It is SO important to have a well-fitting saddle between yourself and your horse.
The saddle can create many problems for a horse if it bridges, is too long, not
wide enough, or any number of other fitting issues.
Behavioral problems can be traced to saddle fitting issues, so might as well
get right to the heart of the problem instead of spending time and money
trying to "fix" symptoms!
Make yourself a folder, and print out these saddle fitting guides.
Take time to study these guides so that you can make informed decisions on saddle
fit for you and your horse.
Highlight important points or points that you question or need more input on. Use
several highlighter colors. Use post'em notes.
Some points will be common to both English saddles and Western Saddles (as well as
treeless or Aussie saddles); and some points will be different. Learn to distinguish which is
relevant; and which isn't.
Read these guides several times; study them, keep them handy. If need be, make
a second copy to keep in the car for long drives, or by the bedside for night-time
reading, waiting for doctor appointments, waiting while picking up the kids from
school or after-school activities.
Each time you re-read the text, you may find something that you didn't notice before.
You may find contradictory points, material, or information. Some information
may be old; out-dated. That's OK! Work it out! Think things through.
Talk to other horsemen about it. Figure out what makes sense to you.
Our knowledge of saddle fitting is increasing daily. What was
"correct" saddle fit five years ago, may be very outdated!
At times, we may need to take special considerations for the short-backed horses. Suggested
length of the saddle is that it not sit past the last rib. Here's
a couple of pictures in regard to Finding the Last Rib.