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Fitting your saddle

 

  1. Put the saddle on the horse without using a saddle pad.

  2. Tighten the girth so that the saddle is comfortably secure.

  3. Have someone sit in the saddle with his or her feet in the stirrups.

  4. Slide your fingers underneath the pommel, near the horse's withers. Your fingers should fit comfortably between the horse and saddle. Be certain that you can place at least three fingers between the horse's withers and the arch below the pommel.

  5. Have a helper lift the horse's left foreleg and pull it forward while your fingers are in between the top of the horse's shoulder blade and the pommel. As the horse's shoulder moves, make sure the saddle doesn't impede shoulder movement. Perform the same test on the horse's right side.

  6. Stand behind the horse and look through the saddle (between the underside of the saddle and the horse's back). If the saddle fits, you should see a tunnel of light shining through. If you don't see any light, the saddle is too snug. You likewise need to make sure that the saddle isn't too long for the horse. The seat panel shouldn't reach past the main part of the horse's back onto the loins.

 

Preparing your saddle

 

Your new saddle will need riding in, especially to let the saddle tree settle in. Ride in the saddle for a couple of weeks before you start playing. Once you start playing in your new saddle, you may wish to consider playing without a saddle rug when you can. The panels of the Ainsley Polo saddle are stuffed with memory foam which provides ample protection for your horse and you will be able to see from the sweat marks if the saddle sits evenly on the horses back.