Tips for Buying a Saddle When You Ride Multiple Horses

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When looking at saddles for sale, how well that saddle will fit your horse is usually a major consideration. But what if you ride multiple horses? If buying a saddle for each horse isn’t an option, there are still ways that you can make the best of the situation.

Consider the Types of Horses the Saddle Must Fit

Before starting your search for a saddle, think about the types of horses that you’ll be riding. Evaluate their backs, and look at the differences between them. Consider which horse has the broadest back and will take the widest tree size. You will also want to assess whether any of the horses have high withers, which may require saddles with a cutback pommel or high pommel clearance.

Look for a Saddle with an Adjustable Gullet

One of the best ways to make a single saddle work for multiple horses is to buy a saddle which offers an adjustable gullet. There are a number of adjustable gullet systems available where you can put a different gullet plate in, or simply adjust the gullet size by turning a dial. The fit won’t be perfect for every horse, but being able to change the gullet does give you some control over being able to adjust the saddle to each horse’s back.

Go With a Larger Gullet

If you can’t find a saddle with an adjustable gullet, then buy a saddle which fits the horse with the broadest back that you will be riding. You can use padding to improve the fit of a saddle that is too wide for a horse, but if a saddle is too narrow, there’s not much of anything that you can do. Using a narrow saddle on a broad-backed horse can lead to pain, injury, and general discomfort for the horse.

Use a Shimmable Saddle Pad

If you do opt for a saddle with a wide gullet, then be sure to invest in a few shimmable saddle pads. These pads can be built up to help improve the fit of a saddle when used on a horse with a narrower back.

Be Sure the Saddle Fits You

While the saddle’s fit to every horse won’t be perfect, you should definitely look for a saddle which fits you. If a saddle fits you, you will be able to ride and balance more effectively, meaning that you’ll have less of a negative influence on the horse’s back.

It’s not ideal to use a single saddle on multiple horses, but with care and attention, it can sometimes be done. Be sure to monitor the horses you ride for signs that the saddle is causing them discomfort.

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