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how to fit a dressage saddle to rider

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how to fit a dressage saddle to rider插图

For the rider,the saddle should allowapproximately 4”between the swell of the saddle and the front of your body,and your seat should fit to the base of the cantle but not push against the back. Long legs on a rider may require a larger seat size,to keep your legs from extending past the front of the fenders or pushing against the back of the swell of the saddle.

What is the best saddle for dressage?

Thorowgood T8HGP = High wither GP (HGP)HGC =High wither compact GP (HGC)HDS= High wither dressage with surface mounted block (HDS)HDM= High wither dressage with moveable thigh blocks (HDM) K M are essentially a full leather version of Thorowgood saddles,offering a similar range in fit and design.

How to select the correct dressage saddle?

There are eight things to consider when checking if your Dressage saddle is fitting correctly:Tree Angle. This refers to the angle of the tree nearest to the shoulder blades. …Tree Width. This is the wideness at the front of the saddle,between the panels. …Wither Clearance. You must have two fingers clearance surrounding the wither,above and on the sides.Channel Width. …Panel Contact. …Panel Length. …Saddle Straightness. …Girth Point Alignment. …

What to look for in a dressage saddle?

What to look for in a dressage saddle. Fitting a dressage saddle. Freedom of movement vs restriction, knee rolls, flat and deep seat, fitting saddles, fittin…

Do you need a dressage saddle?

While you can fluff through the bottom levels in a GP saddle if you like, as the movements get more difficult, you’ll need a dressage saddle to keep you sitting tall and deep and allow your horse’s shoulder to move more freely. By the middle of the levels, a dressage saddle is required for competition.

How to determine western saddle size?

The easiest conversion is to subtract two inches from the size of your English saddle, and you’ll be left with the size of your western saddle. Use the following chart to determine your Western saddle size based on your leg/seat measurement:

What happens if the saddle is too wide?

If the bars slide down very far past the spine , then the saddle is too wide. The bar width is closely related to the gullet clearance; a too-narrow bar width will cause a larger gullet space while a too-wide bar width will cause little to no gullet clearance.

Why is a saddle fitting important?

A good fitting saddle is imperative for the comfort of both horse and rider. It improves the way your horse will work, making them more willing. Instead of looking for the best-looking saddle or the cheapest deal, take a few minutes to get a proper saddle measurement and outfit your horse in the best tack for its body.

Why do horses need gullets?

The gullet is the long empty space that runs length-wise along the spine of the horse, and fitting this properly is crucial for preventing nerve pain and spinal injuries in your horse. A proper fitting saddle will allow you to see all the way through the gullet when viewed from the back.

What to ask a trainer about a saddle?

If you are working with a trainer, ask them for a recommendation! They can provide you with a better idea of what type of saddle you should choose and how much it should cost.

How to measure saddle seat size?

Seats come in a variety of sizes for the multiple body-types riders have. To measure your seat, sit in a chair with your back against the chair back and your feet on the floor.

How big is a saddle?

The measurement/size approximately equates as: A leg/seat measurement of 16.5 inches (41.9 cm) or less equals a 15 in (38 cm) saddle. A leg/seat measurement of 16.5 to 18.5 inches (41.9 to 47.0 cm) equals a 16 in (41 cm) saddle.

What is a dressage saddle?

Dressage riders, who need to sit deeply in a neutral, balanced position , require a dressage saddle with a deep seat, th igh blocks and long, straight flaps that encourage a long stirrup length. The depth of the seat and the size of the blocks are very much personal preference. Some riders prefer a very deep seat and/or large blocks, while others prefer small blocks and a shallower seat. Dressage saddles are available in many styles to suit these very personal preferences. The twists on dressage saddles also range from fairly narrow to wide, again to accommodate the difference in rider preferences and anatomy. Stirrup bars are usually located in such a manner as to allow the leg to hang down naturally from the rider’s hip. Most dressage saddles have long billets so that the girth buckles are not under the flap where they can affect leg contact with the horse’s barrel.

How does saddle seat size affect riding?

Saddle seat size affects your comfort level, ability to move and your effectiveness in your riding. Ignore the seat size measurement of the saddle, and work with what actually fits your body. Every manufacturer’s saddle sizing will feel different between models of saddles. Most saddles require that you fit between three to four fingers (or a hand’s width) behind your bottom and the tip of the cantle. If you feel confined in a deep seated saddle, then try the next seat size up.

What is a saddle twist?

Twist width is usually a fairly personal choice, too, though the twist is an aspect of saddle design that is supposed to accommodate the horse’s shape more than the rider’s. The front of any saddle tree has a steep angle to accommodate the horse’s withers, while the back of the tree has a flatter angle to accommodate a horse’s back. The twist occurs where the bars of the tree "twist" to form the transition between the front and back of the tree. The twist is located behind the pommel and at the front of the actual seat, as illustrated in the next two photos.

How far down does a saddle flap fall?

As a very general guideline, the flap will fall only about a third of the way down your calf. The goal in determining flap length is to avoid having the edge of the saddle flap interfere with the top of your tall boot or half chap.

How many fingers behind the bottom of a saddle?

For some riders, having two fingers behind their bottom and the cantle is sufficient as they prefer a snug seat. Others prefer a roomier feel in the seat.

What influences the type of saddle you need?

Your riding discipline influences the type of saddle you need, because the overall design of any saddle is intended to assist with your riding.

How many fingers does a knee hit the point of a flap?

Note how the shape of the flap complements the natural position of the rider’s leg. Her knee hits at the point of the flap with exactly two fingers to spare.

What should the knee rest on when choosing a saddle?

When choosing a close contact or jumping saddle, the rider’s knee should rest comfortably behind the front edge of the flap.

What happens when you ride in a saddle that is too small?

When riding in a saddle that is too small in the seat, the rider will be encouraged to “tuck” the seat, rocking back toward the tailbone, rather than to “sit” on their seat bones.

Why does my saddle push to the back of my cantle?

In extreme cases, a saddle with too short flap, may cause your seat to push to the back of the cantle. Bottom Line. A well-fitted saddle should help you feel confident and secure. It should allow you to sit properly and balanced, which will help you ride less from your hand.

How wide should a saddle be?

As a rule of thumb, you should be able to fit at least a four-finger width between the end of your seat and the cantle. Any less than that and the saddle is too small.

Where should the knee be located in a dressage saddle?

In a dressage saddle, where there’s significantly less “angle” to the leg because the knee should drop straighter down from the hip, the rider’s knee should not be located at the bottom of the flap. Rather, it should rest comfortably into the knee roll.

Do saddles fit horses?

It’s not hard to find information on how to help determine if your saddle fits your horse, but your saddle should fit you, too. If you’re beyond a beginner level, and maintaining the proper position is the primary focus of each and every ride chances are your saddle may not fit you well.

Should you struggle to maintain your saddle position?

You shouldn’t struggle to maintain your position. If so, you may have a saddle that either does not fit you correctly or does not compensate for your weaknesses. We don’t want you to neglect saddle fit on your horse, but both horse and rider must be comfortable in order to perform optimally. Also With This Article.

Why is the thigh measurement important?

The thigh measurement is really important for determining how much room in the seat a rider needs. Traditional western seat measurements are very arbitrary. Measuring from the base of the horn to the center of the cantle doesn’t give any useful information on how much room the rider actually needs between the pommel and cantle.

What is saddle fit?

You always hear about fitting a saddle to the horse with the rider often times being left out in the cold. Saddle fit for the rider is just as important as for the horse.

How much space does a 24" thigh need?

So if a rider has a 24” thigh measurement we divide by 3.14 we end up with approximately 8”. We then add an inch for some operating room. So between the base of the pommel and the base of the cantle, on average, we need 9” of space for that 24” thigh.

How many different length fenders are there?

The inseam measurement dials in the length for the fender system. We have 5 different length fenders to accommodate just about everyone. Occasionally we still have to customize for the really tall or short rider.

How do you know if you have a good rider’s build?

The height and weight of a rider give us an overall idea of the rider’s build. When you add in the thigh and 4” below the hips you get a good idea where a person carries their weight. Different body types need separate consideration.

What is the average seat bone size for a woman?

The majority of mass produced saddles are just too narrow for a women’s pelvis. Average male seat bone measurements are around 4”. Most women average around 5” to 5.5”.

What is a dressage saddle?

The dressage saddle is the saddle type that has undergone the most design modifications in the past two decades as saddle makers, in conjunction with top riders, have modified the materials and shape of the trees to accommodate the shape and movement of the modern dressage horse. The purpose is to provide more freedom for the shoulders and ease of lateral bending. Modifications have also been made to benefit the rider: the construction of the seat varies from fairly open to very supportive with many variations in between, flap shapes and padding, thigh blocks etc. vary widely by brand and model to accommodate rider comfort and amount of support needed. The choice of flap design, size and placement of thigh supports, depth of seat, type of leather, aesthetics, etc. is very personal. You may need to try several options prior to making a decision.

How long should a saddle flap be?

Usually, the bottom of the flap should not be lower than mid-calf with your foot in the stirrup. Most saddle makers offer a “standard” length as well as “short” or “long”. Most standard length flaps are 16-18” (vertical distance from the bottom of the saddle bar to the bottom of the flap) depending upon the brand and model. However, depending upon the manufacturer, flap length may be available on special order from 13” to 19”. All saddles currently available at SmartPak have standard length flaps for that manufacturer and do vary by brand and model from 16-18”.

How to size a saddle?

Fitting the Rider: Saddles come in a variety of seat and flap or fender sizes and designs. It is important to find the correct seat and flap or fender size and shape. Determining the seat size varies depending upon the type of saddle, and in the case of dressage saddles, on the depth of the seat. In the case of a western saddle, you want to be sure you have 4” between the front ofyour body and the swell of the saddle.The build of the rider, whether very slender or somewhat stocky, tall or short, short or long thighs, etc. will also affect the style of saddle within a saddle type that will fit the best. There will also be personal preferences for the type, durability, and color of leather.

Why is a saddle structured?

Because both horse and rider come in all shapes and sizes finding a saddle that is a good fit for both can sometimes be tricky.

How to fit a saddle to a horse?

In general the tree or bars should provide adequate protection to the horse’s back and be designed to place the rider in the best balance for the type of riding that he or she is doing; the panels underneath the saddle should conform to, and aid in protecting , the horse’s back; the girthing system should be located in a manner to effectively hold the saddle on the horse ; and the seat style should provide support for the rider without being overly restrictive.

Why are jumping saddles redesigned?

Jumping saddles have also been re-designed in the past couple of decades to improve comfort and balance for the rider as well as comfort for the horse. Wider, thicker panels and improved gullet design provide more protection for the horse’s back.

What should be level with or higher than the pommel?

d. The cantle should be level with or higher than the pommel.

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