saddle fitting

Over the years I have relied on the expertise of others to guide me when questions arise with my horse needs, and this includes saddle fitting. However sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands, if for no other reason then to gain a better understanding and make wiser choices.

Before we headed out to the barn today, my hubby and I watched a good video on saddle fitting. The basic related anatomy of a horse is explained by Dr. Joanna Robson, and shows you how to tell if your saddle could be causing pain and even bad behaviors. She is fitting for a hunt saddle in this video, but I learned a few things that were helpful for any discipline.

I also watched her Western Saddle fitting video for a refresher, both have good info and are to the point. Looks like supporting videos are hosted on their website, where I found a lot of other how to video's! 

Dr. Joanna Robson also has a book out "Recognizing the Horse in Pain". Has anyone read it? It sounds good. SO many books to read, my wish list is ever growing...

I am still obsessing over the influx of possibilities, the why's and how's of Koda's behavior, while waiting for some responses and yes, over thinking...

We took a close look at Koda and my saddle, and altho neither of us are professional saddle fitters, my hubby & I both agreed my saddle still seems to fit him. I chose to ride in it, altho I did not lope. 

After a longer grooming session, we started with some ground work. I put a cone, a pole, and another cone in the middle of the arena stretching the length of it. We travel lunged walking around and over them, then did the same trotting. Koda was a little skeptical, we haven't done this since our horses lived at home with us. Then I hopped on and we progresses to a couple bends, some turns, and briefly rode around and over using the same gaits - and called it good. 

Poor guy was surprised when I got off after such a short time, but I made sure Koda knew he wasn't in trouble. I wanted to keep this a short, but sweet barn visit. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

Saddle fit is so important. These videos and books sound interesting and informative. Luckily for me my daughter is very knowledgable about saddle fitting as she worked with a professional when she was training with the British Horse Society in Scotland. Good thing too because Dusty and Blue are whither challenged and practically impossible to fit a saddle with properly. After years we finally found one that fits them both.

Sounds like you and Koda had a great day!

The Dancing Donkey said...

Have you had a Chiro check him? A good one can really help sometimes.

Lori Skoog said...

I have had many saddle fitting clinics at our farm over the years. So many people don't have a clue. Ann Forrest, out of Florida (but from Scotland)has been doing clinics all over the country for a long time and I swear by her. I ended up with an Albion XL dressage saddle many years ago and could not be happier. She gave up riding at the Grand Prix level to start her business and gets it...from the rider AND horses perspective.

aurora said...

Grey Horse, It's great that your daughter got to train in Scotland, must have been an amazing experience!

Dancing, I have not had a Chiro check Koda. I am not a big fan of them, but may end up going that route.

Lori, how wonderful to have such a knowledgeable resource. I've always ridden in western tack, other then a few months of lessons in a hunt saddle. I've heard good dressage saddles are extremely comfortable for both horse & rider.