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caisiemay 10-28-2013 11:55 AM

Saddle placement question - pictures
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Hi everyone,

Is my saddle in the right place? A man at my barn questioned it yesterday saying "that saddle is pretty far up don't you think?" I've been riding in it placed here for 4 months now and my mare doesn't show any signs of pain. My trainer taught me where to place it but I just wanted to get a few other opinions :)

WhyAHorseOfCourse 10-28-2013 12:28 PM

It looks to be a bit too far forward which can be uncomfortable and restrict shoulder movement for the horse. Remember, horses don't have a shoulder joint and the scapula is only attached to the spine by muscles and tendons so it's not the greatest to be putting a lot of weight there.

You can see the shoulder/scapula here and where the saddle would restrict it from moving...

This is about where it should be.

farahmay 10-28-2013 12:49 PM

It looks like it's over the withers, or maybe it's just the photo. But anyway it looks a little too far forward to me!
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caisiemay 10-28-2013 12:49 PM

Thank you! That is extremely helpful. I will try moving it back a bit and see how she reacts :)

jmike 10-28-2013 01:52 PM

beau159 10-28-2013 02:41 PM

An easy way to make sure you've got your saddle behind the horses shoulders is to FEEL for the shoulder blade. In the beginning, walk your horse around you so you can physically feel where that shoulder blade moves. Eventually, you'll know how far back the saddle needs to be with your horse standing still.

Yes I would say you've got the saddle too far forward. That's a very common mistake.

Curly_Horse_CMT 10-28-2013 03:34 PM

Much too far forward. You want it placed *behind* the shoulder blade in order to allow freedom of movement for your horse. Right now it is sitting right on top if it and is very uncomfortable.
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luigi956 10-29-2013 12:18 AM

it is too far forward its a common mistake my brother for over a year would place it like you so no biggie just place it behind the shoulder blade good luck

bsms 10-29-2013 10:57 AM

Please remember that the shoulder is important with regard to the TREE, not the skirt. I agree that it is too far forward, but it is OK to have the skirt over the shoulder.

I suggest placing it on his back, no cinch, and walking him around in figure 8s. Then see where the saddle has come to rest on its own.

Lots of good info here:

Proper position of a Western saddle

Nocturva 10-29-2013 11:16 AM

Yeah too high up, common mistake, I made it too when I first got my horse cuz he has like no withers and riding it would literally ride up on his shoulders and I would feel myself sliding forward too much esp. english saddle you notice it more cause you gotta balance. I always feel the shoulder blade and place it right behind it and as for the girth on my guy, theres a little gap between his armpits and the girth instead of the girth riding up under his armpits. I know some horses there is no space, but anyway.

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