Tack Awareness

The Saddle:

  • The saddle must have full contact along the panel with your horses back. You should check this without a nummnah
  • If using a nummnah you need to make sure it is not pulling tight across the withers and also make sure it overlaps at least one inch around the saddle
  • You should check that the flocking in the panels are smooth and flat with no uneven areas.
  • When the girth is tightened there should be at least 2-3 fingers clearance between the pommel of the saddle and the wither of the horse
  • Your saddle should be serviced and the flocking should be checked every 6 to 12 months However if you have a young or a remedial fit your saddle should be serviced more frequent
  • When riding always look down to make sure that your saddle is sitting symmetrically and not sitting to one side. If it is sitting to one side check for these points:
  • You and your horse are symmetrical and your horse does not have muscle wastage
  • That there are no lumps within the flocking or that the flocking is not more compacted on one side than the other
  • The saddle is bedded into the gorse correctly and is not moving over to one side and making the rider unbalanced
  • Your stirrup leathers are not uneven or have a one sided elasticated girth causing a problem
  • There are no creases in the seat, if there is this could be signs of a weak, broken or twisted tree



  • You should always use a girth that is elasticated at both ends, in the middle or not at all
  • When doing up a girth you should always go up one hole at a time and from side to side. This makes sure the saddle is even and not pulling to one side
  • Ensure that you have the correct girth size. The girth should go up about 3 holes on the girth straps


Stirrup leathers:

  • You should swap your stirrup leathers from side to side weekly. This is because when you mount the leather may stretch and become uneven
  • Ensure that the stirrup leathers are even and not just on even holes
  • Make sure that the stirrup toggle on the stirrup bar is always down when riding
  • Also make sure that your stirrup leathers slide on and off the bar easily, if they do not you may need your stirrup bars lifting as this is dangerous and could be digging into the horse
  • There should be at least half an inch clearance either side of your feet within the stirrups