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Keep Your Horse Happy with Proper Saddle Fit

Lynn Palm ~ Palm Partnership Training October Tip of the Month

Have you ever tried to walk in shoes that are too small or too big? Your experience was probably very uncomfortable, and you may have developed soreness or blisters as a result. Now consider your horse and how he might feel in a saddle that doesn't fit.

What are some ways a horse "tells you" his saddle doesn't fit? He may stride out properly on the longe line, but when he's ridden he takes short strides and may also pin his ears. You ask him for collection, and he resists by inverting his back. He may pin his ears and/or swish his tail when you mount. He bucks after jumps or trips and stumbles when you're riding on the flat. He may throw his head and/or grind his teeth while being mounted or girthed. You notice it's difficult for him to travel straight when ridden. You brush him after riding, and he flinches to your touch because his back is sore. You're going to do a sliding stop, and your horse stops on his front end instead of stopping with hind end underneath him. These are just a few ways a horse might be saying, "Help me. My saddle doesn't fit!"

Proper saddle fit is one of the most important considerations when riding. If you are unsure if your saddle fits properly, please consult a knowledgeable professional for help. Your horse will thank you with his great performance, willingness, and happiness, and you'll avoid unnecessary vet and chiropractic bills generated by poor saddle fit.

Cyril Pittion-Rossillon and Lynn Palm partnered with Forestier, one of the oldest and most respected saddle makers in France, to create the Alliance Saddle line. The Alliance line of hunter and dressage saddles are especially designed to fit stock horse breeds such as Quarter Horses and Paints. The Alliance line also includes a cross training model to fit horses with higher and more narrow withers such as thoroughbreds. A saddle fitting service is available to ensure an excellent fit for you and your horse. For more information visit , e-mail , , or phone 800-503-2824.

PALM PARTNERSHIP TRAINING ™ is a world class international education center with Equestrian Facilities at Fox Grove Farm, Ocala, FL, and Royal Palm Ranch, Bessemer, MI. Palm Partnership Training ™ Equestrian Facilities provide training for competition and recreational horses and riders. Palm Partnership Training ™ hosts Hunt Seat, Dressage, and Western equestrian clinics throughout the year as well as offer premier horse and rider training products and equipment. Contact: PALM PARTNERSHIP TRAINING ™ 9445 NW 60th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34482 ~ Toll free: 800.503.2824, Phone: 352.629.3310, Fax: 352.629.3470, E-mail: .