August 3, 2007, Newsletter Issue #235: PURCHASING YOUR FIRST SADDLE

Tip of the Week

FIT! FIT! FIT! Whatever u buy , it must FIT you and your horse and be properly balanced, for comfort, to assist positioning you, and to protect your horse from pain or injury.
A good rule of thumb for rider fit is four fingers space behind your seat to the top edge of the cantle, and three or four inches below your knee bend to the bottom of the flap, depending on the use. The saddle should allow you to feel balanced when on your horse, not force you to work to maintain proper position or balance.

There are many factors affecting saddle fit for your horse, including conformation, training, physical development and purpose. Some of the newer brands offer adjustable trees and air panel systems to assist in better fits. Generally, the saddle should sit balanced on the horse (center of the seat being the deepest point)without pinching at the shoulders and be gulletted wide enough to clear any back bone pressure. Certain tree and panel styles allow more shoulder freedom and distribute the weight across your horse´s back more evenly.
Money well spent on a quality saddle is never wasted, they hold value and often increase over time.

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