Saddle fitting woes

The other day, Jo rode Hetja. She tacked her up and got on. With that Hetja reared.  So why?  She has never done this before but to be fair, we haven’t ridden her much.  Jo had used a better fitting, but longer, saddle on her when she rode her that day and Hetja had reacted. Hmmm….


Is Hetja cold-backed.  What precisely is the definition of cold-backed anyway?  Did the saddle hurt her?  What was the reason?


This is Hetja’s saddle that Jo tried with her?  It rests quite far back but is a good fit.  This is the one she reared in.


So then we looked at her body language while we moved the saddle back…. ooh, she didn’t like that.


We used bribery (bread) as a good way of communicating and also decided to take Hetja over to mine to a) shoe her again and b) try on Taktur/Klængur´s new-to-me 16.5″ Frelsi Saddle which is shorter in the back to see her reaction.


So, today, in the pouring rain, Jo and Fiona brought Hetja over to shoe and to play saddles again.  Poor love was shaking from the rain so they put on Taktur’s rug (he will so love that it smells of girls now) and she heated up and steamed!


Then for trying on the next saddle which seemed a much better fit and shorter in the back.  That saddle is superb – it fits Taktur now, Klængur too and now Hetja.


We deliberated about whether she is in season. Jo popped round the back to find out…..


This is her “I don’t think so” face! (she will kill me for this!)


So on she got to ride her (look – Jo’s happy face!)


Hetja was 100% in every way and fine (Hetja’s happy face too)


So we are thinking it is a too long saddle on her and she doesn’t like it, which is fair enough – we all have our things.  Then we threw Daisy on to see what happened – nothing. Hetja was a dream.

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So now I am looking for a medium width 16.5″ Frelsi Black Country saddle, preferably 2nd hand for my beautiful Hetja.  She must be happy, always.  Good fitting saddles are essential.


And those horses have the patience of a saint, if you ask me!

3 thoughts on “Saddle fitting woes

  1. Michelle

    I’m just finishing up (I hope!) a saddle search of my own. My Black Country Eloquence does not work on my new guy; too bad it’s not what you are looking for (and clear over here in Oregon, USA!). When I bought the BC, the horse I had then made it quite clear that the 17.5″ was acceptable, but the 18″ (same in every other way) was NOT – too long for his comfort.

  2. Elaine

    Love the photos :0) It’s amazing how a saddle that fits just right can turn your horse/pony from unhappy to happy in an instant. My daughter’s horse Jay was fitted for a 17.5″ by a trained saddle fitter but Jay would start throwing in mini bucks during his work outs and, after six months we got another fitter in who said that the extra .5″ makes a huge difference and we swapped to a 17″. The bucks stopped immediately! Elaine


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