The Trading Post Feed and Tack Ltd.

Box 188
3345 Island Highway,
Cassidy, B.C. Canada.
V0R 1H0.

Phone:  250 245- 2115
Fax: 250  245- 2186

Hours:
9 - 5:30 Mon - Sat. 
11 - 5 Sundays and Holidays

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and
New Years Day.

E- mail:  thetradingpost@shaw.ca

Saddle Fitting

We offer a saddle fitting service and can bring several saddles to your horse.  There is a charge for the service, but if you can bring the horse to us, there is no charge and we can try on every saddle in the store!  We ask that you call ahead and make an appointment so we can have enough staff to help you.  When we do find a saddle that fits your horse, take it for a week to make sure it is comfortable for you as well!

If you would like to "Do It Yourself"  we can help you with that too. 
Here's what we need to know:

    What breed of horse do you have?

    How old is your horse?

    -     What discipline do you ride?
    -     Is your horse narrow, medium or wide?
    -     Is your horse skinny or overweight?
    -      Flabby or fit?
    -     How often do you ride and for how long?
    -     Do you show?
    -     Have you experienced any particular fitting problems? 
    -    Dry spots, saddle always shifting to one side, horse not happy or acting out?
    -    Are you Male or Female?
    -    How old are you? 
    -    How much do you weigh?
    -    How tall are you?
    -    What are your preferences in saddle type?

     

    Now that you have picked some candidates, lets try them on.It is easiest to have someone help you with this as your horse needs to stand square on level ground with it's head straight forward at normal riding height.

    -     Don't brush your horse!  Everybody loves that one.
    -     Stand your horse with all four feet square on level ground.
    -     Check for symmetry.   ( Here's where we check for equal leg length, shoulders, hips, muscle...)
    -     Put a white sheet or towel on your horse's back to protect the saddle and run your hand under BOTH sides to see if pressure is equal all the way along the horse's back. 

    Here's where fit gets a bit tricky and "it all depends".... 

    If you like to trail ride and have an older horse, say,  with a sway back, and you are heavy as well but just want to enjoy a relaxing ride with your horse, you would want to see some "rock" from front to back while the saddle is sitting on the horse's back and your horse is standing still. 

    If, however,  you are a fit, high level rider and riding a fit Dressage horse who uses himself well and lifts his back up into the saddle when you are practicing for your Grand Prix test.... you would want to see some bridging under the saddle when the horse is standing still and relaxed.  

    Remember, a saddle fits differently when a horse starts moving. So you see, it all depends.....  On to the next point. 

    If the saddle bridges (unless you want that), sits too high in the front (uphill), or to high in the back ( downhill), touches the withers, pinches the shoulders or has pressure points, try a different saddle.

    If you think it's a good fit, do up the girth/cinch and go for a ride. 

    If you ride in a ring make sure to go both directions equally and get your horse fairly warm.
    When you think you have a good "impression" on the sheet or towel, take the saddle off and have a look.

    You should see equal dirt impressions on the right and left sides of the sheet, but you will always see a bit more dirt at the front and back, because there is more movement in these areas.

    Signs of a good fit:

    -     your horse is relaxed. (you might notice his head lower than usual indicating comfort.
    -     lip licking.
    -     saddle stays in place.
    -     willingness to move forward.
    -     even sweat marks.

    Signs of a bad fit:

    -     dry spots, especially on the shoulders, as that would indicate pressure points.
    -     high head carriage and hollow back.
    -     unwilling to move forward.
    -     choppy gait , tripping, stumbling.
    -     Snarley at you or other horses.
    -     Refusing to comply.
    -     Bucking.

    Problems, questions, concerns or worries?? call us at 250 245- 2115 or better yet, take a picture of your sheet and horse and email it to us at thetradingpost@shaw.ca

    Frequently asked questions:

    What if my horse isn't symmetrical?

    Most horses aren't.  A saddle can be shimmed or padded to "fill in the holes"  Once a horse is comfortable and they aren't using themselves in a way to avoid pain, they usually start even up.  Equine Chiropractors and Massage Therapists can help speed up the process.

    Can you make my own saddle fit?

    Sometimes we can shim your saddle to fit, and sometimes a different pad will make it work. I have more than one horse. 

    Can I get one saddle to both?

    That depends on how different they are.  Most people tend to have a certain breed or body style they are attracted to and most of their horses are similar.

    Back  to