Saddlery and Fitting

Members will have some understanding of basic bits, nosebands, girths and martingales, including their action on the horse and their uses and misuses. They will also be able to identify and differentiate among styles of saddles and have a more advanced knowledge of fitting.

To be done as an independent study after discussion with instructor.
  1. From each of the following four categories, pick two types of the item and describe or draw it. Discuss its special design features and how these are designed to work on the horse and how it is fitted. Compare and contrast the two items.
    • Snaffle bits: D-ring, full cheek, fulmer, French link, Dr. Bristol.
    • Nosebands: flash, drop, figure 8, kineton.
    • Girths: string, balding, atherstone, 3-fold.
    • Martingales: running, standing, Irish, German.


  2. Find pictures of, draw, or describe three of the following types of saddles. Include reasons why they are suitable for specific disciplines.
    • All purpose
    • Close contact
    • Dressage
    • Side saddle
    • Endurance or stock saddle
    • Hunt seat (saddlebred or morgan)
    • Racing
Saddle Fitting (Clinic).
Members should attend a clinic on saddle fitting including an understanding of the basic structure of a saddle, the signs that a saddle is not fitting a horse, the most common pressure points, and how to assess the structure of a horse?s back to determine the type of saddle it requires. Ask the clinician to check off on their record sheets that all members have actively participated.