Whether our horses are kept for pleasure riding or to perform as top class athletes it is essential to maintain correct fit and balance of our saddles. Vets, physios, farriers and saddle fitters all need to work together to allow the horse to be able to work correctly in a pain free and balanced environment. A correctly fitted saddle is important in terms of equine welfare, to ensure the comfort of both horse and rider and their combined success.
Why a new saddle? There are many reasons why you may want or need a new saddle. These can include, a new horse purchase, your horse has changed shape, to meet an improved standard of riding, or even just to keep up with the latest fashion! Both natural conditioning and unsoundness can affect the top line condition of your horse therefore the saddle fit.
You may notice deterioration in your horses’ performance despite no clinical signs. The horse may be misbehaving whilst being tacked up or in it’s ridden work. This can often be due to many exterior issues but complications due to a badly fitting saddle should not be ruled out. There are also a large number of horses, which like us, are asymmetrical which needs to be taken into consideration when fitting a saddle.
An ill fitting saddle can easily put the rider out of balance, for example by tipping the rider forward in front of the movement or backward behind the movement. Our aim is to distribute the riders’ weight over a wide area thus alleviating any possible interference by the saddle or loss of balance of the rider or the horse. The correct seat size can also have an important influence on the riders’ position. The saddle sits on the horse directly in line with the horses’ centre of gravity, therefore the more balanced we are in the saddle the easier it is for our horse to do the job we are asking him or her to do.
When you have your saddle fitted with Equi Fit, we take a comprehensive profile of your horse. This includes conformation, condition and a detailed description including a template of the horses back. It is essential for the saddle fitter to carry out regular checks on your saddle referring to the data collected in this profile. It may be necessary to rebalance the saddle as the flocking may have settled or the horse may have changed condition.
Equi Fit offer an unrivalled, custom made service, specifically designed to meet your needs. The client benefits from a door to door service, within the comfort of your own home or agistment centre with a trained eye advising you on style and fit.