Proper saddle fit is so important for the well-being of your horse, yet so often we see horses with a saddle that just doesn’t fit right.
Common Reasons for Ill-Fitting Saddles:
- Lack of knowledge. Many people don’t know what proper saddle fit looks like and how to check and make sure it is fitting properly. For a demonstration how-to, check out Stacy Westfall’s video HERE.
- Lack of funds. Custom built saddles are awesome, but not everyone can afford one, let alone one for every horse they own, and there’s always that one horse with such a unique shape it’s unlikely a custom built saddle would ever fit another horse properly down the road.
- Young growing horses. Anyone who’s ridden young horses has struggled with fitting them correctly as they grow. It’s a moving target trying to get a saddle to fit properly because their backs are always changing until they are mature.
- The last common misconception we hear a lot is “This __________ saddle fits every horse I put it on!” Unless all your horses are built identical that statement is false. It’s like saying my 9.5 pair of boots will fit anyone! When you look at it that way, the shortcomings of a one-size-fits-all approach is pretty obvious.
Finding a Solution to Poor Saddle Fit
To address the saddle fit issue head on, we designed, in conjunction with Weaver Leather, an IMPROVED version of a shim pad. Our version features:
- 6 EVA Foam Shims (3 on each side) designed in the exact shape of the bars of your saddle, so you can add or remove without causing funky pressure points on your horse’s back. Additional shims can be purchased separately if you lose one or need to double up.
- Improved contour design that stays off your horse’s sensitive withers to prevent rubbing and discomfort while maximizing airflow to your horse’s back.
- Butterfly Cutaway Liner cuts away from your legs, giving you a closer contact fit and a better feel between you and your horse.
When used properly our shim pad can cause an ill-fitting saddle to fit most horses adequately. The best part… it retails for only $139.99! Why wouldn’t you have one in your tack room?
To view the Shim Saddle Pad, click HERE.
If your horse is experiencing poor saddle fit, we recommend working with an equine professional in your area to help determine the cause of the problem. This shim pad is designed for minor adjustments to make your horse feel comfortable, fill in muscle deficit areas, and alleviate pressure points. The shim pad can also be easily adjusted to help a saddle fit multiple horses. This pad is not a cure-all for saddles that are too narrow, too wide, or overall an improper shape for your horse.
Written and shared by RES Equine Sport Boots. For more information from RES, visit www.resboot.com.