Saddle fitting 101

Assessing optimal saddle fit is the key to comfortable riding.

Does my saddle fit? The key to staying presentation perfect!

To ensure your horse stays as comfortable as you are we recommend you have your saddle checked within the first three months, following your initial saddle fit.

After the initial settling period and to keep your saddle in tip top condition, it is important to assess your saddle’s fit every six months throughout its life.

With regular fitting checks, you can be confident your saddle should continue to fit correctly as your horse changes shape according to its age, level of fitness and work program.

While the touch of a seasoned professional is always recommended in perfecting your horse’s saddle fit, we’re delighted to share insights that will empower you in assessing your saddle fit.

You’ll discover not only the art of assessing your horse’s saddle fit but will have peace of mind that you can now recognise the subtle cues indicating the need for simple adjustments.

If you’d like assistance in staying presentation perfect, we recommend contacting an Arena Saddles stockist.

Three practical tips to a perfect balance, bearing and clearance check.

To assess your saddle’s fit, it’s important your horse and saddle are presentation perfect for an effortless assessment.

For your saddle

  • Check your saddle is perfectly positioned. Locate the slope of you horse’s shoulder and assess the alignment of the saddle nail. For the perfect comfortable position, the saddle nail should be approximately a three-finger distance from the edge of your horse’s shoulder.

For your horse

  • Saddle up your horse without a saddle pad* and with the girth comfortably tightened, as if you were about to ride.
  • Ensure your horse is standing square and on level ground.

All fitting adjustments and saddle alterations should be made in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.*For your safety, ensure your horse is OK with you assessing the fit without a saddle cloth before attempting to do so.

The practicality of clearance

The first step in mastering the gift of clearance for your horse, is to ensure clearance across the width and length of the spine is maintained at all times.

With meticulous attention to detail, check the saddle’s channel clears the wither and spine through the length of the saddle, including when the rider's weight is in the saddle.

The comfort of even bearing

For complete comfort, your saddle should bear evenly on your horse’s back, providing a close, comfortable fit.

Thoughtfully place your hand between your horse and the panel of your saddle to check for even bearing through the length of the panel.

If your saddle features HART, we recommend your sit in your saddle to check bearing. As you grace the saddle, the air within the CAIR Cushion System becomes dynamic, unveiling the true essence of bearing.

The beauty of a balanced seat

It is important to check your saddle’s balance to ensure you effortlessly maintain your correct position and are presentation perfect in any arena!

Check the deepest part of the saddle seat is central and level to ensure perfect saddle balance.

Should your saddle require a touch more refinement, select the perfect combination of EASY-CHANGE Gullets and EASY-CHANGE Risers to achieve optimal clearance, bearing and balance.

Our saddle systems, your comfort

With all the benefits of Horse and Rider Technology (HART) in Arena saddles, you will have peace of mind that your Arena saddle is as adjustable and practical as it is comfortable.

The innovative systems in our saddles offer unsurpassed flexibility in achieving optimal fit and making sure your horse rides in pure comfort, however no one saddle can claim to fit any horse.

It is always recommended you seek ongoing professional advice on the fit and in meeting the unique needs of each horse and rider combination.

You're ready

Now empowered with our practical tips for optimal saddle fit, you can be confident knowing you horse is as comfortable as you are and free to move. With perfect balance, even bearing and sufficient clearance you should effortlessly maintain your correct position.

Stay up to date with Arena Saddles via our social media.