Most people will agree with the statement “horses do not make conscious decisions to behave badly.” Horses react to outside stimuli—either a poorly fitting saddle or an incompetent or untrained rider can cause all kinds of unwanted behaviors. How and where a rider’s weight is carried can make a huge difference, and dangerous horses can quickly be created when aids are misunderstood or mishandled. Sometimes horses will develop resistant or evasive behaviors because the handler does not know how to get what he is asking for, but remember that this does not make a “bad horse”—it’s simply a horse behaving badly. Some of the strategic behavior horses have adopted could be interpreted as stereotypical, but these behaviors are not vices, as vices would infer that the horse is somehow at fault....Read more about Bad Horse! Really? How About "Bad Rider!" or "Bad Saddle!" or maybe even "Bad Genes!" Download the PDF version of Bad Horse! Really? How About "Bad Rider!" or "Bad Saddle!" or maybe even "Bad Genes!"
The girth is the most important saddle accessory because it directly affects saddle fit and how it feels to your horse. There are many different types, lengths and versions of girths available. In this article, we look at the factors to consider when finding and fitting a girth that will work for your horse...Read more about Saddle Fit and Girth Choices - the two go hand in hand! Download the PDF version of Saddle Fit and Girth Choices - the two go hand in hand!
It’s always interesting to take a few moments when I’m working at a horse show to check out the competition. I mean the real competition- the riders who have trained long and hard and are now showing off their skills in the ring. Especially in dressage shows, but also at the lower level hunter/jumper shows – it is almost painfully obvious how few boys there are riding and competing!...But let’s examine the question a little closer concerning why boys specifically generally don’t ride. Beyond the ‘peer pressure’ issue of it not necessarily being a ‘macho’ sport, perhaps there are other reasons at play; issues that have to do with my favorite subject: saddle fit!Read more about Why Don't We See More Boys Riding Dressage? Download the PDF version of Why Don't We See More Boys Riding Dressage?
When mankind began riding horses, and saddles were developed to help keep riders astride their mounts, the original purpose of the saddle was to support the horse in his job. Saddles were designed to accommodate the demands placed on horses during activities such as combat, transportation, and sport. And since riding in long skirts was not practical and it was unbecoming for women to straddle a horse, side-saddles were created to allow women to ride. Recent years have seen a change in saddles from mainly functional to often fashionable (featuring bling, silver, etc.). More recently, as the general demographic of riders changed to primarily women, gender considerations have been incorporated into the mix of saddle design for both English and Western disciplines...Read more about Saddle Fit: English vs. Western - What are the Differences? Download the PDF version of Saddle Fit: English vs. Western - What are the Differences?
Many tools have been developed over the years to assist in the diagnosis of saddle fit, however, as ‘sexy’ as they are, they are just that – tools – providing information that exemplifies the situation at a given moment. Unless you have someone that actually knows what to do with this information to provide you a solution to your issue, it’s pretty much without value. Many people can tell you what’s visually wrong with your saddle but there are very few who can analyze the data to actually tell you why you are having the issue you are.Read more about Saddle Fit and Technology - How Technological Advances are Changing the Way Saddles are Fitted Download the PDF version of Saddle Fit and Technology - How Technological Advances are Changing the Way Saddles are Fitted
rt and a science to fitting a saddle to both horse and rider. Human and Equine anatomy are a key determinant in choosing the correct saddle. In a nutshell it has to work for both of you. A badly fitting saddle not only causes discomfort to the horse and rider, but can actually stop a horse from moving properly. The tree and panels of a saddle should be chosen for the horse; the seat and flap length for the rider – at minimum. The proper way to measure the seat size of an English saddle is ...Read more about Do you have any hints to avoid 'saddle fitting hell' of buying a saddle? Download the PDF version of Do you have any hints to avoid 'saddle fitting hell' of buying a saddle?
It is apparently a psychological truth that people have an affinity to lists consisting of 10 points; maybe because we have 10 fingers, 10 toes, there are 10 commandments, etc. 10 is just a nice round number to work with and easy to count off. David Letterman adopted an interesting institution with his “top 10” lists on his late show. I don’t know why I actually came up with 9 signs of poor saddle fit that you can self-diagnose, but those are what they are and I couldn’t artificially inflate that number. You will see 7 or 8 points in the literature as well, but I think these lists combine some of the points of reference...Read more about Top 10 Signs of Poor Saddle Fit Download the PDF version of Top 10 Signs of Poor Saddle Fit
Over the years I have been asked many times to address the subject of fitting western saddles and have subsequently done some presentations on this at both the Certified Horsemanship Association Conference and Western States Horse Expo in California. At each of these events i am constantly surprised at the number of people who attend my lectures and are extremely interested in the information I have to offer. Our specialty at Schleese over the past 30+ years is English saddles - and mainly dressage - but with the launch of our Devin Western Saddle with its many benefits and features it's perhaps time to put some of these thoughts down on paper...Read more about Saddle Fit & Technology: Saddle Fit and Western Saddles Download the PDF version of Saddle Fit & Technology: Saddle Fit and Western Saddles
A trio of Canadian experts divulge their most common saddle fit issues and how to fix them BY NICOLE KITCHENER. Saddle fitters encounter a multitude of issues in their mission to help horses and equestrians achieve riding comfort, balance, freedom of movement, and optimal performance. But some problems emerge more frequently than others. Three of Canada’s top saddle fitters share the three fitting concerns they confront most frequently. SCHLEESE SADDLERY 1. Saddle Too Far Forward Located between the base of the withers and the last rib, the saddle support area is the only part of the horse’s back that can handle the weight of saddle and rider. But saddles are often too long for the saddle support area and, “during motion, the back movement tends to move the saddle forward onto the shoulder,”....Read more about Top 9 Saddle Fitting Problems (with Schleese Saddlery) Download the PDF version of Top 9 Saddle Fitting Problems (with Schleese Saddlery)