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Horse Training Tips and Techniques, Helpful Hints for Health Care;
Plus Business Advice on Making Your Career With Horses a Financial Success

By Don Blazer
          If you want the best movement from your horse, you've got to give him freedom.  That means a correctly fitting saddle in the correct position on his back.

         Too often riders position the saddle too far forward on the withers.  Some even use a breast collar to keep the saddle too far forward.

         Place the saddle on the horse's back well forward over the withers, and then slide it back until it sits "naturally" with the saddle seat level.   You may discover the saddle is two to three inches farther back than where you've been placing it.  (English riders may need a "riser" to level up the saddle seat.)

This saddle is too far forward - inhibiting shoulder movement.

        Once the saddle is secure in its "natural" position, check the positioning of the girth.  The girth should be well away from the horse's elbow.   When the girth is close to the elbow, the front leg can't enjoy a full natural swing.

        Get the saddle in the right position and your horse is going to move more efficiently, more smoothly and in greater comfort…and he's going to make you a better trainer.


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