General Advice Before Buying A Used Saddle
There are literally thousands of used and 2nd hand saddles available to buy and they can represent fantastic value often saving hundreds on the new price. What should you look for when considering the purchase of a second-hand saddle?
It has to fit properly, sounds obvious but applying guesswork will lead to problems for the horse and rider. There are qualified saddle fitters who can help with this as well as a realm of information available online and from books (Saddle Fitters and Master Saddlers are different – one fits them and the other makes them)
Is the saddle in good condition? Check it over properly, is the tree sound? Stitching all intact? Are there signs of wear and tear in areas that could need professional repair from a saddler?
If you normally use a numnah or saddle pad then allow for this when fitting
Saddle Width – from narrow to extra wide
Generally if the D-D ring measurement is:-
7 Inch = Narrow
8 Inch = Medium
9 Inch = Medium-Wide
10 Inch = Wide
11 Inch = Extra Wide
12 Inch = XX Wide
The Length – measured from stud to cantle
If your previous saddle fits well you can use those measurements or you can always get a template from your local saddle fitter
General Guide When Saddle Is On
There must be 2-3 fingers clearance from wither to saddle
When standing behind your horse you must be able to see a clear space all the way along your horses back
The base of the saddle must not come past the last rib of your horse
As a general rule there should be a hand space behind and in front
If you are happy with the basic fit of the saddle then try riding in it to assess how it fits , does it feel and look comfortable both for you and the horse?
If included, the stirrup leathers and girth must also be checked for damage and wear, and ensure one stirrup leather has not stretched from someone mounting from the ground
2nd Hand & Used Books On Saddle Fitting
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