Saddle fitting

The other week I had the saddle fitter out to refit the boys saddles, and to start the process of a new jumping saddle for Henry.

New stuffs for me?!
I used a new fitter, because my usual guy represents a saddle company. He has interests in selling his products. He's a good fitter but I felt like I needed a fresh set of eyes. Eyes that didn't see dollar signs! The fitter I had out is independent and I had heard really good things about her. She has access to a wide range of saddles and because she's independent, isn't trying to sell anything.

Coolie was first, and both his saddles just needed refitting, but I wanted his jumping saddle looked over more thoroughly because I haven't been thrilled with how its fitting. Mel the fitter poked and prodded Coolie (to his disgust!) and looked at how the saddles sat. She described to me what she was looking for and answered all my questions in detail.

My dressage saddle got all the flocking pulled out and re stuffed to help it compress more evenly since I haven't had it from new. The jumping saddle was the same, and both felt much more balanced to ride in when we were done.
Love this saddle
Henry was second. Again his dressage saddle got all the flock removed and re stuffed. His dressage saddle doesn't fit him amazingly well, but it's workable for now. The jumping saddle that I thought I would need to replace because the boys share it actually fits him fine! Mel recommended that I replace the dressage saddle before I replace the jumping saddle which i thought was very interesting.

Mel had bought a number of jumping saddles for me to try, all different makes to find what might work best. Some didn't work for Henry at all. Out of the ones she bought 2 fit Henry best so those were the ones I rode in. I asked a lot of questions about what she looks for in a saddle that fits and Mel happily showed me the important points. Very useful information, as I check my own saddles frequently and it's always good to know more things to look out for.

Nothing to do with the post, just because I am proud of him!
The saddle fitter also told me about how some old methods for saddle fitting are no longer current, and new information is being used to fit saddle. She showed me where the girth points should hang, and that these days, saddle length is less of a factor (i.e. that the saddle should stop before the last rib), instead that evenly distributed pressure should come first and foremost when fitting a saddle.

The first one I tried was a show jumping saddle. From the second I sat in it I hated it. I felt so un secure! A trotted in it and hated it even more so we put the second saddle on. It was instant love. I felt so secure and at home. It kept me in a good position over the jumps, even with Henry's enthusiasm.

Typically, the saddle I like is a LOT of money. And brand new, so there are no second hand saddles out there to be had. So for now I will keep saving and keep an eye out for second hand saddles. The benefit to this saddle is it will fit both horses with no problems because they are quite similar.
Saving all my $$$
I really need Henry to finish growing and level out before I replace his dressage saddle. When i think he's done growing I will definitely get Mel out to try some dressage saddles. I have no idea what I want for him, I wish my KN would fit him since I love that saddle. It wont work on him at all, it's just too much saddle. Works good for Coolie though!


  1. Ugh saddle stuff can be so simple and so complicated and so.. ugh. I hope the perfect second hand saddle appears for you!!

    1. I think I'm lucky, both of my guys seem to be a reasonably easy fit. I just have expensive taste!

  2. i love the idea of saddle fitting and am always eager to learn more about it. the saddle fitters themselves tho i'm always a little skeptical about, mostly bc of what you say about some of them seeing only $$$ and having their own interests in the matter, plus having had a number of them tell me conflicting stuff. seems like Mel knew her stuff tho and awesome that she was so eager to discuss methods with you!

    1. I find it all very interesting and it is so important, but also not rocket science as some people seem to make out. I love reading your post on getting Charlies dressage saddle fitted, fascinating!


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