PRIORITY #1 – COMPLETE CLEARANCE OF THE WITHERS
It is essential that there is absolutely NO contact between the underside of your saddle and the top and sides of your horse’s withers. The height of two to three fingers is a good guideline for clearance of the underside of the pommel. After you’re all cinched up and in the saddle, reach underneath one more time to be certain your hand is not pinched.
PRIORITY #2 – FREEDOM FOR THE SHOULDERS
Another essential: eliminate pressure, pinching and restriction of the shoulders. While some people do understand this concept, unfortunately many are thinking of the shoulder shape when the horse is standing still, rather than when the horse is in motion. There can be a big difference. Your horse’s comfort and performance depend upon your awareness of this.
Key Saddle-Fit Success To Do’s: Locate the back edge of the shoulder blade (scapula) while your horse is standing still. Feel where the firm muscular area drops off. Then, lift his knee up and forward to feel how the powerful muscles bulge as they pull the scapula back and down. This is similar to what happens when your horse is in full stride. Our saddles are designed to ensure generous room in the scapula to freely slide back and forth without restriction. Paired with our special VersaFit(tm) interface system, we can guarantee full freedom of movement for your horse’s shoulders.
PRIORITY #3 – SPACE FOR THE LIFTING BACK
Your horse carries ALL the weight of rider and saddle on his back, and yet he must be able to lift his back in order to engage his hind end for sound biomechanics. If a saddle puts too much pressure in the wrong places, your horse will have difficulty or pain when he tries to lift his back – compromising health and happiness. We’ve engineered our saddles and customizing interface to provide just the right amount of space so that your horse can use his back as nature intended.
PRIORITY #4 – RIDER BALANCE
It’s important for a saddle to help the rider find that ideal balance point…and thousands of riders joyfully report our saddles have done just that! If the rider is unbalanced, the horse will feel uneven or changing pressure as the rider tries to find equilibrium. Our saddles are engineered to provide that sweet spot of fit for the horse and balance for the rider. Of course, no two horses are exactly alike, and we can micro-adjust for ideal rider balance with our convenient customizing VersaFit Shims.