07 January 2008 09:47
My saddle keeps slipping forward on to my NF pony’s shoulders, rubbing his withers, although it was professionally fitted.
By Your Horse
Master saddler Andrew Reilly advises:
Ponies can be difficult equines to fit saddles to due to their roundness and propensity for driving saddles forwards. Ultimately, you may just have to keep trying a variety of saddles, and ask the advice of a qualified saddle fitter until you find a solution. However, there are several standard design features that may need to be applied to your saddle to help stop this problem such as:
1. Point straps – most pony saddles should have point straps as these work by allowing the saddle to slide forwards only as far as the girth will allow. Point straps mean that the first girth strap is fixed to the saddle’s tree point (the point at the front of the tree) on each side with webbing.
2. Correct tree width – a saddle that sits high at the front may put the rider’s weight to the rear of the seat creating a ‘jet-ski’ effect. This can allow the saddle to gravitate forwards. Equally, a saddle that’s too wide can sit too low over the withers and bounce around.
3. Crupper – some people use these to prevent a saddle sliding forward
4. Numnahs or pads – these can enhance fit. Some anti-slip pads can help to reduce side to side roll, but few appear to keep the saddle back.