Proactive fit is imperative for both the physical and mental well being of horse and rider. 

Both through assumptions and education, equestrians have learned that in some instances saddles are only fitted to the rider or if the saddle fitted to the horse, this is only a once in a while occurrence. Saddle fit is imperative to the sport and to the health and well being of the animal. Horses can feel a fly on their back, the impairment of a saddle tree supported by steel sitting into the horses scapula and spine would be painful and unhealthy for both mind and body.  


The saddle pad industry has become a multi-million dollar industry always launching the next big invention trying to win the trust for product sales. However, these quick fixes will never solve the problem at hand. Similar to plugging holes on a sinking ship; only prolonging the situation and making it more painful in the end. When the saddle is to narrow or too wide, there is a pressure point, when adding padding, the result is the point of pressure has shifted higher or lower. Neither the saddle or horse conformation points have been analyzed to diagnose the necessary adjustments required to result in correct saddle fit. 


When the saddle is fit to horse and rider, the saddle is in complete balance allowing the horse to naturally rotate their shoulder back for optimal stride and motion. Riders strive for their horse to naturally accept their hands while being soft and supple in the bridle, coming up through their back, tracking up while not bracing at the base of their neck. All can be achieved through proper fit. 

The recipe of clear communication and complete balance between horse and rider. 

Evaluation on where negative behavior is steaming from can be compared to finding a needle in a haystack. Whether it may be learned behavior, structural, a new injury or saddle fit can be a difficult task to figure out without a list of professionals by your side. 

When on a proactive schedule, the performance comes more natural for horse and rider leading to an effortless ride.

 This question is always unique to each individual horse which can include but not be limited to:

  • Workload (including increasing and decreasing, change of trainers, clinics, etc) 
  • Environmental (weather, living arrangements, etc)
  • Heath
  • Stress
  • Showing Schedule 

Both the weight and muscular structure will fluctuate on each horse throughout different times of their life. Horses are constantly changing throughout their years, growing into their body, developing into a sport horse and aging into their older years. All changes through the body both big and small require adjustments to the saddle to eliminate pressure points.

Due to horses not having a collarbone, their scapula is attached to their rib cage through several unique muscles that allow the shoulder to rotate back freely. This is what gives the horse the ground covering gait in which is restricted by both ill-fitting tree and paneling points when the saddle does not fit. 

The natural ground covering movement occurs when the saddle can adapt to the conformation change of the horse, through adjusting the tree and paneling for optimal balance. 

At Seventeen Saddle Company Inc., we suggest that your saddle fit is analyzed every 3 to 4 months. The time frame does depend on a variety of factors that are unique to each individual horse.  By leaving the saddle every 6 to 12 months, the wool has settled in the panels and the tree angle will no longer match the horses shoulder angle causing restriction, balance and pressure point issues. 

Through the proactive approach, you will save money and time by the elimination of sore backs, behavioural issues, consistent unsuccessful training sessions and veterinarian fees all caused by saddle fit. Most importantly your time, money and energy worrying about what is wrong with your loved horse. 

If you are struggling, please do not hesitate to contact us today.