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Horse Saddle Slip - Stabilize Your Saddle
 By Saferaphus   •   18th Apr 2017   •   345 views   •   0 comments


Some horses are difficult to fit saddles to. It sometimes requires specialized trees, re-flocking or other methods to prevent a horseís back from becoming sore. But sometimes, itís hard to make a saddle, no matter how well-fitted to stay where it belongs on the back of a horse. On most, all you need is a comfortable girth or cinch. But, if your horse is built in a way that makes your saddle slip backward, forward, or roll off to one side or the other, you might need something extra to stabilize your saddle and ensure itís safe and comfortable for both you and your horse.

One of the most common problems pony riders have is that the saddle slides forward. Some ponies are almost teardrop shaped, with large round barrels and narrow fronts. It doesnít help that itís almost impossible to keep them slender. Getting fat just inhaling the fragrance of grass is a characteristic of ponies. So to prevent the saddle from sliding up onto a ponyís shoulder a crupper strap is often used. A crupper strap is a leather or synthetic strap about an inch wide with a padded loop that goes under the ponyís tail. The length of the strap can be adjusted by means of a buckle on the strap.

There are a few horses that need cruppers too. Some need them because, despite anyoneís best efforts at saddle fitting, the saddle still slides forward. And, sometimes how and where you ride may determine whether a crupper is a good idea. If you ride where it is very hilly, you may find your saddle slides up onto your horseís shoulders. A crupper can prevent that from happening. Donít just attach a crupper to your saddle and put your horseís tail through it. You might trigger a bout of rodeo action. Get your horse used to carrying the crupper, maybe by first letting him feel it while you hold it so it sits loosely under its tail. Once your horse has accepted that, attach it loosely to the saddle while the horse is in hand. Gradually tighten it as you see your horse used to the whole idea.

Britching or breaching can also help too. This looks like part of a harness. You often see this rig on mules. It attaches to the saddle or girth and runs around the back of the horseís haunches. Itís stabilized by straps over the top of the haunches so it doesnít slide down too far. This is another piece of equipment youíll want to introduce to your horse carefully.

Saddles can slip backward too. A breastplate, breast girth or collar is the remedy for this. Some breast plates are a simple strap that goes around the front of the horseís chest, attaching on each side of the saddle, cinch or girth. Otherís are Y-shaped, with a strap going between the front legs. If you are jumping big fences, negotiating hilly terrain, working cattle or your horse just seems to push the saddle back despite having it fitted properly, a breast collar will keep the saddle more secure.

Some of us have very round horses and have a problem with the saddle sliding to one side or the other. If your horse has very low withers, sprung ribs or is carrying a bit too much weight you might have this problem. For the horse that is overweight, the healthiest solution is spending time in the diet pasture. For others, it may seem like tightening the girth or cinch is the best strategy, but this might make your horse very uncomfortable and may not entirely prevent the problem. A treeless saddle might make the problem worse. A saddle with a narrow tree may perch on a horseís back, so like so many little problems, a properly fitted saddle may be the solution.

A back cinch is sometimes used on horses ridden western. This helps prevent the saddle from sliding and tipping forward, digging into the withers area. They are mainly used when working cattle. Theyíre not recommended for anything but, since they can be a tangling hazard. The tickling of the looser hind girth may also make some horses inclined to buck or cow kick. So proceed with caution when using one.

If you seem to be consistently sliding to one side, look at how you are riding. It might not be the horseís fault at all. Are you leaning to one side? Are your stirrups even? Do you have one hip lower than the other and need a chiropractic adjustment, or is one leg longer? Shimming your stirrups, looking after yourself and working on your own posture may be the answer.

Many people swear by non-slip grip pads between their horse and the saddle. These pads or saddle blankets have a patch of sticky fabric that helps hold the saddle to the horse. A breast collar and crupper may also help.
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