Why Saddle Fit Should Be a Top Priority

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After looking at horses for sale and buying a new horse of your own, you will be faced with the challenge of finding a saddle that properly fits the horse. When it comes to keeping your horse healthy and in optimum athletic condition, saddle fit should be a top priority. Here’s why.


A poorly fitting saddle is uncomfortable for your horse. A saddle that is too narrow will pinch your horse’s withers and shoulders, resulting in painful sores and uneven weight distribution. A saddle that is too wide will sit too low down over your horse’s withers, putting pressure directly on your horse’s spine and sometimes even pinching your horse’s shoulders. By taking the time to find a saddle that fits your horse well, you are helping to make him as comfortable as possible during each ride.

Potential Physical Issues

Poorly fitting saddles can cause a host of physical issues for horses. Sore backs, muscle spasms, and saddle sores are all possible. If a badly fitting saddle is used over a long period of time, nerve damage can even result. In short, a saddle that doesn’t fit properly can lead to significant pain for your horse.

Behavioral Reactions

If your horse is in pain because of a saddle that doesn’t fit, you may see new behavioral issues result. Horses with poorly fitting saddles may react strongly when you tighten the girth, and may try to evade you when you go to mount. These horses may buck, suck back, toss their heads, or rush forward, and if they are asked to perform activities like backing up or jumping fences, they may try to refuse to do so. These horses are typically reluctant to work down on the bit, and you may see a shortened stride. In extreme cases, horses with poorly fitting saddles in extreme pain may rear up or lie down to try to avoid the pain.

Improved Performance

A horse with a well-fitting saddle is generally able to move better than a horse that is wearing a poorly fitting saddle. By ensuring that your horse’s saddle fits him well, you are enabling your horse to use his body well. A horse whose back is being pinched or constricted by a saddle will not be able to move as fully or as properly as a horse with a fitting saddle.

Saddle fit is a significant issue that should not be taken lightly. Consider having a saddle fitter out to your boarding agistment to ensure that your saddle fits your horse well. If it doesn’t, you will need to look for a new saddle for sale.

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