After completing a saddle fitting course through TAFE in Sydney, earlier this year, Dances with Horses business owner Libby Landers is now providing a saddle fitting service to those living within 30-40ks of Port Macquarie, N.S.W. Libby's rates start at $50 which includes a full evaluation of the balance and fit of your current saddle and if required a recomendation of how the saddle can be altered for a better fit. Libby will also check over your horses back for signs of soreness. Gullet replacement is an additional $45. Please note: flocking top ups or a complete re-flock (removing the flocking and total replacement) will be an additional charge as the saddle will need to be sent away to our expert saddler for this work to be done. Libby travels within 30-40ks of Port Macquarie, additional kilometres will incur an additional 70 cents per kilometre.
"In my view we owe it to our horses to give them a well fitted saddle so they horse can stay comfortable and perform to the best of their ability"
Ill-fitting saddles are linked with back muscle asymmetry, a stilted gait, and back pain in the horse but they are also associated with back pain in the rider. Saddle fit should be checked regularly, at least twice a year.
Horses are constantly changing shape, over spring, whilst green grass is plentiful our horses are likely to put on a few extra kilos and they are likely to carry more fat over their back and in their stomach region. This extra weight will more than likely require the horse to go up an extra gullet size. After returning to some regular training it is likely the horse will drop off some weight and hence require a narrower gullet plate.
If the saddle is not the correct fit the saddle may not be allowing the rider to sit in a position in which they can ride in balance. The balance point (the lowest part of the seat) will be too far back if your saddle is too narrow, tipping the rider back and putter the rider’s lower leg too far forward. This creates too much pressure at the back of the saddle and hence makes it uncomfortable for the horse. If the gullet is too wide, you will lose the clearance between the horses wither and the pommel of the saddle, and the balance point will be too far forward and will tip the rider forward and the riders lower leg will come too far back. Either way an unbalance saddle creates an uncomfortable ride for the rider and the horse.
And lastly an ill-fitting saddle can result in saddle slippage which can result in hindlimb lameness or gait abnormalities. Muscle loss can also result due to an ill-fitting gullet plate.
If you live within 30-40ks of Port Macquarie, N.S.W. why not give Libby a call today? She will happily come and take a look at your current horse and saddle. Libby can be reached on 0438250269, or email [email protected].