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About saddles

Equine Osteopathy Sportmassage – Steenhuffel - HorseBACK PROBLEMS IN HORSES, it happens more often than you think.

I notice regularly that a lot of problems in the withers and the back of the horse are caused by a bad fatting saddle. Here are some tips:

  • The width of the saddle
    The width of many saddles in the region under the seat is often so small that the saddle gives pressure on the protuberances of the vertebras. The perfect position of the saddle is when the saddle lies 2 to 3 cm away from the protuberances of the vertebras. The saddle must rest on the back muscles. This easily means in many horses a total width of 10 to 14 cm (adult fist). Moreover the protuberances of the vertebras should be free from the front to the back. Therefore the saddle may not be smaller in the last part.
  • The filling of the cushions
    Older saddles have often hard cushions. When these saddles are also too small for the vertebral column, they can bring real damage to the back region.
  • The position of the saddle on the back
    The region between the forelegs and a little more to the middle of the belly is a very sensitive region with important nerves. The position of the gird is therefore very important. I notice too many times that the saddle is lying too much in the front, above the shoulder blade. This is wrong. The saddle must lie behind the edge of the shoulder blade. The shoulder blade should be able to move freely.

  • Horses not “straight”
    Horses who are not “straight” in the conformation, are horses with vertebral and muscle problems . These problems must first be resolved, before a matching of the saddle can be done. For these horses it is very important that they’re mounted in a proper “straight” way. This is in fact important for all horses.

There are luckily a lot of positive developments in the newest saddles. More and more manufacturers realize that the middle canal must be broaden. There are also more models were the traditional filling with wool is replaced by air (see "links") or by for example memory foam. Therefore the amount of good saddles is luckily increasing.

If wanted, i can check if your saddle is conform with these points.

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