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A saddle that fits a horse is important both for the comfort of the rider and for the health of the horse. Discover how an ill-fitting saddle can cause and exacerbate back problems in horses with help from a horse riding teacher in this free video on horse saddles.
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This is Maggie Connolly with Hawthorne Stables and I want to talk a little bit about saddle fit. It is really important that your saddle fit your horse. We understand that the rider wants to be comfortable, we obviously want the rider to feel safe and secure in the saddle, but we really want to stress the importance that your saddle fits your horse. A poor fitting saddle can create major back issues and problems that exacerbate in other areas for your horse. You can imagine that if somebody were to put something on your back that is tight and squeezing and doesn't give you the ability to move, how uncomfortable that could be for you. A poor fitting saddle can end up showing up as disobedience type issues or painful type issues and we just want to make sure that your saddle fits and to avoid those types of problems. You want to make sure when you look at the bottom part of the saddle, what you want to do is you want to make sure that in this center piece here that it is wide enough for your horse's spine to move freely within this area here. You also want to make sure that when you do put the saddle on that you are putting it in the correct place, you want to make sure that it is also not hindering the horse in the shoulder area. Now we try to take up a lot of these areas where there is gaps with certain types of pads. What I have found that if you find a saddle that does fit appropriately you can reduce the amount of padding that you need on the saddle. You also want to make sure that as I said, not only that it fits in the back end, but that you don't put the saddle up too far on the shoulder hindering the horse's shoulder movement or that you don't put it in a point where if it's real tight in this area that it's kind of hitting the horse in the trapezius muscles which will also shut down your horse's front end. So you always want to make sure that you have appropriate saddle fit, that your horse's back can freely move underneath the saddle and of course the rider always wants to be comfortable in their seat too. So choosing the appropriate saddle type is really important. This is Maggie Connolly with Hawthorne Stables.