1. Pinching under long (near) point: tree is too narrow or improper curve.
2. Pinching at off-side wither: insufficient padding or too narrow in gullet.
3. Bridging (saddle contacts at the fork and the cantle, with less contact at the waist): saddle too long and/or needs more padding at waist to conform to horse's back. (A lift-back or banjo pad increases bridging and is therefore only a temporary measure until the saddle can be properly stuffed.)
4. Hitting the spinal ridge at fork or cantle: tree is too wide and/or saddle needs more stuffing.
5. "Ruffles": turned patches of hair that show when saddle is removed indicate saddle motion and/or areas where more padding is needed.



1. Behavior problems: wringing tail, humped back, bucking, sour ears, refusing the near canter lead.
2. Injuries: permanent white hair growth on off-side wither from prolonged pressure, resulting in tissue damage.
Bumps on spinal ridge from compression damage.
Soft swelling from pressure spots of unevenly stuffed saddle.


3. Saddle "rolling" or "dragging" to near side: too wide a tree and/or saddle improperly stuffed. Ocasionally too narrow a tree, saddle "perching".


Saddle "rolling" or "dragging" to the left.

4. "Uphill" seat: saddle too narrow/too high in fork, and/or not enough padding at cantle, or too much padding in gullet.


"Uphill" ride

Proper fit to the horse

is determined by a combination of factors:

1. Tree width
2. Gullet width
3. Saddle length and panel contour.


For more information on saddle fit, e-mail us.


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All photographs ©2000 OTBM