We measure the horse's back in at least 3 areas - not just the wither area.
The old fashioned way of fitting a horse for its saddle was to measure only the wither area and the upper part of the spine. This is inadequate because it takes no account of the fit of the rest of the saddle. The Perfect Fit Saddle Fitting Kit measures the saddle in 3 different areas making sure that the whole of the surface area of the underside of the saddle is the same shape as the horse's back. These days all forward thinking saddle fitters and saddlers are using the multi measuring system, so they are sure that the saddles they fit are perfect. If any area of the saddle doesn't fit perfectly your horse may be in pain. Make sure that this is how your saddle fitter measures your horse for a saddle.
This is our basic system of measuring, though the kit shows you much more about levelness, symmetry and other factors which will make your horse perfectly comfortable in his saddle
WHY IS IT NEEDED?
It is estimated that over 65% of horses and ponies in the British Isles are ridden in saddles that don't fit. This means that all of these horses and ponies will, at the very least, be uncomfortable and, at worst, in a lot of pain. The reasons there are so many badly fitted saddles are many, but largely because it isn't taught in any of the equine educational establishments. More importantly though, its importance to horses has never been instilled into riders, so few of them realise how vital it is to be sure that the saddle is a perfect fit. Horses will be happier, better behaved and will perform better if their saddles are comfortable. If their saddles don't fit it can cause more problems than any other factor.
A saddle is to a horse as a shoe is to a human. If a saddle doesn't fit, if it is too tight, too big or the wrong shape, too hard, too soft or too lumpy, your horse or pony will experience discomfort and/or pain. This discomfort and/or pain will make him unhappy and often cause tension and bad behaviour. Also, the saddle may restrict your horse's movement and make him unable to work properly or to his potential. But, even if you have a horse with no problems, it doesn't mean the saddle fits properly or is comfortable. It must be checked to be sure it fits perfectly.
If you care about your horse or pony be sure the saddle fits properly. If you care about your horse you will use The Perfect Fit Saddle Fitting Kit.
FUNCTIONS OF THE KIT
The Perfect Fit Saddle Fitting Kit has 4 separate functions.
1. To make an initial check of how well your saddle fits your horse. Even if you have had a saddle fitter to fit the saddle initially, it is possible that since that time either your horse or your saddle may have changed shape. The saddle fitter can only guarantee that the saddle would fit the horse on the day the saddle was fitted because the horse and saddle can change shape so quickly. Use the kit to be sure that your saddle still fits, or if it doesn't get your saddle fitter out so that they can remedy the situation.
2. To check if your horse has changed shape due to diet, maturity or exercise. It is amazing how quickly a horse can change shape, particularly when the grass comes through in the spring, but also when they change their work level. It takes only seconds to check if your horse has gained or lost weight and we recommend that you carry this out at least every month or more often in the spring, or if your horse has changed his exercise level. The horse can change shape within days in those conditions, so we need to be vigilant if we are going to keep our horses comfortably saddler at all times.
Saddle fitters like their customers to use The Perfect Fit Saddle Fitting Kit to keep an eye on the shape of their horse and bring them out if they notice a change. By working with your saddle fitter, in this way, you can be sure to keep your horse comfortable at all times.
3. To check if your saddle has changed shape. The stuffing in the saddle becomes compacted over time and when it compacts it changes its shape. A saddle that fitted a horse when it was stuffed would, as the stuffing compacts, become bigger on the horse and painful pressure points would begin to appear. This happens fastest when the saddle is new or when it is newly stuffed. It also happens more quickly when the saddle is used frequently and/or when the rider is heavier. Use the kit to check for compression of the stuffing and shape changing of the saddle. Checking to see if the saddle has changed shape takes only seconds to do.
Saddle fitters like their customers to use the kit because the customers can keep an eye on the shape of the saddle and bring them out if they notice a change. By working with your saddle fitter, in this way, you can be sure to keep your horse comfortable at all times.
4. To help in the purchase of a new saddle. The Perfect Fit Saddle Fitting Kit is particularly helpful if your saddle is purchased from a distance. If you are looking for a new saddle you would make the templates of your horse, just as if your were checking your saddle. You then take the templates of your horse's back to the saddles,either to the Saddlers or send them off in the post so that you, or the person that you send them to can see which saddles are most likely to fit your horse.