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Horse Articles :: Choosing the Right Saddle
Choosing the Right Saddle for Your Horse
Ensuring that you select the right saddle for your horse
is vital. It not only affects the position in which the rider
will sit, and therefore can be beneficial in preventing back
ache or muscle pain, but it also affects the horse. No responsible
horse owner would want their steed to be in discomfort and
pain and so choosing the best saddle is very important. There
are companies available who will measure your horse and recommend
the saddles that they think are most appropriate but as with
most things this service costs money. I highly recommend this
service as it ensures that you will not be causing any distress
to your horse when you ride it.
Once the correct saddle has been purchased it is important
to remember that positioning the saddle on the horse's back
is also vital in ensuring your horse is comfortable when ridden.
There are three main muscles in the horse's back which can
be affected by the use of a badly positioned saddle. It is
important to familiarize yourself with these and their locations
before attempting to position the saddle on your horse. This
will give you an idea of where the saddle needs to sit in
order to be most comfortable for the horse.
In addition to the muscles which can be affected by the saddle
you must remember that the saddle is positioned on the horse's
back and so this can have an effect on the spine and its vertebrae.
Remembering this should remind you of how important this lesson
is and that you cannot afford to take risks with your horse
if you want it to lead a long and painless life.
Firstly, place the saddle on the horse's back, forward of
the wither. Once you have done this, slide it back along the
back of the horse until it cannot comfortably go any further.
This will vary dependent on the shape of the individual horse
but the lowest point of the saddle should correspond to the
lowest point of the horse's back. If the saddle is in the
correct position, the saddle tree will not be pressing on
the scapula (the shoulder of the horse) but will rest in the
natural grooves behind them. The most common mistake is to
position the saddle too far forward and this then causes the
saddle to press on the muscles in the scapula causing pain,
impeding movement and creating the possibility of saddle sores.
Once you have learned how to position the saddle you will
find it comes naturally after a time. It is worth taking the
time to do it properly though if you wish to remain the owner
of a healthy, happy horse.
About The Author
Dennis Conner is a regular contributor to Saddle Advice http://www.saddleadvice.com
where more information about saddles and saddle sources is