How Can I Check My Saddle Fit To See If It's Right For My Horse?
There is no perfect saddle for every horse, so it's important to fit your saddle correctly to provide the best possible comfort and performance. To check the fit of your saddle, you'll need some measurements from your horse. You can find these measurements on the sizing chart included with most saddles or at a tack store. Once you have these measurements, use a measuring tape to measure the widest part of your horse's back at the withers, the distance from the base of his neck to the top of his spine. Next, measure your horse's chest at its widest point. Finally, measure the length from just under his tailbone to where you feel a spot on either side of his belly button when he stands flat-footed. If you have a hard time finding these measurements yourself, ask your veterinarian or saddle fitter for help. Using A Halter With A Harness: A halter with a harness is typically the best option for horses used for riding or horseback training. If your horse is being ridden regularly, it's usually safe to use a halter with a bridle even if he doesn't have any obedience training. However, if you're using your horse for exercise only, you may want to consider using something like an E-bar or snaffle instead of a halter with a harness. If you're using a halter with a harness, be sure to unclip it before you lead your horse anywhere. Never leave the halter on your horse while he's unattended or when he's in an unfamiliar area. Other options for bridles include Snaffle, E-Bar, and Bucephalus Bridle. The Versatility Of A Snaffle: A snaffle is usually the best option for horses using more than one lead because it offers better security if your horse tries to follow a different handler as they go through a gate or pasture. Since some adult horses can be aggressive with other animals or even people who come too close while they're being ridden, you may want to use a snaffle instead of the halter with a harness. Measures To Take While Riding A Horse: When it comes to riding horses, particularly young foals, your animal should never be led out alone or pulled along by its head. Make sure at least two handlers guide and control each lead if you're not using these methods yourself. If someone is leading them both, make sure they know how to restrain and care for each horse separately if one gets spooked or frightened. Difference Between Western And English Saddles: There is a lot of difference between western and English saddles, but the most important feature to look for when purchasing one is the type of seat it provides. Western saddles are generally more comfortable for horses because they're designed with a broader saddle girth than English saddles that are narrower. If your horse has bunched-up muscles around his back or rear end, a western saddle will usually be more supportive than an English saddle. But if you're looking for something more supportive, the addition of a cantle and breastplate can help to improve your horse's comfort. If you like western saddles but your horse jumps poorly or gets tossed in the air during large group penning exercises at shows, English saddles could also be an option to consider since they come with added flaps that flatten out when his back hits them. What Is A Good Saddle For A Horse? There is no one size fits all answer to this question, as each horse's anatomy and riding style vary. However, some good saddles for horses include western saddles, English cavalry saddles, Paso Fino saddle seats, and half-basket breeches, which can be bought at wholesale rates from any Horse Saddlery Supplier. Just because you like riding your horse in a certain style doesn't mean he will - besides, adding something new can sometimes be scary for horses, and it may take some time to get used to. Cleaning Of The Saddle: It depends on the material of which the saddle is made. Most English saddles are padded with cushion-like foam, but those with wool or leather underneath would benefit from more frequent cleaning due to dirt and sweat being absorbed through the padding and moisture, causing it to become odorized. Snaffle bit reins often need replacing as they get older, so regular cleaning will keep your horse's mouth in top shape for riders of all experience levels.