Many riders place their saddles too far forward which can cause back pain for their horses. Here is a quick check to see if you are placing your saddle correctly:

A) The front of the saddle should not go any further forward than 2-3 fingers behind the horses shoulder blade, or it may cause wither pain and Muscle Atrophy

B) Ensure there is plenty of clearance at the pommel. If there is not enough clearance, your saddle fitter is likely to make an adjustment to the gullet

C) Ensure the centre of the saddle is level. The saddle should not look uphill at the pommel or downhill at the pommel. By placing the saddle behind the shoulder blade the saddle should naturally sit level. If not, the saddle needs to be fitted to your horse.

If you have recently bought a new saddle or suspect your horse has a sore back, the first step is to call your local ASFA Accredited Saddle Fitter. They can also recommend other specialists if the problem is beyond a saddle fit.

(images courtesy Dr Kerry Ridgeway)

Please feel free to download ASFA Fact Sheet - Are you putting your saddle too far forward?