Home Faq Help, my saddle slides back

My saddle slides back

Author: Sybren Minkema – Friesian Horse Specialist

In the beginning of my profession as a saddle fitter (read: the 90s) I had a lot to do with sliding forward saddles. Now I notice more and more that a shift is taking place in the opposite direction. With today's horses, the saddle slides back more often. How did that happen? Do the saddles change, do the horses change, do you ride differently? My curiosity has been aroused to explore this further. By coming to location a lot, I see many different horses with different riders in combination with different riding styles. As a result, I have now been able to collect enough information to get an idea of ​​what is now the cause of the saddle sliding backwards.

My saddle slides back! Why is this and what can I do about it?

It is not always an easy problem to solve unfortunately. If your saddle slides back, this can be caused by several reasons. I'll list a few for you:

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Causes When a Saddle Slides Backward

The saddle is too wide

When the saddle becomes too wide tree it will lie too low at the front. This shifts the saddle's center of gravity forward and the rear cushions of the saddle lose contact with the horse's back. The saddle is then given the space to slide backwards.

Horse's exterior

I often see in horses with a long withers and ascending belly line (little rib depth) that the saddle slides back quickly. With these horses there is little limitation at the girth spot: the girths slide backwards and take the saddle in this direction.

When the horse broad shoulders it may also be that the saddle is pushed back by the movement of the shoulder.

Horses with a sunken back† The saddle slides to the deepest point of the back. This is usually further than the desired position: just behind the shoulder.

The movement of the horse

In horses that walk ahead and have little activity in the hind leg, I often see that the saddle slides backwards. Also in young horses that are ridden forward downwards I often come across saddles that slide backwards. This is because there is not actively driven and the rider sits more forward, which enhances sliding backwards. Often in young horses that are ridden forward downwards, but are not actively ridden. Rider sits more forward, which reinforces sliding backwards.

Combination of factors

With the above causes, it can be concluded that many causes can be found in the exterior and the movement form of the Friesian horse.

In many cases, sliding the saddle backwards is a combination of the above points. In practice I see that when a horse comes further in training, the saddle stays in place better. The horse is then ridden more actively and the weight of the horse moves more to the hindquarters. So the horse moves more upwards.

Solutions for a sliding saddle

The saddle is the problem

If the cause is only a saddle that is too wide, then this is easy to remedy. In most cases it is flocking with wool from the saddle in the front enough to solve the problem.

If the saddle does not offer space to realize enough lift with padding, a for raising path† I often use a Prolite tri path with different compartments. When the front compartment is raised with an extra padding, the saddle gets more lift.

When both padding and a pad are not sufficient, the rider should consider using a different saddle to buy for the horse.

The exterior or the driving style is the problem

In horses with a long continuous withers with little rib depth, or broad shoulders in combination with a sunken back, the solution is often a lot more complex.

If the saddle fits well on the horse, but still slides backwards, further solutions will have to be looked at. One anatomical girth can help horses with an unfavorable build. If that doesn't help enough, you should look at the adjusting the driving style† The aim here is that the rider will influence the form of movement of the horse, in order to improve the horse's back use.

In some cases it must be concluded that the build of the horse is so disadvantageous that there will always be a (small) shift backwards.

Help, my saddle slides back

At Fryso we employ 4 skilled saddle fitters who can come by to check your saddle and see if we can solve the problem of a saddle sliding forward. We come by for all brands of saddles and all horses and ponies.