Maintaining an optimal fit

Bates Saddles featuring the revolutionary EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution offer the highest flexibility for achieving an optimal fit and the ultimate performance for your horse.

After the initial saddle fit, we recommend that you have the fit of your saddle checked within the first three months, as it will settle in the head during the initial riding period, as is standard with all new saddles. Following this initial settling in period, your saddle fit should then be assessed every six months throughout your saddle’s life to ensure the saddle continues to fit correctly, as your horse changes shape according to its age, level of fitness and work programme.

It is always recommended that you seek ongoing professional advice on your horse’s saddle fit, where possible. However the following information can assist you in not only assessing your horse’s saddle fit, but understanding when simple adjustments should be made. In order to check the clearance, bearing and balance of a saddle, it is important that the saddle is positioned correctly. All fitting adjustments and saddle alterations should be made in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations.

Ensure your horse is standing square and is on level ground. Locate your horse’s shoulder and check to see that the nail of the saddle is approximately three fingers distance from the edge of your horse’s shoulder.

Visit easychangefitsolution.com for more information and step-by-step instructional videos

Checking for sufficient clearance

Sufficient clearance of your horse’s wither, across the width and length of the spine, should be maintained at all times. Check to see that the channel of the saddle is clear of your horse’s wither and spine through the length of the saddle.

Checking for even bearing

Your saddle should bear evenly on your horse’s back, providing a close fit. Run your hand between your horse and the panel of your saddle to check for even bearing. If your saddle features the CAIR Cushion System, it is important that a rider sits in the saddle to check the bearing, as the air becomes dynamic under the rider’s weight.

Checking for a balanced seat

Check that the deepest part of the saddle seat is central and level to ensure perfect saddle balance.

Should your saddle require further adjustments select the optimal combination of EASY-CHANGE Risers to achieve sufficient clearance, even bearing and perfect balance.

NB. The innovative systems in our saddles offer unsurpassed flexibility in achieving an optimal fit, however, no one saddle can claim to fit any horse. It is always recommended you seek ongoing professional advice on the fit and in meeting the unique needs of each horse/rider combination.