Avoid Saddle Fitting Issues
An improper fit on your horse’s saddle could result in skin irritations and extensive physical damage. When billet straps are not in the right position, or the buckle on it is too high, it could restrict the horse from moving in a natural way and causing unwanted injuries. The staff and experts at Equis Save Foundation have a few tips on how you could avoid saddle fitting issues to keep your horse as comfortable as possible.
One of the ways that we teach horse owners about the girth is by trying this experiment. We take an hourglass device and tie a string around the bottom or top of the item. One thing that will always happen is that the string will eventually slip toward the middle of the hourglass. This is a prime example of what happens to a horse’s girth. We recommend using short girths with long billets. When this is used properly, the girth buckles won’t hurt the rider’s thighs and will make fastening the saddle much more secure.
Find the right place to buckle
When you have the saddle laying on the horse’s back, check to see where the billets hang before you place the girth. If you notice that the billets are not positioned correctly and are too far back, the girth will tend to move forward when riding, resulting in the saddle riding up on the shoulder of the horse. Once your saddle and the billets are in place, the girth should be buckled near the wide part of the horse’s side. This will keep the buckles away from the horse’s ribcage and will release some pressure from sensitive areas of the horse.
Signs of Saddle-Fit Issues
There are a few telltale signs you can look for that will let you know the saddle’s fitting is not correct. Some things you’ll want to look for are swelling of your horse’s withers, patches of hair loss underneath the girth area, and hard nodules on your horse’s back. If you notice any of these issues or things that that may not have been there before, you’ll want to make some changes to the saddle-fitting.
Learn from Others Saddle Techniques
Another way you can learn about saddle fitting is simply by learning from other horse owners/trainers. Seeing an example of how they fit their horse could be the easiest way for you to learn the right steps to take to keep your horse safe and comfortable while riding. For more information on horses or how you can rescue a horse in Montana, contact us at our horse rescue in Livingston, MT. Always remember, “Ride a horse. Save a rescue.”