Curious about the fit of your current saddle? Great news! There are 5 simple checks that you can easily perform on your own to help determine the general fit of your saddle!

Wither Clearance

There should be 3 to 4 fingers between the saddle and the spine. To ride in any saddle, you must have a minimum of 2 fingers clearance when you're in the saddle.

Spinal Clearance

Thumb or index finger on either side of the spine, in the gullet channel, touching the panels and the spine. Is it comfortable for your fingers to have the saddle pressure there? Are the panels soft enough? If it isn’t comfortable for your fingers, it isn’t comfortable for your horse - especially with weight in the saddle.

Panel Contact

Are the panels and the shape of the tree even in contact throughout the horse’s back? Does your hand run flush at the same speed under the panels, or do you encounter “tight spots” (a sure sign of pressure points)? Evenness is key to comfort! It is important to keep in mind that some horses lift more than others, so having a small amount of “bridging” can be okay occasionally; especially if your horse stands inverted but travels round. This is why it is always important to do both a static (standing) and dynamic (motion) fit!

Tree Points & Panel Pressure

Can you comfortably walk and or trot your horse with your fingers under the panels (only do this on safe horses, and ask your coach for assistance)? Does it hurt? Does it feel too tight? If you don’t think your fingers could stay under the panels for the ride, it’s too tight/narrow in the tree. Alternatively, if it changes drastically as you post the trot, your tree is likely too wide and you’ll see movement in the back of the saddle-also not appropriate.

Check Your Girth

Does your girth help or hinder your horse? Girthing is just as important as saddle fit – all the pressure you put on your horse’s back is translated to the sternum, so your girth should checked routinely. Girths should be comfortable – our favourite girths are wide to distribute pressure, shaped appropriately to be out of the way, and ALWAYS have double elastics.

To check your girth:
Place 1 to 2 fingers under the whole girth, while it’s buckled up – can your finger stay there or is it too tight? Is the pressure evenly distributed? Find a good girth, it will help your horse!