Wondering if you have the right saddle for your horse? Here are Stacy Westfall’s 7 tips for checking proper saddle fit:
1. Place the saddle on the horse without a pad. Check to see if the pommel and cantle are even. You should be able to imagine a line running straight across the saddle.
2. Feel under the saddle – front, middle, and back. Is there uneven pressure? Is there a gap? A gap is called “bridging,” and is not desirable. If you don’t feel either a gap or any bridging, you can then check the shoulder area.
3. Place your left hand under the front of the saddle in the shoulder area while using your right hand to press downward from the saddle horn. The pressure on your left hand coming through the saddle should be even.
4. Standing at the horse’s neck and looking down their spine, is there clearance over the withers? The saddle should not sit down on the withers of the horse.
5. Place your pad on the horse’s back. There should be clearance over the withers to prevent excessive strain on them.
6. Place your saddle on top of the saddle pad. The pad should not be sitting low on the withers and pulling on them.
7. Lift your saddle pad into the gullet of the saddle. You should be able to slide your hand in under the pad and saddle to easily feel the withers.
And that’s a wrap! We hope that by using these 7 steps, you can quickly determine if your saddle fits your horse properly. Do you need to adjust something slightly without giving up the whole saddle? Read HERE about how you can do that using the Weaver Leather Shim Pad.
Watch these 7 steps demonstrated:
One of the most sought-after clinicians in the horse industry, Stacy is known for her bareback and bridleless championship ride that’s been viewed by millions of people online. She is the only woman to win the Road to the Horse colt starter competition and was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2012. To learn more about Stacy Westfall, visit www.westfallhorsemanship.com