Monday, July 20, 2009

Saddlecloths and saddle fitting

I find this a hard subject. I think it is hard to really tell if your saddle really fits or not. Yes you can make sure it isn't sitting on the wither, tilting back or forward but there are so many more subtle things that may be hurting your horse.

Why has this subject come up? Scott came out with me on Sunday when I rode Sam because I have been becoming a little nervous latley. Of course Sam was perfect which was good but Scott asked why I was using 2 saddlecloths. I normally use an easyclean go between (scroll down if you would like to see it) under my saddlecloth but when I had Sam clipped thought the easyclean might rub so I started using two saddlecloths. I didn't seem to have any problems using two saddlecloths. This evening I only used one saddlecloth because I had washed one and had left it in the car. I was too lazy to go back and get it.

The difference was amazing. I felt deeper in the saddle. I didn't feel like I was sitting on top of a tall tower on top of Sam. Anyway this made me think. Would this be the cause of Sam's sorness in his hip and shoulder? The hip that is sore, that hoof is dragging slightly along the ground in trot. I have noticed that that hoof is slightly worn differently. I just can't recall if this is something that has been happening since he was clipped - when I started using two saddlecloths.

I will be going back to using just one and will even question using my easyclean go between. I was looking at getting one of those sheepskin half pads that are all the rage. Why - because I wanted to have something that was all the rage, silly I know. I won't be getting one of those anymore.

What does everybody else use?


Marissa said...

I use a thinline half pad and another regular weight square pad. If you are looking for something that will be good for Sam's back (and yours) the thinline might be a good option for you. It is very thin and doesn't change the fit of your saddle but really seems to do wonders for their backs. They have a website that will tell you more at Hope this helps!

SprinklerBandit said...

I use a regular square pad and a thin gel pad over that. Both my saddles fit Izzy really well and would probably be ok without a pad, but I just like to know there's omething protecting her.

Nina said...

Thanks Marissa - I will have a good look at their website. I haven't heard of them before.

Welcome SprinklerBandit! I had a quick look at your blog and your mare is beautiful!

jill said...

There is a great video about saddle fit on youtube.
If the link doesn't work for you let me know.
Basically you want to make sure the center of the saddle doesn't make contact with the spine at all. You should be able to see thru the back to the front. Panels should lay flt on top of the ribs where there is muscle protecting the bones. You'll have to lift up the saddle flaps to check for this. There should be no gaps at all. Just even contact front to back. Make sure you don't place the saddle too far forward on the shoulder. Lots of folks make that mistake. There is a saddle maker who blogs...can't remember her blog title right now though. Sorry. Oh, and be careful about using super thick or multiple pads. If the saddle doesn't fit, the pads can make it worse.