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Difficult Horses to Fit - a Challenge !!!

Any horse of any shape can be difficult to fit for many reasons. Apart from conformation, height, age, breed, condition and fitness levels, I think that the behaviour and how the horse reacts whilst being tacked up and ridden is a good indication that there could be a problem with the existing saddle or even that a well fitting saddle is ready to be checked.


  • Not happy to be tacked or saddled up or even caught.

  • Not standing to get on, or not allowing you to get on.

  • Cold backed.

  • Tight in the stride when first tacked up or when just got on.

  • Lameness.

  • Not wanting to work off the leg and move forward.

  • Napping ,bucking, rearing.

  • Not happy to work on one rein.

  • Worse on one rein in one gate and worse in another gate on the opposite rein.

  • Hanging on the bit one-side and wanting to face to wards the outside on one rein.

  • Wanting to banana to one side all the time.

  • Not working from behind.

  • Not open though the shoulders. 

  • Ears back and stuffy.

  • Tight though the back or neck, not relaxing.

  • Not wanting to work on a contact, holding the head high or hanging on one rein.

  • Not wanting to jump, refusing running out or jumps over to the left or right over a fence.

  • The performance is just not as good as it was.

All the above behavioural or schooling problems could be saddle related, you know your horse or pony better than anyone else and sometimes its just a gut feeling something is just not quite right !!! 



Other saddle related problems that can make your horse or pony very unhappy or uncomfortable and even not able to bear being worked are animals which do not sit their saddle square, if they are not carrying the saddle square pressure localises in particular areas and can cause massive knock on effects, also a horse which take the saddle forward or back-wards can become very uncomfortable which could be for numerous reasons. 

  • Insufficient fit of the existing saddle.

  • Flocking incorrect or wrong girth straps being used.

  • Asymmetrical horse or rider, (or both).

  • Asymmetrical saddle or flocking.

  • Injury that has allowed the horse to muscle up unevenly.

  • Conformation of the horse.

  • Other medical problems.

  • Schooling problem.


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