Fit is Everything - Infinitely Adjustable for Optimal Comfort & Performance!

Tip 1: Balance - Western Saddles

Are you struggling with your position? Is your horse lacking in its performance? You may be faced with a Saddle Balance issue. Watch this informative video for some saddle fit tips on Balance that may help you! Balance: Too High in Front Do you feel you are struggling to get balanced in the saddle and […]

Are you struggling with your position?
Is your horse lacking in its performance?

You may be faced with a Saddle Balance issue. Watch this informative video for some saddle fit tips on Balance that may help you!

Balance: Too High in Front
Do you feel you are struggling to get balanced in the saddle and are feeling tipped back? Are you struggling with getting your horse engaged or is it experiencing back issues?

If your saddle is too high off the horse’s withers or too low in the back, this will cause a lot of excess uneven pressure on the horse’s loins. It will not only put you in the wrong position, but it will be very difficult for your horse to engage as it will be unable to come through with its back and step underneath itself into a correctly engaged frame.

Balance: Too Low in Front
Do you feel tipped forward in the saddle? Is your horse resisting?

If your saddle is too low in front, it will pinch the horse’s shoulder – which is very restrictive for your horse! In this situation, your saddle may be too wide in the front or too high in the back. Not only will this cause discomfort for your horse but you will also be forcing yourself to sit in an unnatural position that may affect your riding or strain the discs in your lower back!

Steps to check Saddle Balance:

  1. Remove your saddle blanket and stirrups. Place your saddle over the withers and slide it right back behind the shoulder blade. On a western pleasure saddle such as the Devin, the cantle should be the same height as the swell, but this can change depending on what the saddle is made for.
  2. Take a small round object (like a pencil) that will roll. Place it on the seat of the saddle and observe. If the saddle is balanced the pencil should rest in the center of the seat. If it rolls too far forward – the swell is lower than the cantle. If it rolls too far back, the saddle is lower in the cantle (higher swell). It can be difficult in either of these situations for both horse and rider to balance properly, but again – balance can depend on the type of saddle and its purpose.

The horse will be much more comfortable in a well balanced saddle – whatever that means for whatever discipline in western you are pursuing – because the weight of the rider will be distributed over a larger area. The saddle will not be driven into the shoulder or back on the loin. With correct balance the rider will be able to use the 4 curves in her back as natural ‘shock absorbers’, and she will sit balanced on their seat bones. This good posture means she will be able to lean forward and backward without the lower or upper leg swinging back and forth.

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I am thrilled with the saddles and the fitters ! My 17 yr old draft cross has the cleanest spine they had ever seen when he had a bone scan done too see where arthritis was . His spine was clean . He only has been ridden in a Schleese . Julia Dixon has just been amazing ! She has done wonders to get me a loaner and get my saddle built quickly so I can have it for a scholarship I was awarded. Thanks again, Emily! [Update: May 31, 2016] Just wanted to tell you how much this new saddle has changed my horse.  My super short Obrigado [saddle] saved Pete.  No back pain.  The saddle fits Pete and me perfectly. He's happy and no longer reactive and spooky as his back is pain free!!

— Emily Morris, Avella, PA

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