Choose a saddle that will keep you and the horse safe

Arguably all horse riding injuries are the result of the rider falling off of the horse. So how do you prevent this from happening? Choose a saddle that will keep you safe by making sure it is the perfect fit for both you and the horse.

Why a well-fit saddle is crucial to the rider

The easiest way to avoid these injuries is by being able to identify an ill-fitting saddle by looking at it. By being able to identify the signs just by seeing them could minimise your risk of injury or chronic back pain as a result of the saddle not being right for the horse or rider.

Sometimes it can be as simple as securing the saddle differently or tightening a few straps. It is easy to fix but can be disastrous if not done properly. It is also beneficial to riders to recognise lameness, saddle slip and rider crookedness. The biggest problem with equestrian equipment that doesn’t fit the horse properly is that it can cause discomfort to the point where the horse exhibits bad behaviour and even throws the rider.

Why well-fit horse tack is important for the horse

The most important reason to have well-fit horse tack is to keep the horse and rider safe because if the horse experiences discomfort or pain,that may cause it to harm the rider. Horse tack that does not fit the horse will cause both short-term and long-term effects that can change the horse’s state of health and behaviour.

Equestrian equipment is meant to serve the needs of the horse and rider while keeping them safe. Read below to discover how you can identify the signs left by an ill-fitting saddle.

Muscle atrophy from ill-fitting saddles

Another problem is the fact that some horses sport a high pain tolerance and are behaved to the point where they will ignore discomfort and let irreparable damage be caused over long periods of time. Many of these conditions are the result of extended use of a saddle that doesn’t fit and they are often irreparable.

Muscle atrophy is basically when nerve and muscle tissue fibres begin to waste away. This occurs when a muscle is overused for something and, in certain cases, doing something it was not necessarily meant to do in the first place.

An unbalanced saddle puts excess pressure on one side which causes particular muscles in the horse to attempt to escape this force. Under this point of pressure the circulation is cut off and because the muscle is not receiving the adequate nutrients and oxygen from the blood it begins to die or atrophy.

This same pressure causes the muscles to enter a defence mode which causes them to contract in the area to which the pressure is being applied and sometimes the surrounding muscles also contract. This alters the horse’s gait which is also detrimental to the rest of its body.

Be sure to not only invest in quality equine equipment but to secure saddles and horse tack properly. Visit Trident for horse tack and saddles in Gauteng with expert advice to be sure they are secured to keep you and the horse safe.

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