How should an English saddle fit a horse?

How do you know if your English saddle fits your horse?

English Saddle Fitting Guidelines

  • Position the saddle correctly on your horse’s back. …
  • Test wither clearance. …
  • Check the relationship of the pommel to the cantle. …
  • Check to see if the seat is level. …
  • Tree width does not necessarily ensure a proper saddle fit. …
  • Check channel or gullet clearance.

How should a English saddle fit?

Place it on the seat of the saddle and observe. If the saddle is balanced the pencil should rest in the center of the seat. If it rolls too far forward – the pommel is too low (cantle too high). If it rolls too far back, the saddle is too low in the cantle (pommel too high).

What size English saddle fits my horse?

A good rule of thumb is that an English saddle seat size will run around two inches larger than a Western saddle. So, if you ride a 15.5” Western saddle, you will likely need a 17.5” English saddle.

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How do you tell if your saddle doesn’t fit your horse?

15 signs your saddle doesn’t fit – negative behaviour in your…

  1. Avoidance behaviours – trying to walk away when being tacked up.
  2. Ears back/head shaking when saddle comes close by.
  3. Excessive tail swishing both in the stable and when ridden.
  4. Pawing the ground.
  5. Threatening to bite you when you come close with the saddle.

How do I know if my saddle fits correctly?


With your saddle correctly positioned, put your hand underneath and slide your fingers along the panel. If it doesn’t feel equally snug from front to back, it’s “bridging”–and the places where it’s tight will becomes sore from the extra pressure.

How do I know what size saddle my horse needs?

There should be about four inches between your body and the swell of the saddle. Anything less than that may mean a too-small saddle, and a bigger gap means the saddle may be on the large size. Larger may be more comfortable for you. Western riders with longer legs should choose a larger-size saddle.

What happens if a saddle is too wide?

When a saddle is too wide in the front, it can sink down over the withers. This takes the saddle out of balance by making the pommel lower than the cantle, which in turn carries more pressure over the front of the tree (at the withers/shoulders) than a saddle with a properly sized tree.

How do I know if my saddle is too small for my rider?

As a rule of thumb, you should be able to fit at least a four-finger width between the end of your seat and the cantle. Any less than that and the saddle is too small.

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What size saddle do I need for a 15hh horse?

Bruce a 15hh riding horse, nicely put together. Scapular to last rib 47cm/18 ¼” when you take off 5cm/2” for shoulder movement, that gives you 42cm /16” very small space for a saddle on a 15hh horse. 16.5” saddle set as far back as it can go without going past the last rib.

How do you measure an English saddle flap?

To measure the length of the flap, find where the stirrup connects to the saddle. Lift up that flap to reveal a piece of metal to hold the stirrup in place. Measure from the top of the piece of metal that holds the stirrup down to the edge of the bottom of the flap. That’s how you’ll get the flap length.

What size gullet do I need for a Quarter Horse?

Semi-Quarter horse bars usually have a 6 1/4″ gullet, and Quarter Horse Bars usually have a 6 1/2″ to 6 3/4″ gullet. Designed to fit the average horse, one of these two widths will fit approximately 80% of horses comfortably. Full-Quarter horse bars usually have a 7″ gullet.

Can poor saddle fit cause lameness?

Poor saddle fitting can cause many lameness and movement problems that are often blamed on farriers. When an extra pad is necessary, a saddle does not fit properly. A lack of sweat under the saddle that is viewed immediately after a ride indicates too much pressure in those areas.

Can any saddle fit any horse?

Ultimately, it became surprisingly easy to adjust fit, balance, and freedom of the saddle no matter the breed or postural/conformational challenges. The Saddle+Pad+Shims = A Smartflx Saddle System that can be fitted to any horse. Once you understand the basic methodology of the system, it becomes simple to use.

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How do you know if a horse is fitting?

Considering heart rate and respiratory rate, a horse that is able to recover within 10 minutes can generally be considered fit for its job. This, of course, can be affected by the level of the horse’s anxiety or excitement, the temperature at the time, and other factors.