Badly fitting saddles can cause all sorts of problems and damage, resulting in poor performance such as refusing to jump.
It should fit the horse comfortably and not pinch or rub him in any way.
Is it damaged or twisted?
Many people buy tack cheaply at auctions, and there is nothing wrong with a bargaining; but it is only a barging if it is sound!
Check the underside for unevenness of filling, or padding.
Position it in your lap and take hold of the pommel firmly to see if the arch moves.
If you feel movement or hear a clicking noise, this will indicate there is damage to the tree.
Test the same way as for a rigid tree only you should expect it, to spring firmly back into place.
If it feels slack and lacking in spring it is either week or broken.
A crease across the seat is usually a sign of long-term damage.
Check the cantle for any signs of damage, it should feel firm.
It rocks back and forth when I ride.
If this happens, the rider will feel unsafe and the horse is very uncomfortable.
This movement indicates that it does not fit the horse and is caused by too much padding or stuffing in the panel.
Continuous wearing will cause pressure sores for the horse, on either side of the back.
Anything that continuously rubs the horse will result in sores and when the hair grows back, it will be white in colour.
When I ride, I don't feel straight!
Examine it closely, checking the underside.
Is the padding or stuffing even on both sides.
The tree could also be twisted.
Either way the result would be uncomfortable for the horse and leaving the rider feeling off balance as uneven weight is distributed.
The horse would
eventually develop pressure sores and possibly, damage back muscles.
My horse has white marks around the withers!
Some horses change hands several times. Unfortunately not all horse owners are knowledgeable, nor care enough to find out.
So "ill fitting" tack could be used on a horse for many years, resulting in pressure sores from too wide a pommel.
The tell-tale signs are the white marks that remain.
What type do I need? – GP Jumping showing dressage etc
How to fit and does mine fit?
Help! It slips forwards or backwards
How to choose the correct girth size – What type of girth should I buy?
Which type of stirrup irons should I buy?
Horse training aids
Parts of the driving harness – How to harness a horse – Different types of horse harness
Bridle parts – How to put a bridle on – How to take the bridle off
How tack up - Numnahs and saddle cloths
Cleaning the bridle – Taking the bridle apart – Putting the bridle back together – Oiling the bridle