Saddle Position - Where is best? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-27-2018, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Saddle Position - Where is best?

Hello all,

Just a real newbie question here.

Where exactly does the saddle go?

My horse has developed a sore spot and I would like to move the saddle forward as far as possible to stay off the area.

How far forward can I go or what is the range where it can sit?

Will put a better blanket underneath so as to not repeat the burn in another spot.
Any help here also is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-27-2018, 10:19 PM
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Blankets, unfortunately, are no more a fix for an ill-fitting saddle than socks are for an ill-fitting shoe. During a ride, the saddle will slide to its most stable position, and that is where it needs to fit the horse. As a rule of thumb, the horses withers need to have clearance, and the shoulder blades need to move freely, or you'll be creating much bigger soreness problems.
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-27-2018, 10:33 PM
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Your saddle does not fit well if it is creating a rub. I'm afraid you need a new saddle. If the sore is at the back of the saddle, it may mean your saddle is too long, or just not the right shape for your horse's back. Trying to move the saddle forward will not help, because as @mmshiro says, it will slide into its natural position when you ride.

Not sure if you ride English or Western, but there are many saddle-fitting websites out there that can help you determine what size saddle you need. If you post pictures of the saddle sitting on your horse without a rider or a saddle pad/blanket, folks here can give you an idea of what the issue might be.
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-27-2018, 10:45 PM
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you can move the saddle forward, but it will shift back into the position where it most closely fits the shape of your horse's back.

a better saddle pad might help your horse's comfort , some. it depends on what they fit problem is; too tight? too loose? too long?

Would you be able to post a photo of your horse with the saddle on, WITHOUT any blanket on? and take photos from various angles, in good light.

you will see that there are many threads about saddle fit on this forum, and looking at them will give you an idea of how to photograph to give us the best view.

I see that you are in Columbia, no? so, the saddle used may not be familiar to many of us in N. America, or Europe/Australia . . but, general fit should always be more or less the same.

Bienvenido a Horse Forum!
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-28-2018, 03:33 AM
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Ditto to others - sounds like the saddle is not good... A burn from it??

The weightbearing section(front of bars unless flared in a western, where the forks are in English) should be at least a couple of inches behind the back of the scapula. There is an extension of cartilage at the back of the scapula that it needs to clear, and also when the horse steps forward, his scapula moves back slightly from when he's standing square, so you need to consider clearance of shoulders in movement too. The back of the weightbearing area - generally the tree(westerns have 'skirts' extending which can be fine) - should not extend much, if any further back than the thoracic vertebra - the last rib, not onto the lumbar spine.

It's possible the saddle is purely too long for the horse's back.

If it's an English/stock, then it's possible it only needs reflocking(by a saddler) and you then won't need a new one.

If there is a sore spot at the very back, then the saddle is likely 'bridging' - putting pressure on front & back, not evenly thru the middle as well. Unless there's not enough spine clearance at the back of the channel - a lot of Westerns are problematic like this, depending on the buiild of the horse, as they have no channel at all at the back.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-28-2018, 03:43 AM
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I usually wouldn’t say this but because you are a beginner it may not be obvious - you cannot ride this horse in any saddle until the sore is fully healed and there is no tenderness in that spot or anywhere else. If you continue riding you may cause serious physical and behavioral issues for the horse which might be dangerous both for you and the horse and take a long time or even never get resolved. Bareback riding might be possible, depending on where the sore is, but not advisable.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-28-2018, 03:47 AM
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Also, it sounds like the sore is at the back. Are you sure itís not the saddle pad edge thatís causing it? Iíve seen that happen on thin-skinned horses.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-28-2018, 04:44 AM
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^good point horsef, that we all seemed to forget to mention. I don't agree that bareback isn't advisable for a beginner *necessarily* tho. Depends how well trained/reactive the horse is & if u start slow in a controlled area, I reckon its invaluable for developing good balance & seat.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-28-2018, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
^good point horsef, that we all seemed to forget to mention. I don't agree that bareback isn't advisable for a beginner *necessarily* tho. Depends how well trained/reactive the horse is & if u start slow in a controlled area, I reckon its invaluable for developing good balance & seat.
Sorry, I meant bareback isnít advisable until the horseís back is fully healed. Even if the rider doesnít sit on the pressure sore, the horse might be defensive of his back and uncomfortable and stiff.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-28-2018, 11:27 AM
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I'll agree with the no saddle until the sore is healed. You say there are a lot of horses in your area, but how difficult is it to find saddles of different sizes?


If your are confident in riding bareback, you could use a bareback pad for comfort. If they are not available in your area, perhaps a saddle pad, or a folded blanket and surcingle.


Hope that helps some.
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