General points to remember
The saddle must be clear of the spine.
The saddle must not rest on the loins.
There must be no pinching of the withers at the sides.
The saddle must be level and the weight spread evenly.
The saddle should also be checked with a riders weight on.
The size of saddle required
Saddles are measured from a side staple to the middle of the cantle (as illustrated). The size of saddle depends on the length of the horses back, and the riders size. The saddle must not rest on the loins (lumbar region-between the last rib and the pelvis). The rider should be comfortable and in the correct position, but not at the horses expense.
Standard fitting saddles
These are available in up to five different widths, and in various sizes (length of saddle). The individual saddles will have details of the sizes and widths available.
Saddlery British supply saddles in sizes 14" up to 19", in metric terms this corresponds to 36cm up to 49cm. If a different size of saddle is required as a special please do not hesitate to contact us.
The width measurement of saddles is shown in two different ways, the system we use is Narrow, Medium, Medium Wide, Wide and Extra Wide. This corresponds to Narrow=2, Medium=3, Medium Wide=4, Wide=5, Extra Wide=6 if this is the system you use.
Saddlery British made to measure saddles
To obtain a saddle made to fit your horse the following items are required:
A flexi curve (available at stationery shops), A large piece of plain paper (two A4 sheets stuck together is perfect), the Saddlery British address (to send the template to).
Stand the horse on a flat, level surface as squarely as possible.
Straighten out the flexi curve then bend equally in half, making a 'v' shape.
Carefully place on the horses back just behind the withers. The sides of the curve should be just behind the shoulder blades (scapular bones) pointing down behind the elbows.
Mould the curve on the back and get the exact shape of the withers and sides of the back.
Before removing the flexi curve check that you have measured in the same position on the left and right sides.
Carefully remove the flexi curve noting which is the left and right side of the horse.
On the large piece of paper draw around the curve following the edge that contacted the horse. Note on this sheet the left and right side of the horse.
Do not worry if the two sides look slightly different in shape, there may be a difference in the horses muscle. The saddler will take this into account.
Further templates may need to be taken at intervals along the horses back in the same way as before. Carefully mark at what distances from the first template that you have taken additional measurements. Another good measurement is the contour of the back along the spine. This can also be taken using the flexi curve. Try to make the drawing at the same angle to the horizontal as the horses back is.
From Saddlery British