Friday, August 22, 2014

Tack Addiction Friday - Saddle Fitting

Several years ago, I didn't really care what equipment I had. I was just pleased that there was a horse in my backyard and there was a halter and lead rope that I could use for leading or riding. Whichever took my fancy that day.

And then I started learning more and more. I wanted to do this and that and the other thing with my fancy Arabian pony. It just kind of progressed from there and now, it seems that I will spend my last penny on stuff either to make my horse feel better or look fancier.

The largest and most expensive piece of tack is usually the saddle. And I have been burdened blessed with not only a hard to fit animal, but also one that is extremely sensitive.

I purchased a Wintec 500 in February this year. For me personally, it is quite nice. I was a little worried that it would be the wrong size (I got a 17.5 seat) since it was my first English saddle, but I like the fit.

For Lady, on the other hand, it isn't quite so nice. It did fit okay when I first got it, but then I started working her more. I focused on her fitness and both of our health and skills. And.... her back changed. She actually built some muscles and lost some weight. And the saddle fit that was okay to begin with became not-so-okay.
Now the saddle is bridging and putting too much pressure on her lower back, making her sore.

Adding a shim in the center has helped a little bit, and my next plan is to get a half pad of some sort, something that I've wanted to do just for both of our backs.

But I'm likely going to be in the market for a new saddle soon. I need something that is short enough for her Arabian back, at least as wide as the XWide gullet plate, and curved enough in the panels to make contact all the way down her back.

Have you found it difficult to fit your horse? What problems did you come across and how did you go about fixing it?


  1. I've never had a difficult-to-fit horse. Fiction doesn't have a typical thoroughbred back, but he did change a lot since I got him. He original went in a medium, but now he goes in a wide in his jumping saddle, and a medium wide in dressage (I believe they are the same size, just differs by manufacturer). The way I keep an eye on his changing back is by buying saddles that have adjustable gullets/flockable sides and having a saddle fitter out twice a year to keep up!

    1. That's a good point about different manufacturers having different sizes. Since Lady is currently in an XWide plate, I'm dreading finding something new that fits. The adjustable gullets are terrific! :)

  2. Once upon a time I had a stupid wide Quarter Horse. I used an Albion Kontrol for him (which is now for sale btw) and it worked fabulously!