Thehorse.com - Full Article
By Heather Smith Thomas
Apr 16, 2017
Saddle fit is a hot topic. Everyone seems to know someone battling an ill-fitting saddle, if they’re not dealing with it themselves. But first things first: What are some early warning signs that your tack and your horse’s back aren’t meshing?
Clues include dry spots under the saddle after a workout (indicating too much pressure in small areas, inhibiting sweat glands). You might also see hair starting to rub the wrong way or broken off, falling out, or replaced by white hairs due to pressure necrosis (tissue death) or damage to pigment-producing portions of the hair follicles. Wet spots and dry spots indicate saddle pressure isn’t evenly distributed.
“It isn’t always the saddle causing a dry spot,” says Mike Scott, a South Carolina-based equine massage therapist and Master Saddlers Association-certified fitter. “It could be the way the rider is sitting with uneven weight distribution. Or, if the horse is high-headed with its back inverted, there may not be any pressure in certain areas because the back is hollow instead of rounded. There are multiple reasons, but uneven pressure is something to look for...”
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