Posted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:32 pm Post subject: Saddle Fit Help
As a horse newby I'm getting a ton of opinions (conflicting one another) and am pretty much ready to pull my hair out . My 12-y/o daughter is showing a 4-y/o QH. At 68# my daughter is tiny for her age. She rides Western and has (so we have been told) excellent posture and a proper seat. However, at the trot or jog the back of her 15" saddle bumps around. The horse is in good condition. I have been told everything from tying down the saddle in the rear to adding a riser and eliminating the pad all together. Can you please point me into the direction that is best for comfort of the horse and the safety of my daughter?
PS-Thank you for this wonderful forum.
Certainly, I can recommend something specific in terms of advice: click on "Saddle Fitting Book" in the sidebar to your left. It's $12.99 in paperback or $4.99 for the ebook version. There are many graphics and descriptions of ways you can evaluate a saddle fot a fit problem.
I'm afraid I must tell you that a "bouncing" saddle back is an indication of terrible fit. Either the saddle is too curved front-to-back, or the saddle is too wide in front. Being too wide is the most likely cause, but the excess curvature is common enough as well.
For a Western saddle which does not fit, I'm afraid there also isn't a solution except to replace the saddle. Even at 68 pounds, a poorly fitting saddle can exert enough pressure to make a horse seriously sore.
I recently saw a pony ridden by a small child, with just the problem you observe, "flapping" at the back. (I cringed to see the child ride by; the owner had already been told that the saddle was a terrible fit.) I was later told that the pony had an "attitude" and was constantly bucking the rider off; well, sure! A saddle that's acting like that will both hurt the horse as it "flaps," and will also pinch pretty badly where it *does* touch. Before your daughter's horse begins to resent working or develop a bucking problem, I strongly recommend that you find a saddle which does fit.