I have people ask me quite often, “where should I place the saddle?” (Of course I’m talking about the harness saddle here!) All too often I see people putting the saddle too far forward. Sometimes sitting RIGHT on the withers.
This little video shows how the shoulder blade moves when the horse is walking. That shoulder moves quite far back, as the horse steps forward. We do not want the saddle to sit in the way of that movement.
If you are showing, then you want a nice swinging shoulder. A horse that is constantly banging into the front of the saddle will tend to shorten it’s stride to avoid the pain of that. Sometimes they appear to be shrugging their shoulders. This really does go back to posture of a horse, and how our harness can effect our horses and their posture.
If your neck connector strap is pulling your saddle forward into the pathway of that shoulder blade, then you probably need a longer one! We can custom make these so they will fit correctly. If you order the regular one on our site you will get what you already have. To find a good fit, measure the distance from the ring on your neck strap or collar cap to the waterhook on the saddle. Then, include that measurement with your order by putting it in the notes section!
I am always happy to answer questions. Please feel free to email me with photos or videos of your horse or pony harnessed and I can help you figure out what changes need to be made. Sometimes the tiniest change means the most to the horse.
2 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip – Placement of the Saddle”
I do not tighten my saddle to much, and once I have the cart hooked, when I put my hand under the pad and saddle it seems to tight to get my hand under it… so I guess my question is… what is tight or to tight? Thank you!!
Hi Colleen! It is hard to tell how tight your saddle is if there isn’t anyone sitting in the cart. It’s very likely that you can’t really fit your hand under the saddle because of the extra weight from the cart. Two wheeled carts will rest completely on their back UNTIL we sit in them. And this is why balance is key. And being balanced to the weight of the person that sits in it. So if you have someone sit in it so you can see if your saddle is too tight, that person should weight around what you do. In other words, don’t have a small child sit in the cart so you can test this 🙂
As for how tight the saddle should be… that will differ per pony and per driver, as well as depend on what you are doing. For the type of driving I do I don’t have my girth super tight at all. My friend, Molly sometimes has her girth so loose you can see daylight between her pony’s tummy and the girth! But those that do CDE’s and especially the marathon portion will need a tighter girth to keep everything in the proper place. I typically want to be able to easily slide my hand between the side of the pony and the girth strap after they are harnessed and have had a chance to breath. Typically this can loosen some as we drive.
Thank you for your question!