Tacky Tuesday! Saddle fit

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Tacky Tuesday!!!     People seem to struggle with saddle fit, so I am making an attempt to explain the basics of saddle fit in a way most people can understand.


One of the most common mistakes people make is a saddle that is too wide and sits down on the horse’s withers.



And to give you perspective…


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Another common mistake is a saddle that is too narrow and sits high above the withers….




In people, too narrow, means spilling out all over the place….

ill fitting clothes


Too small….




And, well….




Too big




Umm… yeah….




Not adjusted correctly….








And sometimes, it’s just wrong…



bad tack6 1

riding 5 month old foal1




ill fitting clothes1





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  1. Posted by Soltera, at Reply

    OMG! Those are the cutest pictures, ever! Cannot believe the jumper with the slip issue. Do you suppose that horse was even a bit happy as it tangled his legs on landing. Hope they weren’t hurt, but I bet they were.

  2. Posted by Claire Vale, at Reply

    It’s quite possible that the issue with the saddle slipping back on the jumper wasn’t the overall fit, but the girth not quite tight enough or a missing breastplate. He’s a long lean horse with minimal rib spring (herring gutted), and it only takes a tiny slip back for the girth to suddenly loosen a LOT. If the horse further narrows his girth as he takes off for the jump he may well literally jump out of the saddle. Happens occasionally with gallopers, too.

    Regardless of whether it as a fit / adjustment / missing gear issue though, you’re right, he probably was NOT a happy camper, and we can but hope that he was a saint about it and didn’t put on a major rodeo and hurt himself and/or the rider in the process.


  3. Posted by Soltera, at Reply

    Love the expression “herring gutted”. Is that technically the same as “slab sided”? You know, I’ve not been told how to ride for years now, and have found that I absolutely never choose to ride without a breast collar. Haven’t for years. I like them fitted not to slip, always the padded kind, with a fresh faux sheepskin each ride. Never had an issue with the horse not liking it, but I feel tons safer with it. Anyone else feel that way? Of course, it could be said that it’s an excuse not to have a properly fitted saddle, heh heh, but that’s not the case here.

    I worked 10 seasons running summer camp riding programs. The horses at some camps were new each summer (chosen the pervious day from the killer herd, no less), and saddles were usually just cast off cheapo junk. One becomes very creative with custom making pads for the poor dears. Lesson horses get used so much, and by a different rider every time, bless their hearts, and my motto is always, “A happy horse is a safe horse!” Yep, they ALL had breast collars. At my expense. Sigh. Have a whole barn full of leftover breast collars…help….

  4. Posted by sweetie horse, at Reply

    OMG! Laughing my head off! I love your posts! Thank you soo much for telling me about your site! Will be reading OFTEN! 😉

    • Posted by Snarky Rider, at Reply

      You’re welcome :)