MYTH: My horse has a bump on their spine, but it can’t be caused by the saddle as it was custom made for my horse.
FACT: This isn’t necessarily the case! While a custom saddle may fit perfectly when it is made, this fit can change over time.
Custom saddles can be just what is needed to prevent back problems and complete resolution of current back problems. But it’s not always a perfect nor permanent solution.
Sometimes, saddles are only fitted while the horse is standing still and movement isn’t taken into account. There is a wide variation in how much the back and shoulder moves at a trot or at gait in different horses. This has to be taken into consideration to get the best fit.
So your saddle has been properly designed and fitted for your horse (and you!) and things have gone well for a long while. That’s great! But regular maintenance is also required to help saddles keep their original shape as long as possible. After several years of use, it is likely that your saddle needs to go back to its maker to check its padding and fleece. English saddles in regular use should be checked every 6-12 months for fit and possible re-flocking by an experienced saddle fitter. Flocking can bunch or ball up in one area or just get worn out.
Another factor can be the horses changes shape with the season, level and type of work, with age, with changes in weight.
There may also or only need to be a change in saddle pads to change the comfort level for your horse.
Has your horse developed bumps along its back? Near the withers or near the end of the ribs? The horse in the photo below had done just that and been checked by someone who sells/fits saddles and a veterinarian both of whom had told the owner saddle fit was not the issue. Chiropractic, Equi-Taping™ and a new custom saddle and padding and the horse is now back to doing extreme trail riding happily and comfortably. But the swellings may never go completely away.
If your horse is not comfortable in his work, or is grumpy about being saddled or has developed bumps in his back even with a custom saddle, saddle fit check and/or a change in padding then Contact Us to see if a saddle fit analysis could benefit your horse.
If you’re not sure about your horse’s saddle fit and how to have it evaluated. We can refer you to saddle fitters or we can take the guess work out and perform a saddle fit thermal scan on your horse and saddle!
Contact Us today for a saddle fit evaluation… stop guessing and start knowing!