Saddle fit isn’t about size or measurements. It's about shape, and making shapes match.
There is one idea that says a saddle must match the shape of the horse perfectly, or else it will harm the horse. The problem with this idea is that the horse is constantly changing shape as it moves, so unless you plan to ride your horse at a standstill all the time, and you don’t weigh anything so your weight doesn’t affect the horse, this is simply impossible.
There is another idea that says any saddle will fit any horse. If you actually look at the variety of horses we have now, you quickly realize that one is impossible too.
So the first two articles in this section give a couple of analogies that will help find the middle ground between these two ideas.
Almost all the saddle fit advice on the web right is about English saddles or comes from people who primarily deal with English saddles. Very few of them recognize that the different design of a Western saddle means that the same rules don’t apply, because they can’t apply. The next three articles explain what does and doesn’t make sense when applying the typical English “saddle fit rules” to western saddles.
Next we look at where the pressure is centered under a Western saddle. Finally, we give some information on pressure and damage, and some practical advice on dealing with a brand new saddle.
Of cutlery and saddle fit
Saddle fit and the bell curve
Saddle fit - English compared to Western part 1
Saddle fit - English compared to Western part 2
Saddle fit - English compared to Western part 3
Center of pressure under a saddle
Saddle fit - How much pressure is too much?
How does pressure cause tissue damage?
Finally, pressure research on horses!
Saddle fit and your new saddle
If you think it might be broken...
Search the Western Saddle Fit website: