I am in search of a dressage saddle for my new horse since my old saddle does not fit her, She has a medium wide gullet, she is around 15.2hh and weighs about 827 lbs. She is a thoroughbred type appaloosa. I am 5’1″ with a long femur and usually ride in a 16- 16.5″ saddle.
Kayla F asked:
My horse is a 48 in my saddle, but i just got a dressage saddle and I want to buy the right girth. What size dressage girth should i get if my horse is a 48?
Buying a used western saddle is often a great choice. Quality saddles maintain their value over time, so you can buy top brand previously owned saddle for the same price as you would a lower quality new one. Your dollar goes a lot farther in the used market and a good quality saddle fits both you and your horse better than something cheaply manufactured.
High quality leather western saddles are usually well cared for, so when they’re sold they’re often in great shape. Sure, most used saddles will have a scuff here and there, but that adds to their character. It shows they’ve been put to the test and they’ve held up to the rigors of riding, unlike some of the poorly constructed new saddles out there.
During your search, take the opportunity to try as many different types, brands, and models of saddles as you can. This will help you narrow down the choice of what will suit you best. Of course, a saddle needs to fit the horse too, so keep that in mind.
So where should you start looking? Start anywhere there are horses. Horse owners and stables may be thinking of changing a saddle they have or making space by selling one they’re not using. You’d be amazed what you can find just by asking. If the place or person you visit doesn’t have a used saddle for sale, they may know someone who does.
Look first for used western saddles in places where you can see, touch, and inspect them. Look in tack shops or stores selling western tack. Just because a store sells new items doesn’t mean that they don’t have used tack. Plenty of people upgrade their western saddles and many tack shops will take a used saddle in as a trade in. Some tack stores also have used saddles for sale on consignment.
Local used tack sales can be a great source for used saddles. Keep an eye out for sale announcements by local horse groups and at horse shows and other events. Check the newspapers and the local classified publications.
The Internet is also a fantastic place to find a quality used western saddle. On the Internet you’re not limited to just your local area which significantly opens up your potential choices. Online sales sites such as eBay, TackTrader.com, and Equine.com provide a wide selection in the used market. Many tack stores also have websites and list their used tack for sale online.
In the online world, a picture says a thousand words, reading the small print matters, and asking questions is a must. You usually won’t be able to inspect the saddle before you buy, so make sure you have detailed photos and find out as much as you can prior to buying. Some sellers will give you a try-out period so make sure to ask. Watch out for shipping costs as well – you could get a great bargain on a top-of-the-line saddle but pay a pretty penny to get it from there to here.
When trying to track down the perfect used saddle, take your time. Figure out what you need and don’t buy on impulse or because something is a bargain. Your main goal is to get a durable, solid quality western saddle that fits you and your horse the best. You’ll save money in the long run, and your horse will thank you for taking the time to pick the perfect saddle.
When first learning to saddle a horse, you should know that there is no difference between using a western saddle or an English saddle. They require the same knowledge and steps.
Before Saddling Your Horse
Before you place a saddle on your horse, you should always groom the horse. Take the time to check and make sure there are no sores in the area the saddle will be placed. Then brush your horse to make sure that anything like grit or dirt is removed so you can prevent irritation or chaffing. When you are finished brushing, the hair on the horse’s back or girth should lie flat.
Saddling Your Horse
When you begin to saddle a horse, it is traditionally done from the left side. Although, if it is necessary, you can also do it from the right side of the horse. Now you are ready to place the blanket on the horse. If you are using a western saddle, first fold the blanket in half. Then place the blanket over the horse with the fold towards the horse’s head. Some blankets may have rings on them so you can attach it to the saddle and help keep it from moving around. If that is the case, make sure they are up and not against the horse.
Now check to make sure that the blanket is folded evenly. A tip to help make sure that the hair on the horse’s back stays flat is when you are placing the blanket over the horse start at the withers and slide it down the back into place.
Now you are ready to put the actual saddle on the horse. Before you place it on the horse, make sure you have properly hooked the stirrups so they will not smack the horse as you set the saddle down. Then lift the saddle high enough that you can set it down with out moving the blanket. Set it down easy; if you just drop it on the horse you may spook it. When you place it, try to place it a little higher up the back and let it “settle” in where it belongs.
Walk around to the other side and unattached the stirrup. Check to make sure that the blanket stayed in place, smooth out any wrinkles and make sure the hair remained flat. Double-checking is very important when you saddle a horse.
Now reach under the horse and get the girth or cinch. Bring it up and either tie the cinch or buckle the girth. When you do this, do it in increments. Start loosely and then slowly tighten. This gives the horse a chance to relax. Tighter is not always better. When you have the correct tightness, you should be able to place your fingers in between the girth and the horse. If you had rings on your blanket now is the time to hook them to the saddle.
Hopefully, these tips on how to saddle a horse have been helpful. Just remember to always check the girth and make sure it is tight every time you mount the horse.
For the most comfortable ride on a horse you should buy a saddle to sit on. The saddle goes over the horses back and distributes your weight. Having a saddle fitted properly on your horse is essential for both horse and riders sake.
There are a number of different saddles you can buy that are designed for specific purposes. Generally there are English Riding saddles and Western saddles. Determine whether you would be using your saddle for pleasure riding, jumping or dressage. That way you already narrow your choice down to purpose.
Before buying your saddle make sure that you are able to return the saddle if it does not fit your horse. The best way to ensure your saddle fits properly is to have it fitted by a saddle maker or saddle fitter. However there are some rules of thumb techniques you can use if there is no one available to help you.
You can measure the width of your horses back and the width of the inside/underneath of the saddle. Make sure that between the pummel of the saddle and the top of the horses shoulder (wither) you can place three fingers. So it is not just as simple as getting measurements, the real test is putting the saddle on the horse.
A properly fitted saddle allows the horse to move freely with no strain or restriction.
Minor fitting problems can be helped with the use of a saddle pad or blanket. This type of padding will not correct or compensate for a poor-fitting saddle.
It is important that the saddle fits and is comfortable for both horse and rider. A saddle that fits improperly can put pressure on incorrect points on the horse, resulting in pain for the horse.
Saddle sores can result and your horse will strongly object to having his saddle put on. There is also risk to the rider as some horses have been known to buck, off seating the rider, due to pain caused by an improperly fitted saddle.
All saddles need to be kept clean and dry. Store your saddle under cover, away from weather and dust. Regular use of your saddle and time will give way to wear and tear, you should recheck your saddle for a proper fit every couple of years.
Your saddle may need to have some padding added, not to mention your horse still develops and changes over the years and minor adjustments should be made. With proper care, handling and use your saddle will last a long time.
Wondering if anyone can help Miller and I. He is a short/small Percheron/paint standing only at 15.5hds. But his body is built like a percheron. He has no wither defination and is wide as a lazy-B. I’m trying to find any type of english saddle that has a tree to fit him. Thank you for any help
I have a Paint that turned 3 in July. She has not been worked under saddle yet, but I am planning to start in the very near future. If I get her a saddle that fits well now, will it still fit in a year or two? When do horses stop growing, exactly? (I am planning on going western, if that makes a difference)
I am an English rider and I know how to fit an english saddle properly but not an idea about western saddles. The horse I have has a high wither and long back. When i put the saddle on his back, were should I feel/look to see that it fits properly? If you have any videos that show how to fit a saddle that would awesome also! Thanks
I am working with a pony who’s saddle has given her white marks under pressure points. We are in the market for a new saddle, looking primarily at treeless saddles. I was wondering if white pressure marks will grow out and turn back to their original color. Thanks for any suggestions?
bethany p asked:
I always thought you purchased a saddle to fit yourself and for comfort for you. Anyway, I keep seeing all these descriptions of saddles and “gullet” measurements. So I thought maybe this is why I can’t get a saddle to stay on my horse, who is EXTREMELY fat. Exactly what is the gullet of a saddle and should I have a wide one or a narrow one. Thanks for any help.