After buying your horse, your saddle was probably your next biggest investment.
How your saddle fits will have a huge effect on both you and your horse’s balance. When it fits correctly, it will leave you both feeling more secure and confident.
It's recommended to have the fit of your saddle checked by a qualified saddle fitter at least once a year, maybe twice.
However, there are a few signs you can look out for, which may indicate that your saddle is a little out of balance and needs checking.
A poorly balanced saddle can shift or sway, lacking the balance necessary for you to maintain an effective position, which in turn will affect the way your horse moves.
A well-fitting saddle should distribute pressure equally across your horse’s back, but also help you maintain the correct shoulder-hip-heel line, with your weight carried evenly through both seat bones.
Here's our saddle balance checklist, if you feel any of these it's worth giving your saddle fitter a call.
- His movement feels restricted
- His paces feel unlevel
- There's a lack of power in his paces
- His back muscles are sore
- There's a decrease in his competition performance
- You have difficulty maintaining a correct riding position
- Giving the correct aids is difficult
- You suffer from muscular pain in your lower back and shoulders
- You have a feeling of being unstable and unbalanced in the saddle
- Your lower leg position could be too far forward or slip too far back
- You have a tendency to tip forwards with your upper body or lean backwards
Enlist the help of an expert
Whether you’re buying a new saddle or need one altering, members of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) are the best in the industry. Search for your nearest SMS fitter and retailer by visiting www.mastersaddlers.co.uk
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