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Old 09-16-2007, 07:51 PM   #1
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Unhappy Where does your saddle sit

Hello Everyone, after many months and a very busy summer I finally find the time to get back to my favorite forum. I have a question. Where do you place your saddle on your horses back. so the gullet rises above the withers?? Behind the shoulders??, or far back??.. I run a successful riding establishment, and always have lined the front of the saddle pad with the centre of the shoulder, and then placed the saddle about 3 inches back with a lift in the pad for the gullet. My horses ride 5 hours/day 7 days/week and not one had a sore this year from anything. However, my vet tells me it should be way back??? Confused... so I looked a pictures of trainers and riders etc.. ( ie John Lyons) and their saddles are far back on thier horses. What is correct???

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Old 09-16-2007, 07:58 PM   #2
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I am not sure if there is a difference in English and western, but what I do is place the saddle on the horse's back, and then slide it back until it rests into the groove behind the shoulder blades, if that makes any sense at all. I don't think it is in the exact same spot on different horses, but with all of mine, I can "feel" the spot.
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:00 PM   #3
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I also have a riding/training barn, and place the saddle pad half way up the shoulder, with the saddle a little farther back. I always lift the front of the pad up, too, to take pressure off the withers. I have one gelding with back problems, and I use a big foam pad on top of the normal square pad. All of my horses are ridden a minimum of an hour a day, 5 or 6 days a week, and none of mine seem to have a problem.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:48 PM   #4
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I've always done Western where you put the saddle pad to where if you ran your hand straight down the front edge of the pad and continued downward you'd be tracing straight down the middle of the horse's shoulder (confusing?). That sounds similar to what you're saying you do. I think that as long as the saddle isn't pinching the horse and you're pulling the front of the pad up into the gullet, you should be fine, especially since you haven't had soreness problems in the past. I'd say that's a more important indicator of whether you're doing something wrong than what someone else says.

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Old 09-17-2007, 07:32 AM   #5
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Dig your fingers in and find the edge of the shoulder blade. Without a pad, place the english saddle so the padded points are just behind your fingers. Lightly rock the saddle side to side and it will lock in unless it's a poor fit. With western, the front of the bars, usually within 1/2" of the front concho should set behind your fingers. When saddling most place the saddle and pad a bit forward and rock them back into place. This assures that the hair is lying in the direction of growth.
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Old 09-18-2007, 03:40 PM   #6
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All of the saddle fitting sites I've seen suggested Slim's method, so I've been using that. It makes sense that you wouldn't want the points of the saddle digging into the shoulder when they are trying to move!
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:38 PM   #7
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Slim described it really well. You never want the tree bar over the top of the shoulder blade.
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