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Saddle Fitting for Short Backed Horses

Normal HorseShort Backed Horse



How can you tell if your horse has a short back? Your horse's conformation can be divided into thirds. From the peak of the withers to the point of the hip, a horse's back should measure one third of its overall length. If your horse has less than one third of its length in the back, it's back is considered short. A short back can increase your horse's agility, but also limit flexibility.


Important Points to note while saddle fitting a horse with a short back:

  • First ensure that you know your seat size as well as what size tree your horse needs. The basics of saddle fitting still apply.


  • The problem area for a short backed horse comes in the length of the bars of the saddle tree and the length of the skirt. The saddle tree or skirt should in no way interfere with the movement of the horse's hip. If you have a saddle handy, properly place it on your horse, then measure what the maximum skirt length for your next saddle should be.


  • Here at the saddles shop, we strive to have all the relevant statistics on our saddles. With your statistics in mind, keep an eye on the skirt length. If the saddle you're interested in doesn't have a length on the description, feel free to call us.


  • Most short-backed horses require a round skirt. If you cannot find a round-skirted saddle for your specific discipline, try looking through our barrel racers. We are also able to order exactly what you need by modifying a current model of Dakota Saddelry.


  • Remember that you can fill out our Saddle Experts form and have specific recommendations considering you and your horse.


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