June 1, 2007, Newsletter Issue #227: Choosing A Saddle

Tip of the Week

The saddle should be chosen for the type of riding that you will be doing the most frequently. It can be English or Western, and in those 2 Disclipline Divisions, you have a world of selections.

In Choosing a Saddle To Fit you, the Cantle should not extend more than 1 palm width past the back of your bottom when you are sitting in the saddle.

Your Knee should comfortably fit behind the Knee Roll in English. With a balanced amount of saddle in front and behind the point of the knee.

Let your legs hang naturally as you sit in the lowest point of the saddle, on the lowest point of your seat bones. Do you legs hang ever so slightly behind you...helping to assist you in maintaining a correct position (yet not making your body feel thrown forward at all)

Once you have put on saddle leathers (for English saddles)...(in the shop you should be able to put on leathers, and get a feel for how the stirrups will hang from the bars)...do they help your position or hinder it?

A perfect saddle for anyone, should ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS help to keep you in a perfect natural balanced position once on the horse. You worry about the heels down, the saddle should do the rest! It should be comfortable (even new) and it should not interfere with a relaxed and natural position in any way. The flaps shouldnīt extend down past the widiest part of the calf of your leg.

Remember, quality always has itīs own rewards...should you have to sell the saddle earlier than expected, a quality, well fitted saddle never looses itīs value; but value priced saddles almost never resell for what you initially paid. You will be riding in this saddle and want to be comfortable, thus your horse will be comfortable as well.

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