Saddle Fitting

Having the correct Saddle Fit is one of the most important things to get right; it can make the difference between a poor moving nappy horse and a free moving happy horse. Horses are generally very forgiving creatures, and will live through an awful lot of pain before they let you know something is wrong, so when purchasing a new saddle, you need to make sure you make the right decision.

I am a qualified Saddle Fitter, and after looking at many different saddles and systems, have come to realise you really can’t go past Bates & Wintec if you want to gain that perfect fit.

Bates & Wintec Saddles featuring the revolutionary EASY-CHANGE™ Fit Solution offer the highest flexibility for achieving an optimal fit and the ultimate performance for your horse.

It is always recommended that you seek ongoing professional advice on your horse’s saddle fit, where possible. However the following information can assist you in not only assessing your horse’s saddle fit, but understanding when simple adjustments should be made. In order to check the clearance, bearing and balance of a saddle, it is important that the saddle is positioned correctly.

Four Steps to Basic Saddle Fitting using the EASY-CHANGE® Fit Solution

Ensure your horse is standing square and is on level ground. Locate your horse’s shoulder and check to see that the nail of the saddle is approximately 3 fingers distance from the edge of your horse’s shoulder.

1. Check Gullet Width

Using an EASY-CHANGE®Gullet Gauge, measure your horses wither and ensure the correct size Gullet is fitted in the saddle.
For more info on using the EASY-CHANGE®  Gullet Gauge click here.

2. Check for Even Bearing

Once the correct size Gullet is fitted, sit the saddle on the horse in the correct position, If using CAIR®, the CAIR® Cushion System requires that the rider be seated in the saddle to check even bearing. It is only when the rider's weight bears down that the air will fluidly move to hug the horse's back and distribute the rider’s weight evenly. An optimally fitting saddle will hug your horse's back, providing a close fit.

3. Check for Clearance

Ensure that there is adequate clearance of the horse's wither and that there is clearance across the width and along the length of the horse's spine. If there is not enough clearance, the saddle can easily be raised by using the CAIR® Panel Insert System.

4. Check for Balance

Check that the saddle is in balance from the pommel through to the cantle so the deepest part of the seat is central and level. If the Saddle feels like it is tipping you forwards to backwards, the balance can easily be adjusted using the CAIR® Panel Insert System.

NB. The innovative systems in Bates & Wintec saddles offer unsurpassed flexibility in achieving an optimal fit, however, no one saddle can claim to fit any horse. It is always recommended you seek ongoing professional advice on the fit and in meeting the unique needs of each horse/rider combination.


Trial Saddles

We have a wide range of saddles available for you to try before you buy, to ensure you get the saddle that not only you are happy with, but that is the best fit for your horse. Click here to find out more.