Fitting a Saddle


Only a saddle with a perfect fit warrants the horse can move optimally and perform at its best. If the saddle does not fit correctly, the horse is constrained in its movements and may develop painful pressure marks.

The following conditions must be met to ensure optimal saddle fitting:

Clearance of withers

The pommel of the saddle is positioned approximately one finger’s width behind the scapula. After girthing, it should be possible to fit two to three stacked fingers between the withers and the saddle.

Saddle center of gravity

The pommel and cantle edge of the saddle end are level, with the lowest point of the saddle in the middle of the seat. The body´s center of gravity of rider and horse are aligned harmoniously against each other in this position and supports the horse finding the right balance. The horses center of gravity is located approximately in the middle of the thorax at the level of the ninth or tenth thoracic vertebra.

Spine clearance

The saddle does not press on the spinal column, the channel is wide enough and allows sufficient space along both sides of the spinal column.


How to find the perfect saddle

A classic and also approved method to adapt and cushion a saddle is to assign a saddler master to fulfill this task. The qualified saddler master is able to implement modifications concerning the padding and the width of the saddle tree by adjusting the gullet plate.

A saddle specialist must not be a qualified saddler master – this could also be a specialist dealer. What matters is that the person in charge is able to evaluate initial situation on site and also to inform the saddler about necessary changes.

We at kieffer work with professional measurement systems to be able to take account of anatomical characteristics ex works.

For our popular dressage saddle Lusitano we offer four different combinations of panel variants to choose the right panel for various anatomic requirements of the horseback before the purchase of the saddle. kieffer helps to come to a decision which saddle panel is most suitable according to a previous data transmission of a professional horse measurement.

The padding of the saddle proceeds within our production before delivery to obtain a optimal results. In many cases we create a pressure measurement with the help of a horseback model to achieve a perfect fit and padding. After delivery, the saddle should ideally be evaluated and controlled while the horse is in motion. Following this, corrections can be made where necessary.

Measurement systems for measuring the horse

Horse owners know this problem all too well: "How do I find the saddle that fits my horse?"

The answer is provided by different measuring systems which allow an exact analysis of the horseback. On the basis of individual determined measurement values it is possible to reproduce the horses back for an optimal adjustment of the saddle fitting to the horseback. The result is a saddle with a perfect fit.

The experienced kieffer saddle specialist is able to decide which panel is the right one without taking measurements. This, however, requires profound knowledge concerning our different panel variants and also the ability to give a professional opinion on the situation.Contact me with any questions.


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