Skip to content
back to home

Saddle fit

  • Last reviewed: 15th February 2024

Saddle Fit Assessment with SMS Qualified Master Saddle Fitter Steph Bradley

Horses change shape all the time, dependent on weight, fitness and muscle development, meaning the fit of their saddle can change throughout the year. With a growing amount of evidence that poorly fitted tack can have a negative effect on the welfare, comfort, and performance of ridden horses it is important to have your saddle checked by a SMS Qualified Saddle Fitter every 6 months1,2.

A correctly fitting saddle is essential to ensure that your horse has maximum comfort, freedom to move and also the opportunity to develop the correct muscles. Watch below as SMS Qualified Master Saddle Fitter Steph Bradley takes you through the key areas to assess when checking the fit of your saddle and what you should expect from your horse’s saddle assessment.

Saddle Fit


Saddle Fit

To provide your horse with the comfort and freedom to perform to the best of their ability you also need the saddle to suit your style of riding and your body shape and size. The importance of this is showcased through our case study below. Steph works closely with Para Dressage rider Elan Williams and coach Sara Jones-Williams to make sure the fit of her saddle is not only right for the horse but provides Elan with the support she needs for a secure, safe and effective ridden partnership.



Considerations for the rider

Taking care of your tack by regularly cleaning and appropriate storage is essential to keep it in good condition and to ensure its longevity. Regardless of whether your saddle is synthetic or leather, there are a few things you should do regularly to keep your investment in good shape.

Care Of Tack


Care of tack

For more information about The Society of Master Saddlers and to find your nearest SMS member visit or contact on 01449 711642.      

Get in touch – we’re here to help


The BHS Horse Care and Welfare Team are here to help and can offer you further advice with any questions you may have. Contact us on 02476 840517* or email – You can also get in touch with us via our social media channels. 


Opening times are 8:35am - 5pm from Monday – Thursday and 8:35am - 3pm on Friday. 

*Calls may be recorded for monitoring purposes. 



  1. Dyson, S. et al (2015) Saddle fitting, recognising an ill-fitting saddle and the consequences of an ill-fitting saddle to horse and rider. Equine Vet. Educ.27, 533- 543.
  2. Greve, L. et al (2015) Saddle fit and management: an investigation of the association with equine thoracolumbar asymmetries, horse and rider health. Equine Vet. J. 47, 415- 421.