Category Archives: Saddle Fitting

Saddle pad that doesn’t touch the withers…- saddle fitting made easy?

Recently, one of my clients was looking for a good quality saddle pad that can help with comfort for her posture and shape changing horse. When bringing horses back from long periods of no work or very inconsistent work, the back comfort is almost always an issue as the horse often moves crookedly and/or changes shape rapidly as rehabilitative work progresses. Using a new/different saddle every few weeks is out of question for an average one-horse owner.

In my research of what’s new on the market that might help with this issue (as it’s fairly wide spread among many horse owners), I came across these guys – Total Saddle Fit – and would be interested to know what you think…

wither free saddle pad
Wither free saddle pad by Total Saddle Fit – The company is selling several other very interesting products including shoulder freeing girth design.

I personally lost count of the amount of times I pull the numnah/saddle pad up into the gullet of the saddles to make sure they don’t end up pressing down the withers. There are various high wither numnah options on the market but you might ask a question – if we don’t want that material there in the first place, why not taking it out? The Total Saddle Fit one sounds like a very good idea even though I am not usually a big fan of thick padding under the saddle once the horse is fitted with one well.

My client ended up buying a really nice pad of a different make which made a distinct difference to how she sits in the saddle and how the horse moves. She certainly isn’t a one-off example so I would be silly to discount the benefits of a well chosen saddle pad.

total saddle fit video
Short video explaining the idea and the fit of the wither free pad – click on image to watch the video on You Tube.

What do you think? Have any of you used the Total Saddle Fit pad or their saddle adjustment system? Watching many horses working under my clients I would say that bridging, front to back imbalance and lateral shifting of the saddle are three most common issues I see that create motion discomfort. What are your experiences?

six point
Click the image to read about the six point adjustment system

A small detail with big impact on your seat…

Have you ever struggled with correcting “chair seat”? Does your lower leg swing forwards and you are often told to “keep your legs back” in your lessons? If so. let’s have this quick chat!

Stirrup bar placement determines the position of the stirrup leather and the stirrup and as a result, the placement of your leg…

Any knowledgeable horse owner who has ever tried to find a well fitting saddle for their horse will know that coming across one that sits perfectly on horse’s back, allows the horse to move freely and doesn’t ruin the bank account is not an easy task.
Equally challenging is finding the saddle that fits the horse as well as the rider. Today, I would like to draw your attention to a small element in saddle structure that can seriously influence your balance and that’s a stirrup bar placement.

The placement of the bar determines the position of the stirrup leather and the stirrup itself. If we are to sit comfortably with that hip/heel alignment giving us a feel of control over our own balance, we need the stirrup to hang underneath the deepest part of the saddle where centre of our seat is supposed to be.

Many riders sit well without stirrups but the moment they re-take them, their seat loses its centred quality and they tend to struggle with positioning of the thigh and lower leg so that they support their own weight rather than sitting as if in a chair.

The placement of the bar and individual built of the rider (length of thigh and lower leg) has a big impact here and so I have listed a few interesting resources below that are well worth a read:

1. Leg Length – How it influences your Position!

2. Male and Female rider vs stirrup bar position

3.Stirrup Bar Position – “Why do some saddles put you in a chair position”

What’s your saddle like? Does it help or hinder your position and effectiveness?