April 11, 2008, Newsletter Issue #271: Why should your saddle fit properly for your horse?

Tip of the Week

An unbalanced or ill fitting saddle may cause soreness or behavioral problems in the horse and a loss of position and effectiveness for the rider. Saddles come in various tree sizes, some being adjustable. A too narrow saddle will cause pinching at the withers or restriction in the freedom of shoulder movement , therefore inhibiting the horses natural performance. A too wide saddle can distribute the weight of the rider across the horse´s loins causing back soreness and bucking. Proper gullet width is also of importance to avoid pressure on the prostheses of the backbone, restricting lateral flexibility and causing skeletal injury and damage. Some newer saddle models offer adjustable trees, so they may be fitted to different horse sizes and body types.

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