It’s just as important to your horse for his tack to fit properly. Ill-fitting saddles or bridles not only hurt your horse, they can cause permanent damage to his back, head and mouth. And once a horse knows that his tack hurts, he’ll fight you whenever you try to put it on him.
Is it bad for a horse to be ridden bareback?
It was determined that when riding bareback certain areas on the horse’s back showed high levels of pressure. Ultimately, they can cause pain and tissue damage to the muscle fibers because of their intensity. It was especially noticeable when the seat bones came down on the horse’s back.
Do horses like saddles?
Saddles aren’t bad for horses but actually benefit horses by dispersing the riders’ weight. Saddles are necessary because without a saddle, the rider doesn’t have a firm seat, and even a sixteen-year-old could feel three times heavier than her weight without a saddle.
How should a saddle sit on a horse?
- The saddle needs to sit 2-3 fingers behind the shoulderblade and its muscles (see picture below).
- The saddle must nowhere touch the spinal processes, or the dorsal ligament system.
How tight should my saddle be?
You should be able to put one index finger under the cinch to your finger’s first joint. If you can reach in at the back of the cinch more than that, it’s probably too loose. If you can’t fit a finger in at all, it may be too tight.
What to expect at a saddle fitting?
The saddle fitter will want to see you ride in walk, trot and canter on both reins. While you’re riding, they will be making assessments on how the saddle is fitting now you are on the move. They will also ask for your feedback on how the saddle feels and how your horse is going.
How can you tell if a horse is in pain?
- Lameness or abnormal gait.
- Unusual posture.
- Shifting weight from one leg to another.
- Muscle tremors.
- Abnormal sweating.
- Lying down more than usual.
- Mood or temperament changes.
- Decreased appetite.
What causes a saddle to rock?
A horse with a short back will require a saddle with short bars/ skirts. A very straight back, often seen in mules but not very prevalent in horses, can cause the saddle to “rock”. Rocking is a condition where the tree puts more pressure on the center of the horses back, and less at the ends of the bars.
How To Tell if Your Saddle Hurts Your Horse featuring Jochen Schleese
Does your saddle HURT your horse? The signs that you need a saddle fitter!
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