Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:13 pm Post subject: Saddle--fitting 3 horses?
I was recently asked (paraphrased):
My Western saddle seems to fit all 3 of my horses. Can I be so lucky? The sweat pattern on all is even with about 2 " along the spine that remains dry.
Here is my response:
There *is* a chance that you might be so lucky A Western saddle has
no adjustability, but is designed to fit a "type." The withers on your
Appendix may not have much to do with saddle fit, but what's behind them
will; if she's a stocky type at the barrel, and the Paint is stocky, and
your third horse is stocky...well, they might just all happen to have
the same back type.
Often horses with consistent breeding will all fit into the same Western
saddle; for example, a ranch that breeds "foundation" type Quarter
Horses is likely to have saddles that fit every single one of their
horses, because the conformation of each is very similar. It can happen
that horses who are not necessarily related fit into the same saddle; I
have two TB's with very different shapes--one's built like a 2x4, the
other like a barrel--and they both wear the same size tree.
However, unfortunately, the sweat pattern is not the most important
indicator of fit. Sometimes a dry patch in the sweat mark may show a
pressure point. However, a horse may have an entirely even sweat patch
and still be in a saddle which is a terrible fit.
There are a number of ways to check fit, and quite a few things that any
horse owner can do to check for major fit problems. But that's a *lot*
of information, and was just too much for a group of articles. If you
check my site, I've released a book called "Saddle Fitting for the Horse
Owner." The book may be very helpful for you, in checking to see if
your saddle really does fit all three horses.