Saddle Fitting

Helena Walsh Q.S.F.

Helena Walsh Q.S.F.

Mastering The Art of Saddle Fitting

(Pony Tales Article: The Irish Field 16th July 2016)

Helena Walsh QSF will be in attendance at The Equiline Saddle Division S101 Simmonscourt Dublin Horse Show 20-24 July

Irish Field 16th July 2016

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Article with Ireland’s Horse Review

Wonderful piece with Darragh Equestrian Managing Director, Saddle Fitter, Helena Walsh in this month’s Ireland’s Horse Review July issue OUT NOW!

Helena Walsh QSF will be in attendance at S101 Simmonscourt Dublin Horse Show 20-24 July 2016



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When it comes to Saddles Position is Everything

Does Your Saddle Fit?

As Reqistered Saddle Fitters, let us help you get the best saddle fit.

A change in your horse’s behaviour often indicates discomfort in your horse. If he is showing signs of uncharacteristic behavior or performance issues, then it may be worth getting your saddle checked. However before you call out your saddle fitter you may need to get your vet to rule out any structural pathology since the majority of ‘back problems’ are secondary and occur as a result of primary clinical lameness.

If the answer is “yes” to more than one or two questions, then we would advise you to have your saddle checked. As qualified saddler fitters we are able to recognise if your horse has discomfort in the back and we will refer you to the appropriate treatment for your horse. If your horse is diagnosed with back problems it is important to note that the saddle is not always to blame.

In the horse

  • Are the muscles behind my horse’s shoulder or along the length of his back diminished or atrophied from the nerves and muscles being pinched?
  • Is the lower part of your horse’s neck thicker than the top part because he hollows his back?
  • Are there any white hairs or bare patches in the saddle area?
  • Is there swelling or heat under the saddle area upon removal of the saddle?

For the Rider

  • Does the saddle slip forward/backward/to one side?
  • Do you ride with odd stirrup leathers?
  • Do you have back ache after riding?
  • Do you feel tipped forward or backward whilst riding?

In the horses behavior and way of going

  • Does he dislike being groomed, especially when you are grooming the back area?
  • Does he dislike being girthed?
  • Does he move away when being mounted?
  • Does he toss his head, whilst ridden or refuse to walk calmly?
  • Does he hollow his back when you mount and or buck when ridden?
  • Does he swish his tail regularly whilst ridden?
  • Does he have a hard time walking up or down hills or stumbles?
  • Does he hold his head high and seem unwilling to accept the bit or rider’s aids?
  • Does he have difficulty with one lead over another?

Factors which may affect the fit of the Saddle

  • Changes in type, frequency and amount of work the horse is doing.
  • Changes in diet, grazing and turnout.
  • Seasonal weather changes, horses gain condition in the spring and early summer and lose condition in winter.
  • Numnahs and saddle cloths need to be large enough so that the edging is clear of the saddle at all times, to avoid rubbing or chaffing on the bindings.


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