SynergistSaddles.com - Full Article
It’s just about impossible to walk through a big boarding facility or barn without the topic of sweat patterns and saddle fit coming up. If all you are looking at when assessing how well your saddle fits is the sweat marks after a ride, you are only getting a small piece of the overall picture.
Here is how the theory goes. When you take your saddle off at the end of a ride you should see even sweat marks on both sides of the spine that resemble the bottom the saddle. If you see dry areas, it is supposed to mean that the pressure there was so high that it shut down the sweat glands.
The overwhelming majority of riders totally believe this is the absolute gospel of saddle fit. If this was actually true and all you had to do was look at a horse’s back after a ride to tell if a saddle fit or not, I could teach a 5 year old how to be a saddle fitter.
In the 30 years I have spent around horses with the last 17 years fitting thousands of horses I have seen horses with perfect sweat patterns with white hairs right in the middle of them. (When you see white hair showing up that is an undisputed sign of pressure and an ill fit saddle). I’ve also seen horses with the ugliest sweat patterns imaginable, asymmetrical and spotty, and the saddle fit impeccably with the horse perfectly happy and in no discomfort. So there are definitely several holes in this theory...
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