A saddle as you are aware is a device that’s mounted on a horse’s back to either enable riders to sit or loads to be placed. Though the word saddle is usually used within the context of horses, it is actually relevant to arrangements that enable sitting or loading of any pack animal.
To the serious pony coach, pony saddles represent a critical tool.
Saddles are found in many types around the planet, but two types dominate: the English type and the Western type. These two types are used most in equestrian circles. Each horse riding culture has its own individual saddle type.
The frame the saddle is built around is usually referred to as the saddle tree. The tree is usually built from wood or even fiber glass over which leather is stretched. This frame is designed in such a way it fits both rider and horse.
You ought to be very fussy when looking for the right saddle. Poorly fitting saddles can harm horses and riders. They can cause bruises and sores on the muscles of the horse’s back. Don’t purchase a saddle unless it comes with a test period and refund when necessary.
Ensure your tack is always clean and oiled to maintain its looks and condition.
Some tips: the fitting of the English saddle
-Lay on the saddle without padding and get the girth tight.
-Get somebody to sit in the saddle with their feet in the stirrups.
-Try to slip in the fingers of one hand underneath the pommel. You should be able to easily slip in three fingers between the withers and the arch under the pommel.
-Check the saddle is not impeding free movement of the shoulder by getting someone to raise the foreleg on one side and move it outward and forward. Continue to check the fit with your fingers between the pommel and the peak of the shoulder blade while this is being done. Repeat the exercise on the other side.
-Place yourself behind your horse and peer beneath the saddle. You should be able to see light when the horse lowers his head.
-Don’t use saddles of the incorrect length. They should not extend over the loins.
Some tips: the fitting of the Western saddle
-Have padding of thickness of no less than one inch beneath the saddle.
-Fit the saddle on the back of the pony and tighten the cinch such that your fingers can be easily inserted between your horse’s skin and the girth.
-Get someone to sit in the saddle and check to verify if you can fit three of your fingers between the withers and the pommel arch.
-Ensure the saddle is wide enough to sit comfortably on the pony. Try it with 3 fingers extended from a flat hand into the space between the top of the withers and the saddle. If your fingers fit loosely, you’ve got a tree that’s too narrow, and if your fingers are constricted, the tree is unduly wide.
Author: Heather TomsThis author has published 4 articles so far.