From Horse Talk
“A well-designed and correctly fitted saddle is vital to the performance of both horse and rider.”
Were you so good this year that there was a new saddle under your Christmas tree? It may make you very happy, but you need to be sure that your horse is happy, too. Master saddle Jochen Schleese provides some advice – and a free guide on saddle fit.
The art of fitting a saddle to both horse and rider is something which is not explained in a few sentences; indeed something new can be learned every day, as each client brings with him or herself something different to consider. It’s not rocket science, but it is a science, combined with the artistry of actually building the saddle. It is important to work closely with veterinarians and physiotherapists and other equine professionals to constantly ensure the most optimal combination of horse, rider and saddle.
Anatomical considerations of both horse and rider are a key determinant in how to choose the correct saddle. If your generous benefactor got you a saddle for Christmas I hope they involved both you and your horse and didn’t just choose a ‘pretty saddle’. (Which I have to say – unfortunately many of them are, including one really high-end prestigious company whose saddles are not really all that equine-friendly at the end of the day!)
The proper way to measure the seat size of an English saddle is diagonally from either saddle nail, on the side of the pommel, to the centre of the cantle. Adult seat sizes vary from 16″ to 19″, with 17″ to 17 1/2″ being the most common – but even these are variable, as the position of these nails can be pretty arbitrary, depending on the mood of the saddler on any given day…(CONTINUED)