In my opinion choosing a saddle has to be the most difficult and unpleasant task with relation to owning a horse or pony . My current horse was the first horse I have owned where I had to buy a new saddle. Every other horse I have had before has already come with a saddle. Thankfully someone saved me this dreadful job. You might by now be thinking I am very strange.
Most people love buying new things especially for their horses and ponies, but not me in relation to saddles. I must have clocked up more miles driving back and forth with different saddles to try to get one that was a good fit for both my horse and myself. When we look at riding it mostly falls under one of two styles - Western or English and then can be broken down even further into what type of riding you'll be doing. For example do you need a specialty saddle designed for specific activities like dressage, polo or jumping or will you just be hacking out. This has to be the first thing you think about before you buy a saddle and if at all possible buy one designed just for the type of riding you will be using it for.
Choosing a saddle is a very personal choice, what fits and is extremely comfy for one person will feel terrible to another. It is all based on riding style's, riding position, body shape, weight, fitness and experience in the saddle. That is without even thinking how comfy and suitable it will be for your horse or pony. The one thing I found when I bought my last saddle was I could sit on it at the saddler's, then sit on it on my horse and it felt fine, but the real test was after I had ridden on it for a while. That's one of the biggest problem's with choosing a saddle. The best way to determine which one works for you and your horse is to ride on it for a while.
Saddle sizes are measured in inches and to get the correct size you measure the length between the pommel and the cantle. As with any type of sport in which your body has close contact with the equipment, a horse saddle should fit you and your horse- comfortably. Aside from your own comfort issues, an ill-fitting saddle can cause back muscle bruising on your horse.
You will then start to get what is perceived as behaviour problems from your horse or pony including bucking. They are not really being naughty though . They are just trying to tell you something is wrong. When you are seated in your saddle, you would want there to be about two to three inches of space between you and the back edge of the saddle. It is really difficult to fit a saddle and see if it is right for you and your horse on your own.
It is easiest to fit a saddle to both your horse and your body if you have someone with you. Your helper then can either act as you in the saddle (so you can see how it fits on the horse), or he/she can do this for you while you're in the saddle. They can check your seat and make sure there is enough space between you and the back edge of the saddle. They can also make sure the saddle sits level on the horse's back, and that it fits comfortably on the horses withers with you sat on it and that it doesn't tip when you are riding on it.
In general, the saddle should not impede the horse's movements, and it should fit you comfortably. You might need your saddler to alter a saddle for you that is a pretty good fit making it into a near perfect one. A good saddler will come out to your horse and take measurements then alter the saddle to fit. Remember when you have your ideal saddle to periodically clean it with saddle soap and polish it with shoe wax to keep the leather clean, soft and looking nice.
You can get more information and advice regarding horses at horse bits and pieces At horse bits and pieces you will find all the horse and rider equipment you will ever need.