Horse Health

New saddle under the Christmas tree? You need this free fitting guide!

From Horse Talk

“A well-designed and correctly fitted saddle is vital to the performance of both horse and rider.”

Read more: Reuse: Interested in sharing with your readers? You are welcome to use three or four paragraphs, with a link back to the article on Horsetalk. Follow us: @HorsetalkNZ on Twitter | Horsetalk on Facebook Measuring the 3-dimensional shape of the horse’s back with the Arc Device™.Measuring the 3-dimensional shape of the horse’s back with the Arc Device™.

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)

saddle-fit-eguideClick (HERE) to download free Saddle Fit eGuied

2 replies »

  1. Wow, is this the truth espesially if you own an Arabian. Just sold two saddles because neither fit her. Everyone wonders why I ride with the bareback pad for now. You just don’t buy or use any saddle even with the English saddle. People don’t understand you just can’t add padding or risers to make saddles fit. They can severly effect the health of your horse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can sympathize too – I think I went thru 2 or 3 western saddles that didnt fit my horse thru the withers – he just was NOT built like a quarter horse & seemed most of the saddles were! Finally ended up with an old endurance saddle that weighted 14 pounds. He & I both loved it. Still have it (in a trunk).


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