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My Horse Training Stories : Used Horse Saddles
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My Horse Training Stories : Used Horse Saddles

What to look for when buying a used horse saddle…

Firstly …Check the brand of the saddle you are considering buying

This will tell you alot about the saddle before you go any further.. make sure the saddle is properly marked .. there should be stamps in the leather and a a small plate attached to the saddle above of where the stirrup leather hook is.

The make of the saddle will allow you too reference the saddle in terms of ..

  • Where it is made?
  • Type of leather used?
  • Age of the saddle?

These must be taken into consideration when looking at both price and quality. A very skuffed saddle made in europe would be more comfortable for horse and rider than a newer saddle made in india .

A better quality saddle will also wear better to both horse and rider and is less likely to lose value if looked after.

You should see the state of my old bates …after 8yrs of hard riding i had to retire it after needing new points… pic coming still really comfortable !! Wear of saddle..

Next things to think about is how much wear the saddle has …

  1. The points … the saddle points are where the girth attaches to the saddle …usually one or more straps buckled....These are massively important and if are showing signs of major wear you have to ask yourself are you willing to spend the extra to have them changed … i recently got quote $50 a point and there are 4 on my saddle … hence retiring the bates … bought another lovely second hand bates osbourne a few months back for the same cost.
  2. The stitching .. this is another very important factor .. is can be both dangerous and costly to repair and damaged stitching should be avoided
  3. Saddle fit … for horse and rider

Perhaps the most important thing when looking at a second hand saddle is the fit for both horse and rider …

  • Rider … this is the easy part …. i would recommend going to your local saddlery shop and sitting in a few … decide on the size that feels most comfortable … the old rule i was taught was that you should be able to fit four fingers in the saddle behind your bottom.
  • Horse … The fit of the saddle on the horse is perhaps the hardest part…. and the most important… an ill fitting saddle could cause the horse discomfort and at the worst have the horse buck you off ! If you have a saddle that already fits the horse look for something with the same gullet width . The rule is generally
  1. OTTB ,Riding ponies … a finer type will need a narrow gullet
  2. Appys and Most Average horse and ponies … will need a medium gullet
  3. Quater Horse, Clydie … wider back horse will need a wide gullet

Again please call a professional saddle fitter if you are unsure

Horsemanship is all about putting the horse first … and when it comes to saddle fit this is highly important.

So how do i know if the saddle fits??

Good Question … this is how i was taught… on a dressage , all purpose or jumping saddle..

  • Put the saddle on the horse with no saddle clothes… do up the girth.
  • Can you see a channel and light looking from both the front and back of the saddle?
  • Does the gullet easily clear the horses wither?
  • Can you run your hand under the front flaps of the saddle up the horses shoulder?
  • Does the saddle sit level on the horse? the deepest part of the seat should be parallel to the ground?

If answering no to any of the above the saddle does not fit your horse … and I would advise not to use it … it is not good horsemanship … anything you put on your horse that causes them pain is bad horsemanship in my opinion …

Pain causes bad behavior from the minor such as head tossing to the major rearing or bucking … so please is your horse is ever playing up check for pain before discipline.

I hope u enjoyed my article … I am no expert and am just sharing my own experiences as I try to follow my dream of becoming a horse trainer … Thanks Nic


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