Does your Saddle Fit?
Saddle Fitting Help from Cavallo
Have you noticed any of the following saddle fit problems?
Uneven saddle construction: Like a pair of human shoes, even good saddles may have slightly uneven construction.
- Trees are often asymmetrical.
- Stirrup bars may be placed unevenly.
- Panels may be stuffed unevenly, displacing the gullet or creating lumps or bumps.
- Wool flocking changes shape over time.
One or more of these irregularities may result in an uneven saddle fit:
- Off-centered Seat: In order to compensate for an off-centered seat, a horse may twist its body. Whatever the cause, the result is an uneven saddle fit
Asymmetry of the horse’s body: Horses (like humans!) may develop differently on their left and right sides. For example, a short or long leg may cause uneven musculature in the shoulders or muscle sling supporting the rib cage:
- Changes in the horse’s musculature: Bodies change and develop. A horse’s musculature will change throughout the riding day (as the horse tires) and over the season (as the horse ages, develops, tones or loses muscle mass). These changes effect the way the saddle fits the horse.
You can achieve a healthy saddle fit with Cavallo Total Comfort System Saddle Pads!
Check Your Saddle FitPut your saddle on with no padding underneath, and do not cinch up. Try to run your hand in between your horse and the saddle from the front of the saddle all the way along the muscular structure under the bars of the saddle. Your hand should be in a palm up position with the back of your hand against your horse and your palm feeling along the bottom of your saddle. In this way your palm will feel what your horse feels. Notice if your hand slides in easily and whether there any discrepancies in the feel. Does the saddle fit tightly in some areas and looser in others? Is it tighter on one side than the other? Notice how it feels. Can you feel the bottom of screws, rivets or conches? Is it uniform and consistent or rough and uneven? Your job is to determine what the underside of the saddle feels like on your horse’s back and then be better informed to select the appropriate Cavallo Total Comfort System Saddle Pad to correct the discrepancies and irregularities.
Your Horse’s Back May Not Be the Same Next Month!A saddle is a static object, but your horse is a living, dynamic creature. Even slight changes throughout the year in your horse’s weight have a significant impact on the fit of the saddle. And, naturally, the saddle fit in turn significantly impacts your horse’s experience. That’s just common sense, of course. But many riders forget the fact that a horse normally undergoes even slight alterations in weight and posture throughout the seasons and throughout his or her life. And yet we continue to put the same old saddle on her back, year in and year out. That’s what saddle pads are for, right? Right. But most saddle pads under-perform when it comes to a customized and continually changing fit. There is a solution that addresses all the changes that come with new seasons, age, injuries and habits. Cavallo Total Comfort System Saddle Pads use memory foam to precisely contour your horse’s back. Specifically engineered to contract and expand where needed, Total Comfort System Saddle Pads mould for a precise fit between the back and the saddle for each and every ride. They even compensate for YOUR weight and posture. The combination of 4 technically-advanced lightweight materials create a system that absorbs shock and eases saddle fit discrepancies.
All saddles, even custom-made ones, have flaws. Cavallo Total Comfort System Saddle Pads contract at the inevitable pressure points and expand to fill any gaps. Also, undue pressure is often exerted onto your horse’s spine. That’s where the special gullet comes in. Each Total Comfort System Saddle Pad is designed to relieve weight and pressure on the spine with the gullet. Cavallo’s Total Comfort System allows more comfort for a saddle that may not be a perfect fit. The pads also allow riders to use one saddle on a number of horses. Cavallo Total Comfort System Saddle Pads are easy to clean and care for. They can be hosed down or pressure-washed, and hung over a line or on the fence to dry (do not put in the dryer). You can also brush the wool side to remove hair and debris. Store the pad on its own when not in use. Constant pressure from a saddle stored on top of a pad can compromise the memory foam.