Saddle fitting is a collaborative process. The rider must provide the fitter with feedback and analysis about themselves, their horse and their collective performance in the saddle they’re trying – and this is especially true when we’re doing long-distance fitting. Since I can’t put my hands on your horse or your saddle, I’ll need plenty of help and input from you and / or your on-site fitter, so be prepared for some homework!
- Initially, I’ll ask for a conformation shot of your horse, a template of your horse’s back, and a completed saddle fitting questionnaire. Once we’ve decided on which saddle(s) you’ll be trying, I’ll ship them out to you for a week’s trial.
- During that week, I’ll ask for:
- Input on how the saddle feels for you and how it effects your position
- Assessment of the saddle at all three gaits under real-time conditions, doing whatever it is that you do
- Input on how your horse is going and if there are any improvements or setbacks in your horse’s gaits, attitude and overall performance.
- I may ask you to move the saddle forward or back, to use a shim pad, to change the billet configuration, to try a different girth or to raise or lower your stirrups.
- I might ask that you have someone watch you ride (or provide me with video) to see if the saddle is popping in the cantle at the rising trot or moving when you’re working.
This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s vital, and the payoff will be finding the right saddle for you and your horse!