Horse Saddles are for you and your Horse
Save your money or save your horse
There are many different types of horse saddles and it does not depend on how well known the brand is. It depends on how well it fits your horse.If you buy a saddle just because it is cheap chances are, your going to ruin your horse. Buying a saddle that fits your horse, will save you from confronting many problems down the road. So please think carefully before you purchasing a horse saddle.
Saddles should also fit you, the rider. If it doesn't fit you, your ability to ride will be jeopardized. You may also encounter back problems later on in your life.
Make sure you are comfortable and you can easily control the horse before you buy your new saddle. Look for these points when trying out a few horse saddles:
- When you sit in the saddle there should be a hand width behind your bum and the cantel.
- When you jump the saddle shouldn't hit you in the crotch. You need to be able to get up out of the saddle when you jump, so make sure there is enough room to get into your two-point.
- When your feet are properly in the stirups, your knees should be in the middle of your saddle's knee rolls.
To check the fit of a saddle on your horse, place the saddle on the horse's back without anything under it. Then find his shoulder blade and run your hand along it until you reach the end. The point pocket of the saddle should be on the same vertical line as the end of the horse's shoulder blade.
Once that is done run your hand along the skirt of the saddle and make sure that there is even pressure. Last thing, make sure you can fit at least 2-3 fingers between the pommel of the saddle and the horses withers. Remember, for safety sake, when trying on horse saddles or working with your horse you should always ensure that they are secured to a solid object by using a horse halter.
One way to save time and money as well as to ensure a great fit is to get a professional saddle fitter to fit both you and your horse. We have purchased our last two saddles using a fitter. After a brief phone discussion, they generally come out to the barn with around 5 saddles (new and used) that they think will fit both the rider and horse based on their phone questions. In many cases they can quickly rule out a particular saddle as soon as they see the fit on the horse. Once the horse it happy then it is the riders turn. Expect to try a number of horse saddles before you find the one you want and do not be surprized if you have to try a few different stores as well.
If you are trying to save some money but still want top quality, you might consider buying online. In this case, you should be able to find an online source which will provide you with free shipping. However, if you do not purchase the saddle expect to pay the return shipping fees.
When you are trying saddles, most shops will allow you to take a couple of saddles at a time to try them. Expect to put down a deposit on these saddles and ensure you enquire about what will happen in the unlikely event that you scratch the saddle while trying it. If the saddle is quite expensive don't be surprized if the store wants the fitter to take the saddle out to you.