Question: Does your saddle reeaaalllly fit??? - Page 12 - The Horse Forum
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post #111 of 121 Old 11-27-2012, 11:10 PM
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A good reminder about saddle fit

We are having some problems with our pony mare rearing. Although she is very green, this behaviour seems out of character for her and I suspect it has something to do with the saddle. After watching the OP videos, we will check saddle fit thoroughly before riding her again.

I know this is an old thread, but I think it is worth reviving. Thank you to the OP who started the thread and posted the videos.
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post #112 of 121 Old 11-28-2012, 01:57 PM
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on that note (and maybe i missed if this was posted already) but this is a great video that's not too long and is very informative:

Proper Saddle Fit |
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post #113 of 121 Old 12-03-2012, 08:23 PM
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I am part of the group now starting to search for a saddle (Dressage). I have the difficulty, that when looking at catalogues, etc. they only give the Tree Width (N/M/MW/W), and the length (16.5", 17", etc.) but none actually include their gullet widths in the specifications (Tekna Saddlery for example doesn't list a single specification to their saddles on their website. Just pictures.)

So if I have all the measurements of my horse, including the needed gullet width, the length, etc. how do I go about next?

I'm unfortunately in East Tennessee and have so far not found a Saddle Fitter in my area - and all saddle fitters I find here in the USA are either in Florida (Wellington, Ocala area) with prices so much through the roof that I'd pay 4x the amount for the saddle of what I paid for the horse or way up north (PA, NY, etc.) ... I'm really in a sour spot for saddle fitters :P

Also: The Wintecs, as well as the Teknas, as well as some Tolouse offer this system, where you can change the triangle within the saddle - that widens the tree, but doesn't widen the gullet and that would cause the gullet to taper, I'm guessing. But that brings me to the same question that was posed somewhere above: A horse's spine seems to be even front to back, why would you want to have it narrower on the back, than on the front?

I am confused by this and grateful for advice and tips.

Thank you,
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post #114 of 121 Old 12-05-2012, 05:10 PM
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Wow what an eye opener! Those videos explained so many things about my old pony's behaviour, and his conformation. He is a POA who was ridden most of his life in a saddle with FQ bars! The channel was way too wide and now the muscles on both sides of his back are totally atrophied. He also has a terrible bucking habit when going into a canter, but that would only be natural since he was forced to wear a saddle far too long for him!

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post #115 of 121 Old 11-25-2013, 01:05 AM
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Thought I should bump this thread up, the videos are great and very useful
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post #116 of 121 Old 01-19-2014, 01:29 AM
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These videos were a wonderful help to clearly demystify the saddle fit process. "Ted" was a great model for the demonstrations as the pressure points were stimulated the reaction showed clearly. This neatly tied the whole package together on what to watch for and why.
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post #117 of 121 Old 01-19-2014, 06:51 PM
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Is there one for western saddles? I ride western and would love to see if mine fits perfectly.
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post #118 of 121 Old 01-21-2014, 11:33 AM
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It would seem to me that a proper fit saddle would be the same for western as English. The pressure points would be the same.
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post #119 of 121 Old 01-24-2014, 04:43 PM
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Some stuff on Western can be seen here. Saddle fit

(It's the Sticky just below this forum)

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post #120 of 121 Old 01-25-2014, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by LittleZeasel View Post
But that brings me to the same question that was posed somewhere above: A horse's spine seems to be even front to back, why would you want to have it narrower on the back, than on the front?
On a physiological level, the spinal processes, and associated ligaments, are generally larger in the thoracic area. This is basically because they're under more stress - they must cope with a moving shoulder and ribcage plus the weight of major vital organs inside it. A wider channel here helps stop the saddle interfering with the ligaments either side of the spine.

If you press gently but firmly along either side of the spine it's possible to feel the ligaments (but try not to prod too hard - some horses don't like it!), and as you move towards the tail you should notice a reduction in size.

As as channel width is concerned, it seems to me to be a mish-mash of design ideas. Saddles originally designed for heavier types often (but not always) have a wider channel than those for TBs and warmbloods, but styles that prove popular with riders are sometimes used across tree-types with little thought for panel changes.

Saddle makers, especially the bigger firms, are leather workers and businessmen, not necessarily horse people. Sad but true.

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