Having your saddle checked regularly is a preventative measure to avert tack-related muscle inflammation and soreness. It may help you avoid costly medical treatment. So it is an important part of the health regime for any horse, whether you use your horse for high performance, schooling or personal riding. You’ll find that a proper saddle fit contributes to your horse’s overall happiness and well being.
Proper saddle fit is especially crucial for peak performance in dressage and jumping. Your horse has better range of motion when tack fits correctly, and he is not distracted by soreness from pressure points. An improperly fitting saddle may often cause a rider’s center of gravity to shift forward, back, or side-to-side. An unbalanced seat diminishes both the rider’s and the horse’s performance.
You’ve just bought a new horse and assume you must buy a new saddle too. Maybe not. I can advise you on cost-saving alternatives. In some cases, we can custom fit your existing saddle to your new horse by widening the saddle’s tree or reflocking panels. In other cases, a corrective pad will take care of the problem. Keep in mind, however, that while you can often use a pad to adjust a saddle that is too wide or rocks, pads can’t help a saddle that is too narrow.