Saddle Fitting Long Distance

Saddle fitting long distance
Kitt Hazelton of Panther Run Saddlery wrote an excellent blog post that shows what kind of photos you need to provide to help a fitter evaluate your saddle on your horse.

I am lucky. I live in the land of saddle fitters. I have many choices of who to use and don’t have to wait months for one to travel to my neck of the woods. My fitter comes to my barn at least twice a year to evaluate how well my saddles fit. Even better, I have access to independent fitters — people who are not repping a particular brand so they are not trying to sell me a better, more expensive saddle than I already own.

However, many people live in a saddle fitting wasteland. Perhaps the only people they can get to look at their horses is a rep for a brand. Maybe they aren’t even that lucky! Those people have two options: learn to fit saddles themselves or work long distance. Given how many people I come across who have ill-fitting saddles (even when they think the saddle fits), choice #2 is a pretty good option.

To work effectively with a saddle fitter you need to be able to provide two things: a good set of photos and a wither/back tracing. You can follow the link to video instructions on how to do a wither tracing. And Kitt Hazelton (Panther Run Saddlery) wrote a great blog post that shows exactly what kinds of photos you need to provide but they include conformation shots, a conformation shot with the saddle girthed up, and a view that shows the tree points in relation to your horse’s withers.

Just remember not to compromise on fit. A poorly fitting saddle can cause your horse a lot of pain and can often be the root cause of performance issues. It’s definitely worth getting a professional opinion.

2 thoughts on “Saddle Fitting Long Distance

  1. I live in one of the wastelands. Even the reps do not “adjust” saddle fit. My horse’s back has changed just enough to make the saddle not quite right. Looks okay, it’s level, no bridging, but I can feel something is off. We cross dress, and for now, that’s working. He has a custom western pad that gives him plenty of wither/spine relief, and a lot of cush. Works for the small amounts of riding we’re doing. Pretty silly looking with a dressage saddle, but when have I ever shied away from silly? Anyone know of a good fitter in N CA who can adjust the flocking??

    1. If you find one, please let me know. We’re desperate for someone here in W. WA who is willing to work on any saddle. We have one company rep who only works on his own brand, but lives in Germany, only comes out once or twice a year and can NOT be depended to show up on his scheduled appointment with you.
      But try (I may have it wrong)..there’s a woman who’s name I can’t remember who does mostly Albions, but will do others, and I believe she’s in CA.

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