Simon Pure Equine
Not a good fit!
Not a good fit!
In this photo, we have placed a saddle tree on Mocha’s back. The manufacturer has labeled this tree as “Full Quarter” which we will consider being a “Wide” tree. This is not a good fit for this horse. You can see gaping areas behind the shoulder. This particular tree has bars that come out fairly straight. You can see in the picture below, the shoulders of the horse would push this tree back when ridden and the tree would be tipping forward and raising in the back which would throw the rider totally off balance! Very difficult for a rider and horse to travel balanced in this situation. Note: You can not place a saddle on a horse in a balanced position if it does not fit. You will constantly have to re-position it.
The majority of our saddle fitting is done by the use of Steele Fit Forms, which have a wide array of forms that mirror various horse backs. You can see above this form/tree would accommodate Mocha’s large shoulders. This particular tree form shown above flares in the front and there is good contact throughout the bar area of the tree. Here is where things get a little tricky. A gullet measurement is not going to tell whether a saddle will fit or not. Why? Even though a wide enough tree that had bars that came out straight, you would have no contact on the back of the saddle even though the shoulders would be free. The form shown above has the flare in the front allowing shoulder freedom.
One last story regarding saddle fit. Nearly 7 years ago we rescued a horse. This horse had not been ridden successfully and had serious trust issues. According to the owner’s grandson, they were attempting to ride this beautiful naturally gaited horse with no success. The last attempted ride, the saddle slipped under her belly, she bucked off the rider and never rode her again. The saddle they were putting on this horse was a horrible fit and extremely narrow through the shoulder area. After bringing her home, we spent weeks, months and years retraining this horse. Although she is
fully trained now, she remembers the saddle slipping incident. She will stand for mounting yet you can see her eyes widen and she still trembles
until you are in the saddle. It is a shame as this could have been avoided had the saddle fit in the first place.
Once you get a correct fit for your horse, you will not believe how willing and forward your horse will become. You will see a totally different
horse that is fluid moving and balanced. Both horse and rider benefit from a saddle that fits properly.
Make sure you rule out a poor saddle fit if this is in question. It is not worth ruining the trust bond. Trust is “key” to building a solid foundation and long lasting relationship with your horse. Happy trails!