Fitting Guide

Our step-by-step fitting saddle guide

Fitting can be fun!

Re-check your saddle

Katie Keller and Blue Biyou are having their saddle re-checked - this should be done every 4 to 6 months or if the horse has suddenly gained or lost weight or if there is a change of rider or behavioural changes.

Watch the horse walk

With Kirsten Loots at Sun Valley Stables. It is very important to watch the horse walk away from you and back towards you. Some horses are more developed on the one side or feet are unevenly shod or they have unusual conformation.

Ballance

by watching the horse we can see how the horse will influence the balance of the saddle and if remedial re-flocking needs to be done to keep rider in balance.

Taking Measurements

Ensure balance and fit

Katie and Karen Keller. Again this is the only way you can determine if the horse is symmetrical (very few are) and what steps need to be taken to ensure balance and fit for the horse and rider.

Measure

Taking measurements of nicola clamp’s lovely Shire cross Thoroughbred Waterford Cromwell.

Select

Selecting suitable saddles with Kirsten Loots at Sun Valley stables.

Discuss

Discussing with the rider Sylvia Dixon what she feel's she needs in a saddle.

Input

The input of your instructor, physio or vet is important - wherever possible we will work with them.

Watch

Siobhan and Kirsten Loots of Sun Valley stables watching Sylvia Dixon on Watertside Welsh Luanna a Lipizzaner cross welsh bred by Kirsten.

Perfect Fit

Watertside Welsh Luanna has won many competitions and as you can see here the saddle is a perfect fit.

Discuss

Karen Keller and Lorette Knowles discussing the fit of the saddle when rider is working on the flat and over jumps.

Reflocking

The re-flocking of saddles has to be done “on site” with horse and rider present.

Flocking on-site is the ideal way to ensure the flocking is put in the correct places for optimum balance of horse and rider. Ideally we need to see rider on saddle after the re-flocking has been done. For horses that are not symmetrical or “even” on both sides the panels of saddle may have to be flocked differently to accommodate the shape of your horse/ pony and allow for his more under developed side to “even up“ or develop.

We have both been trained by top remedial saddle fitters in Europe.

Problem rectified

South African author Jassy Mackenzie with her horse Jack. Jack's saddle was sitting a little low - this problem was easily rectified by reflocking.

Correctly ballanced

Jassy and Siobhan checking if the re-flocking has lifted the saddle and the saddle is correctly balanced and allowing Jack freedom of movement.

Correct girth straps

Jess Clark from Farnham had their saddle re-flocked and now we discuss the best girth straps to use - her saddle has 4 girth straps which gives you many more options to balance your saddle.

Have fun!

We told you it can be fun! With Max Steenkamp and Nikki Versveld re-flocking brass target's saddle we often meet clients at competitions to check saddles.

Working with your Physio, Chiro and Farrier

If your horse has a problem that needs the attention of an equine chiro or physio or if his feet are unevenly shod it will affect the balanceof the saddle.

Jonathan Perkins

Jonathan Perkins Equine physio giving horse an "all over" check.

Milyn Brazier

Milyn Brazier physio with a horse that needed a neck adjustment (www.mbphysio.co.za).

Johann van der Merwe

Johann van der Merwe farrier balancing this horses feet.

Tack & Saddle Fitting Specialists

Stockists of new & quality pre-owned saddles to fit every size and shape.

He always knows...

He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.
~Author Unknown