Six Take-Homes from My Saddle Fitting Session

When was the last time you went through the saddle fitting process with a new prospect (or old), and what did you learn?
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We learned in a remarkably popular article on our website recently that sweat marks on a saddle pad can tell you a lot about how the saddle fits. (We also learned that nothing raises the ire of horsewomen like a photograph of a horse with sweat marks that tell the tale of an improperly fitted saddle É but that’s another blog post for another day!)

I’m eyeball-deep in the saddle fitting process right now, and I’m learning/have learned a lot about what works/doesn’t work/might work for my horse.

Happy, my 9-year-old Thoroughbred, has been retired from racing for a year now. I got him back in the winter, and our time together so far has gone a little like this: Snow, an abscess, more snow, rain, a paddock accident, some more rain, hives, two lost shoes, more hives, another abscess … and did I mention it rained? (I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but it’s tough healing abscesses when there’s constant mud.)


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Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

6 Responses

  1. re: Six Take-Homes from My Saddle Fitting Session

    I’ve been riding Peruvian Pasos for years before switching to western. The Stubben Colombo(?) (balanced seat jumping saddle) worked well on my 1,250 lbs., 15.2 hand, intermediate type Morgan. It still seemed to work on my 14.0-14.3 hand Peruvians, wit

  2. re: Six Take-Homes from My Saddle Fitting Session

    You don’t mention anything about billets.  I had a mare with a long sloping shoulder and high withers.  I ended up using the first and second billets only on her (AP saddle) to accommodate the reach of the girth from behind her elbows to the

  3. re: Six Take-Homes from My Saddle Fitting Session

    I too have a horse with an overdeveloped left shoulder. My chiropractor says it’s pushing the saddle when the shoulder goes back and causing rib issues. He recommend shimming the larger left shoulder, thinking the shim would raise the saddle and allow

  4. re: Six Take-Homes from My Saddle Fitting Session

    I had all the same issues with my horse and I also am tall with long legs.  Made the mistake of buying a new saddle which then caused issues. After a couple of used saddles we now have an equipe dressage which looks custom made for her and comes i

  5. re: Six Take-Homes from My Saddle Fitting Session

    Thanks, Kristina, for the input! I can definitely see how reps for one saddle company would know that saddle brand inside and out. One of our team members has a Steubben dressage saddle and Bob mentioned that it was a nice saddle. Bob does seem to have

  6. re: Six Take-Homes from My Saddle Fitting Session

    Having ridden in nothing but Stubben for the past 12 years, I can tell you there is no better close contact saddle on the market. If you go to Stubben north Americas website, there are a ton of used saddles for sale & they have the most tree sizes

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