It can be hard to know if your saddle has been fitted well – your horse can’t tell you when something’s wrong, so you have to keep an eye out for some key indicators.
One way to do this is to look at the sweat and dirt marks left on your horse’s saddle pad.
By looking at these signs, you can get a sense of your saddle’s fit and what needs to be adjusted.
The two key concepts.
These are the most valuable things to remember when looking at sweat patterns:
- Sweat and dirt marks should be symmetrical.
Symmetry means that the saddle is sitting evenly on your horse. Sometimes non-symmetrical marks don’t indicate a bad fit and sometimes a problematic fit can still result in symmetry.
But as a general rule of thumb, this is a great one to go by.
- The centre line of you saddle pad (the gullet) should be dry.
Under no circumstances do you want the saddle to be rubbing or touching the spine of your horse.
How to interpret sweat and dirt patches.
Larger amounts of dirt and more darkness generally suggest that more rubbing is occurring in this area.
Ideally, rubbing is minimal and is spread out evenly.
Dirt at the front of the saddle pad means that the saddle is too wide and is being pushed forward.
Dirt at the back of the saddle pad could mean that the saddle is the wrong shape, or that the rider is sitting too far back in the saddle.
Diagonal dark patches indicate the points at which the saddle is swinging and rubbing. Diagonal points usually mean that the saddle will need to be custom adjusted to your horse.
Heaving rubbing on one side means the saddle is leaning to the opposite. In the diagram above, the saddle is leaning to the right.
This can also be caused by the way the horse is ridden, or the length of your stirrups.
Sweat and dirt patches are a rough guide. The most important step to getting a comfortable saddle fit is being attentive to your horse; their mood, their sensitivity and any tension in their muscles. Contact a saddle fitter if you suspect you aren’t able to get your saddle to fit nicely.
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10 of the Most Beautiful Artistic Horse Photos
We all love the contours and shapes of a horse’s body. There’s something in the weight of their muscles that makes a horse impressive.
There’s something in their eyes and their faces that show an emotional animal capable of far more than the average person gives them credit for.
Below are some of the most amazing photographs of horses:
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The 10 Most Famous Pilots In History
Lindbergh, being the first pilot to perform a transatlantic solo flight on May 20th 1927, is one of the most well known pilots of all time. He participated the flight to win $25,000, a prize that Raymond Orteig offered to the first aviator to fly from New York to Paris non stop. He took a route from Long Island, New York straight across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris. ‘
This brave woman earned her title to be the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean a single year after Lindbergh set the record. However it was her last flight of her career that brought her the most fame. Earhart attempted to circumnavigate the globe but she disappeared in the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. All other details of the flight remain a mystery to this day.
The Wright Brothers
Orville and Wilbur Wright accomplished the first flight of a heavier than air powered flying machine named ‘the Wright Flyer’. The flight occurred on December 17th, 1903 in North Carolina. The Wright brothers are known to be the founders of modern aviation.
General James Doolittle had a great career in the army and airforce. He performed the first flight just using instruments in 1928. However his most famous moment was the Doolittle Raid in 1942 after the attack on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese. He trained a group of pilots to fly 16 US bombers and bomb important cities in Japan. This raid affected the morale of the Japanese so severely Doolittle received accommodation for it.
Baron Manfred Von Richthoven
The ‘Red Baron’ was an ace German pilot in WW1 who brought terror to the skies of the allied forces. He had the most victories out of all the pilots on either side of the war, shooting down 80 planes. In his final flight he landed his plane safely but was wounded fatally.
Charles Yeager was a fighter pilot and test pilot for the US Military. During WW2 Yeager served in the Army Air Force and shot down 14 German planes. After the war he trained to be a test pilot and was the first pilot to break the sound barrier on the 14th of October, 1947.
Erich Hartmann is known to be the most successful fighter pilot in WW2. He flew 1,404 missions and achieved 352 victories. Also he was never shot down out of his plane. His record set him on the list of top pilots ahead of the Red Baron, who was number one before Hartmann’s career.
Louis Bleriot was an aviation pioneer from France. He conducted different experiments with constructing and flying various types of aircrafts and went on to become the first pilot to fly across the English Channel in his own monoplane.
Florence Barnes was a skilled aviator and also the first woman to fly as a movie stunt pilot. In 1929 she competed in the Women’s Air Derby and set the new woman’s world speed of 196.19 which excelled Amelia Earhart’s previous record. She performed daring stunts in movies which brought her considerable fame.
Chelsey Sullenberger is a modern day aviation hero and is well known due to the Hudson River Crash. On the 15th of July 2009 Sullenberger was flying a passenger aircraft and a flock of Canadian geese struck the airliner and damaged both engines. Sullenburger had to decide in the moment the best way to land the plane safely. He performed an emergency water landing in the Hudson River and all 155 passengers survived.