Poll Recap: Saddle Fit
Of the 1,139 individuals who responded to the poll, 590 (52%) of readers responded yes, that they have had a saddle professionally fitted, while the remaining 549 (48%) said no, they had not.
In last week’s poll on TheHorse.com, we asked if you have ever had a saddle professionally fitted. More than 1,100 readers responded, and we’ve tallied the results!
Of the 1,139 individuals who responded to the poll, 590 (52%) responded yes, they have had a saddle professionally fitted to themselves and their horse. The remaining 549 (48%) respondents said no, they have never had a saddle professionally fitted.
Additionally, more than 150 readers provided comments about saddle fitting.
Many people said they have or want to have their saddle fitted by a professional:
- "Yes. It's absolutely necessary and well worth the cost."
- "No, but I really need to do this! Having a saddle fit properly is so important."
- "I certainly have wanted to though. Horses with odd shaped backs do better with a personalized one."
- "We'd love to, and hope to someday, but so far it's been cost-prohibitive."
- "In long distance competitive riding I wanted to make sure we were both as comfortable as possible."
- "Always, and checked once a year."
- "I always get new saddles professionally fitted—too many back problems in the past to mess around!"
- "After trying many saddles, I had to get one professionally fitted and adjusted once a year."
- "With all my saddles—both western and English."
- "All my saddles and saddle pads are selected with professional input on horse fit. I'm easier!"
- "Always have saddles professionaly fitted and checked at least annually."
- "After many bad fits trying to fit myself, I will only have a saddle fitted professionally now."
- "Many times! It is cruel to ride without doing so!"
- "Yes, you can really tell the difference."
- "My horses are notoriously hard to fit. A pro is a must."
- "I have had a saddle fitted to the horse."
- "Yes! I have the fitter come back every six months to make adjustments, only $50. Totally worth it!"
- "I cannot imagine not using a qualified saddle fitter"
Some readers shared success stories:
- "Best thing I ever did. He has a 'flat back' and was requiring laser therapy for backache."
- "Best thing I ever did."
- "Great experience. It fit the horse and rider!"
- "I own two custom tree saddles and have never had one fitting problem. Expensive but money well spent."
- "Great improvement in both my seat and his movement!"
- "Best money I ever spent! My horse doesn't fit into 'off-the-shelf' models."
- "Best thing ever, especially for my Haflinger!"
- "Best decision I ever made and only cost a bit more than one from the shop."
- "Excellent experience!"
- "Huge difference in both horses temperament riding for extended periods. Well worth the expense."
- "Couldn't have happy horse and good ride without my saddle fitter!"
Some readers commented about their choice not to have saddles professionally fitted:
- "Can't afford the fitting costs and then thousands of dollars for saddle"
- "No professional saddle person lives in or come to Alaska for a reasonable fee."
- "I would like to but it is too expensive."
- "Can't afford it and all horse has to do is lose or gain muscle or weight and saddle no longer fits"
- "Will never do it again. No place to try out before purchase and ended up returning. It hindered my Tennessee Walker's gait."
A few said they fit their own saddles:
- "I fit all my own."
- "I have been studying saddle fit in horses for 20 years, and own 14-15 saddles. I fit my own horses."
- "After 40 years owning horses, I do my own.These fittings are not always good—the seller needs to sell saddle!"
- "I fitted it myself!"
And several readers left general comments about saddle fit:
- "I think most backyard riders know little about saddle fitting—we need help!"
- "Poor saddle fit can cause long term damage to the horse and rider!"
- "Have saddles regularly checked and fitted as a horse's top line will change with work"
- "Yes and no—beware of the saddle fitter who also sells a particular brand of saddles."
- "It's very hard to find a good saddle-fitter"
- "A good fit makes all the difference!"
- "It's important that a saddle fit both the horse and rider!"
- "It guarantees comfort you both horse and rider"
- "My horse had been using an improperly fitted saddle for years, and often had a sore back as a result"
- "It was very helpful. It needs to be repeated as the horse gets fit, or gains or loses weight."
- "It's not fair to ask them to work with ill-fitting tack. Try running in too small or too big shoes."
- "It is critical to have the saddle fitted correctly to prevent injuries or behavioral problems."
Check out these six veterinarian-approved saddle fit tips TheHorse.com!
This week, we want to know: What is your farm's primary parasite control strategy? Vote in the poll and share your comments!
The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.
About the Author
Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.