Horse Tack Fit Issues and Problems

Tack fit... or perhaps I should say Mis-Fit.
Probably ranking in the Top 3 challenges faced by riders. It is a major contributor to unwanted experiences in the equine partnership. Below are just a few of the undesirable consequences...

In the Horse:
Reactive/dramatic/dangerous behavior
Physical trauma
Long-term health issues

In the Rider:
Defensiveness in the saddle
Braced position creating unintentional communication
Long-term physical issues
Mental Distraction
Miscommunication with the horse
Pictured is a client as we attempted to find a saddle that appropriately fit her and the new equine partner.
Assisting us was my right-hand farmdog, Riley.
So many horses that arrive for training with "behavioral issues" are in pain due to ill-fitting and mis-used tack.
Have you been challenged with tack fit?
Had unwanted experiences?
Checked the quality of the fit recently?
Assessed why you're using your current setup?
Is it appropriate for you and your horse's current ability?

I suggest every year to reassess your tack and equipment, for fit, safety issues, and assessment of why you're using it and if it is appropriate.

In recent times, I've been seeing a trend both in English and Western tack of saddle fitters who specialize or are educated by a certain brand. They measure the horse for their brand saddle and the owner buys it thinking they're getting an appropriate fitting saddle. Then I get called out for "behavioral" issues, and all too often, as I "play detective," I end up being the bearer of bad news having to tell them that the new or custom saddle doesn't fit.

I cannot recall how many professional saddle fitters I've met that don't actually understand horse physiology nor are they able to fit the saddle correctly. I always suggest getting a second and third opinion. I know can be difficult to arrange, but it is much easier to do than to create years of unnecessary pain or trauma.

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