i ran across this wonderful saddle fitting article on facebook today. it had me laughing out loud! there is definitely some great info as well as the funny stuff. just HAD to share number 5:
we in parelli are so lucky that we have access to the wonderful people at Parelli Saddles. they are a well of information as far as saddle fitting goes. and they have developed special saddle pads that allow for shimming which will help your saddle fit your horse’s back as it changes shape.
if you are like me, however, you can not afford a parelli saddle, not matter how often you dream of one. sigh.
billy was just a yearling when i brought him home and i could see after he grew 4 inches in two months, that he was going to be bigger than i originally thought! lucky me, i had a saddle maker boarding her horse at the same barn i was boarding billy at and she was most helpful in the saddle shopping process. yes, she could have made billy a saddle just for him, but she said i shouldn’t spend the big bucks on a saddle until he was done growing. that made perfect sense to me since i don’t have any disposable income as far as saddles go! after all i have to pay for HAY.
so, i bought a wintec dressage saddle! it has an adjustable gullet that i can adjust and change as he grows. i opted for the flocked panels as some of the reviews i read about the air panels said that people felt like they were balancing on a ball on the back of their horse. that made sense to me! plus i like the wool flocking as it will warm and take on the shape of the horse’s back.
for a saddle pad i opted for a merino wool pad. billy can not have any synthetic materials against his skin and at the time parelli had not come out with the smart pad yet. but my merino wool pad is lovely. i have been able to slide the foam shims under my saddle, between the saddle and the pad and they do not move at all! they kind of stick to the underside of my saddle. no pockets needed in my pad.
i bought a montana cincha english girth. it’s 100% wool as well. i have always preferred the wool girth over the neoprene ones. i’ve seen too many horses galled from the neoprene girth. if you are roping heavy bulls or doing fast moves such as cutting, the neoprene girth can be helpful because it won’t slip. but your horse should not wear it all day long, because it doesn’t slip. i equate it to wearing a bra made out of rubber. you are sweating, moving, stretching and working and that darn bra is stuck to your skin, itching and pinching. you would get galls too!
i wanted stirrups that are already turned forward to help out my knees. that is something that i’ve always hated about my western saddles, how the stirrups pull at my knees. i used to twist my fenders and put a broom stick through the stirrups at night, but it felt like they were always pulling to hang straight again. when i rode english it was easier to keep my stirrups turned for sure, but figured that since they make such cool stirrups i would upgrade! i couldn’t afford the clicking stirrups, so i bought the kind that are always turned. they look nice and have a good weight to them. i wanted them a little heavier as i feel that is easier on my knees as well.