Choosing the right Western saddle for your horse ensures comfortable riding for both you and your horse. You need to choose a different Western saddle quickly if you discover fit or compatibility issues with the saddle you're using. Otherwise, the risk of injuries can increase for both you and your horse.
You should know the signs to look out for that indicate a poor fit and therefore a need to choose a different saddle. The following are seven indications that you need to select a different Western saddle.
Your horse is exhibiting unusual behavior when wearing a saddle.
When a horse's behavior indicates irritation when the horse is under the saddle, this is a clear sign that the saddle fit is wrong. A horse may attempt to bite at the saddle or act up if the saddle is causing irritation due to a poor fit.
Your horse's withers are swollen.
If there is too much pressure on a horse's back as the result of a poorly fitting saddle, swelling could develop in the withers. This is the result of restricted blood flow and is usually accompanied by signs of sensitivity and irritation from your horse.
Your horse has frequent problems with saddle sores
Saddle sores are caused by pressure and/or friction between the horse's skin and the saddle. Saddle sores can result from a saddle that is either too tight or too loose.
White hairs are growing in a particular spot beneath where the saddle sits
Another sign of too much pressure between the horse's skin and the saddle is the growth of white hairs. White hairs develop as extreme pressure cuts off blood flow. This restricts circulation to the sweat glands and causes white hairs to grow.
You notice dry spots in your horse's coat after riding.
After your ride, there should be uniform dampness from sweat in your horse's coat everywhere over which the saddle was placed. If you noticed dry spots where the saddle was placed, this could show excessive pressure in these locations and therefore a poor saddle fit.
You don't feel stable in the saddle.
Indications of saddle problems aren't only seen in the horse. You may notice some signs as a rider that indicate a problem saddle.
The most common sign for the rider that the saddle is not fitting properly is a feeling of instability in the saddle. If you feel it's unusually difficult to balance while riding, your saddle could be the problem.
You experience knee pain when using the saddle.
Poor saddle compatibility could also cause discomfort for the rider. In particular, poor saddle fit can cause knee pain in the rider.
Contact a supplier for more information about Western saddles.