should be just about an inch behind the back edge of the shoulder blade of the horse when it is standing square. The western saddles's skirt will extend actually over the shoulder area, and as such it must be loose enough (have enough "flare" outward from the body of the horse) so that the shoulder blade can move back and forth to a small degree UNDER the skirt. If the saddle is too tightly fitted at the shoulder it will disallow this freedom of movement. Or if it is too far forward the tree itself , where the actual weight of the rider is carried, will be on top of the shoulder and pinching it.

Does this make sense? Looking at that photo, I am wondering if that saddle isn't lacking in the kind of freedom for the shoulderblade that I talked about with "flare" in the front edge.
Or, it is a bit too far forward.

Now, to watch that video and if you can stand my yakking, I will make another post. . . .
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post #4 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 02:16 AM
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Yes, you are sooOO right! That saddle is way too far forward. It is totally resting right on top of that poor horse's shoulder blade. It is probably 3 to 4 inches too far forward. That horse is in so much discomfort. And then they throw all that crap on it; martingales, tiedown and such, put a rider on it who won't post to ease it's back and then have her mindlessly snap, snap at it's head to get a headset? Yikes!
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post #5 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 03:24 AM
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I agree with tinyliny from above. Looks too far forward to me. I know too many people who only look at the whithers and the cinch strap for placement of their saddles insted of where the tree lays on the horse.
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post #6 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 06:46 AM
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I think it may be a bit too far forward, but not bad. Maybe back just a little!

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post #7 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 07:54 AM
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Who has a picture of what a saddle should look like on a horse. I probably put my saddle too far forward too. I have seen the cinch on horses further back, like not near the elbows. I dont get it. When I put my saddle further back I feel like it isnt right. In fact, when she moves the saddle starts to scoot forward into the position I normally have it. I know when you put a saddle on you should start at the withers and pull it back until it settles in its spot. I honestly think saddle fitting is the hardest thing to have to fix. How old is the horse in the video? I just watched Julie Goodnight yesturday on head set and this was an arab she worked with. You have so much on that horse I cant tell what your riding in. Let me know how old the horse is and if you are just starting to train it.
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post #8 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 08:49 AM
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That video is not of her horse, lol. Just a clip she found on Youtube. I never heard of saddle fitting until I cam on this forum, folks around her don't take that into mind. They just slap the saddles on and go, so naturally, I did that too.

I know that the saddle is supposed to clear the withers, the back (spine) and heard the saddle should actually put the moet pressure on the horse's sides. Also, It shouldn't restrict shoulder movement, by what was called flaring out?

Can the saddle rest on the shoulders if you can fit your fingers in there to know it's not restricting movement? You guys just make it seem like the saddle needs to fit half way down the horses back or something, where, I have always thought it further up than that.

This is a helpful video I came across:

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post #9 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 09:24 AM
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^^ That is one of the better videos on saddle fit that I've seen. Thanks.

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post #10 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 10:18 AM
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I only every fit english saddles but even I can see that that saddle is half way up the poor horses neck.

Its amazing howmany riders put thier saddle too far forwards.
Putting a saddle back a few inches can free the horses shoulder, make it easier for the horse to lift his withers and free the horses neck so he can balance himself properly.

A properly fitting saddle is essential. A badly fitting saddle Will cause pain, bad behavior, rearing, bucking, evasions, muscle damage, nerve damage and in some severe cases can cause skeletal issues like kissing spines.

A saddle should be fitted to the HORSE primarily and then to the rider. That said a good rider should be able to ride in any saddle.
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