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.
Download a brochure to look through a collection of impressive Australian indoor arenas.
Curved Roof Indoor Riding Arenas in Yellingbo, Lockwood & Flinders
Curved roof indoor arenas look excellent, their elegance and simplicity always helps to improve the interior space.
Below are some before, during and after photographs of curved roof indoor arenas that we’ve built in Yellingbo, Lockwood and Flinders:
Also available are regular gable roofed indoor arenas, as you can see in the video below:
READ MORE: How much it costs to build an indoor arena.
10 Awesome Horse Riding Outfits Ideas
1. Moss green cable-knit jumper.
A classic look that’s also practical – it’ll keep you warm, won’t show too much dirt and will be highly durable.
The subtle colour is also perfect for trail riding.
2. A hardy rancher jacket.
These jackets are made to be highly durable. They’re tough and they have a knitted lining, perfect for long rides.
3. A red flannel shirt.
The all-time classic for horse riders, you can’t go wrong with a simple flannel shirt. They will last, they’ll keep you warm, they’ll make you look like you’ve been spending time in the barn.
4. Denim breeches.
If you want to keep a casual look, but find regular jeans uncomfortable, a set of denim breeches are perfect. The perfect balance between practicality and comfort.
5. A classic polo shirt.
Another absolute classic is a crisp polo shirt. They’re easy to find, they breathe well, and they come in any colour you could want.
6. A vintage vest.
A nice earth-tone riding vest can be an excellent decision, bringing a little bit of sophistication to your outfit.
7. The crisp white shirt.
This one is a bit of a risk – it’s extremely easy to get yourself dirty (but at least you know you’ve been working!).
A classic, elegant look.
8. A necktie.
For a little bit more extravagance, add a necktie to the mix. This adds a little bit of fun & class.
9. The jumper and jacket combo.
If you really need to keep warm, throw on a jumper and a jacket for a high-country look. Excellent.
10. A tweed jacket.
The ultimate classic, you can never go wrong with a tweed jacket. This will look classic wherever you’re riding.
BONUS – Anything you want to wear!
We love going through interesting outfit ideas, but it’s also about feeling comfortable. Wear what you want, how you want and enjoy yourself. That’s all that matters!
READ MORE: Equestrian decor ideas
SEE MORE: Our Equestrian fashion pinterest board.