Okay dumb question. I have been riding for 40 years. I always thought I knew where to place the saddle, one of those things you don't give much thought to. Easy to see when it is too far forward or too far back. However a friend of mine has on several occasions commented that I don't have my saddle placed far enough forward. I googled it and found a saddle fitter's description saying a "finger's width" behind the shoulders. The same saddle fitter also said most people put the saddle too far forward and it is uncomfortable for the horse. I always just used the method slide the saddle back and it will find it's natural resting place. I don't know why I am asking I think I know what I am doing but now starting to second guess myself since I have been told that I am wrong. Anyone noticed some people putting their saddles too far forward?
Thanks AliCat! I ride several different horses/ponies and it seems a little different with each one depending on their confirmation which is why I always just used the method of slide it and let it find its proper resting place. I see other people sort of pull the saddle forward after it looked just right to me and then the girth is essentially right behind the horse's armpit. Just looks uncomfortable to me.
I use the withers as guide. I put the saddle close to the withers, but not so close that it will get in the way of the shoulder's movement. I try to picture the shoulder's range of movement to make sure the saddle is not interfering with it.
Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.
Originally Posted by DottieHQ
You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.
When I rode, I put the blanket and saddle a smidge too far forward, cinched up just tight enough to hold the saddle on and untracked the horse about 12 steps. Exactly twelve steps, too. Too many steps, the saddle slides too far back, too few, it doesn't 'seat' just right. Then finished cinching up. Always my saddle was in the right position. The thing which drives me bonkers is people don't tent the saddle pad/blanket above the withers, just let it pull down when they cinch up. I like a tented arch which with the 12 steps (no pun intended) the pad/blankie comes down just right.
I think most people put it too far forward too. My daughter who is a newbie does it on occasion and I try to point it out to her as I fix it. There should be a few fingers width between the cinch and front legs. I don't measure as it just seems that is where I put it anyways. After you have been riding for a long time you can just tell when things are off ( usually).
I've been riding mostly TBs and TB-x's...they practically have a map on their back saying "put saddle here"! Generally, I'll put the saddle a bit forward and then push down near the pommel until the saddle stops sliding backward easily. If it's a horse I haven't tacked up a lot, I'll feel for the back of their shoulder and make sure I've got at least several fingers between that and where the tree point is. I'm long legged and ride in forward flap saddles, so I look for where the tree point is, not the flap, as that could be misleading. For most of the TB types, with a longish, flat, girth groove, where the girth goes is a non-issue, it goes where the billets say it does . I have been riding a little mare recently, with more of a belly and a short, forward, girth spot. Argh...where the saddle wants to be on her back and where her girth needs to go do not line up! Time for an anatomical girth.
I place and wiggle it backward till it finds it's own resting spot but it's still pretty far forward. That's a hunt seat saddle, a park saddle wants to be waaay back. For the gaited folks a free shoulder is extremely important and they'll put a saddle on further back - going to the opposite extreme.
The saddle goes where it goes and the girth, same. You can't say x" from anything with any accuracy. Every horse is different.
Not that it matters much because if your horse has a big shoulder, it will push the saddle back to where it needs to be anyway. Next time your friend comments on your saddle placement, just say, "Thanks" and carry on.