A rider says, “I know my horse is a “Medium” in this brand, but I’m going to buy a “Wide” and “pad up” because it’s more comfortable for the horse.” Is this true? If we think about horses as athletes (they are), then we can compare their saddles to athletic equipment (because it absolutely is). Think about runners: From sprinters to marathon runners, the fit of their shoes will make or break them, literally. I came across a report on how to properly fit a running shoe, and it is almost EXACTLY how we tell people their saddles should fit: SNUGLY AND WELL. (Link to article at bottom of post.) NOW what do you think about a too-wide saddle with lots of padding? Is it REALLY the best option for a horse??? ❌ Misconception: Going wider and “padding up” is kinder than having the correct tree width. ⚠️ A too wide saddle pinches at the top of the tree points and puts pressure on the withers and sensitive Trapezius. ❌ Misconception: More padding means more comfort. ⚠️ Adding a slew of pads under this does not make it fit better. Would an athlete purchase running shoes 2 sizes too big and add several pairs of socks, or just buy the correct size and fit? ⚠️ A too wide saddle is unstable and unsafe for both horse and rider. ✅ Having the proper headplate shape and tree width is the most comfortable fit for your horse. A good fit ensures that the saddle will make even pressure throughout the tree and panels, remain stable over the horse’s back, and allow him to listen to your aids - not the saddle’s movement. ⚠️⚠️⚠️ If you feel like you need to “protect” your horse’s back with excess pads, THEN YOU HAVE YOUR ANSWER - THE SADDLE DOES NOT FIT.
Questions? Comment below or www.saddlefitting.us for more info.
Read the full running article at https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a28172274/running-shoe-size/