Sharing saddles: good or bad?

Most horse owners own a saddle too, naturally. The problem is when horse number two or three (or four if you’re that lucky) comes along and you’re faced with that time consuming hassle of trying to find a saddle that fits! Well sometimes one saddle can fit two horses but is this o.k to do?

Many big competitive yards use the same saddle on many different horses. With the help of sheepskin half-pads, front or back risers, various gel products and stuff-able numnahs one saddle can fit a variety of horses at these big yards. Of course, saddles with adjustable gullets are even better for use on many different horses.

So it’s a well practiced thing to use saddle on more than one horse. But what does this mean for the saddle in question? Well, a lot of use which means extra care must be taken! Firstly the saddle should be ‘fitted’ to both horses by a saddle fitter, so if it fits horse no. 1 without anything under it but horse number 2. needs it raised off his wither slightly, a professional should advise you as to what to use under the saddle.

A second fact to consider is that horses usually have a stronger or a weaker side just like you are left or right dominant. This, in some cases, can start to unbalance your saddle over time. Whether your horses are strong on the same or opposite sides it is vital to have your saddle checked regularly to prevent the saddle from getting out of shape. If it is being used on more than one horse regularly it is best to have it checked about twice as much as you would if it was only being used on one horse (about once every 6 months).

Lastly, to keep your saddle looking pretty and gorgeous and ready for any competition it should be cleaned and/or oiled very regularly. Your girth, especially, should be kept clean if two horses are sweating all over it to avoid it getting hard and uncomfortable for the horses.

Using one saddle on more than one horse is fine. Correct care must be taken in fitting it though, to keep all horses happy. As well as plenty of cleaning and oiling to keep the saddle in good condition.

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