This week I had the saddle fitter come measure a few of my horses. Saddle fitting is very important and not an area of equine care to take a short cut with.
My horses must carry me and excel in their discipline without any back pain caused by a ill fitting saddle. I have learned quite a lot about saddles and fitting through college and experience. I still learned something from the fitter on Friday.
Firstly the fitter took measurements of the horses (see the photo). She took a shape of their withers, two fingers behind the scapula, T18 (the last rib) and the top line of the back. These are important measurements for indicating the length of the saddle, clearance at the back and front, shape and the thickness of the panelling.
One of my horses in particular, Narayan a full thoroughbred, had quite a difference between the left and right side of his back. He had quite a bit of muscle atrophy or wastage on the right side, behind the scapula. I knew he had lost condition and top line over the years but it was only apparent once the fitter made the template.
This is why I am glad I used a fitter to take measurements so that the saddle will fit when the muscle returns. At the end, all 3 horses had 3 different shaped trees for their saddles, one saddle does not fit all horses!