Tip 1

Balance

The center of the saddle (seat area) should be parallel to the ground while on the horse's back.

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Tip 2

Wither Clearance

Clearance at the withers should be 2-3 fingers for normal withers, whereas, mutton withers will have more clearance and high withers will have less clearance.

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Tip 3

Gullet Channel Width

The gullet should be wide enough not to interfere with the spinal processes or musculature of the horse's back (3-5 fingers).

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Tip 4

Full Panel Contact

The panel should touch the horse's back evenly all the way from front to back; some panels may be designed off the back end to allow the back to come up during engagement.

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Tip 5

Billet Alignment

The billets should hang perpendicular to the ground so that the girth is positioned properly and not angled either forwards or backwards.

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Tip 6

Saddle Length

The shoulder and loin areas should not carry any weight of the saddle and rider. Rider weight should be on the saddle support area only.

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Tip 7

Saddle Straightness

The saddle should not fall off to one side when viewed from back or front. The tree points should be behind both scapulae (shoulder blades).

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Tip 8

Saddle Tree Angle

The panel tree points should be parallel to the shoulder angle to position saddle properly.

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Tip 9

Saddle Tree Width

The tree width should be wide enough for saddle to fit during the dynamic movement of the horse.

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"A well fitted saddle needs to be checked 3-4 times a year for fit by a Certified Professional – a Master Saddler or a Saddle Fitter, with input from the trainer and the rider."

— Udo Lange, 7 times German Professional Dressage Champion

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