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"THE VIDEO" - It's coming, it's coming...

Western Saddle Fit - The Basics. A one hour video about western saddle fit by people who understand Western saddles. Not quite done, but getting close!!
Subscribe to RSS Feed We keep mentioning the video we are producing on Western Saddle Fit. Many of you may remember last May when a major forest fire ended up… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/video-its-coming-its-coming/

The downhill horse

How do you define it, and what do you do about it?
Subscribe to RSS Feed You can now purchase our 67 minute video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, by going to our new website, westernsaddlefit.com. We also have a 7… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/downhill-horse/

The effect of the rider - Part two

How straight you sit makes a difference for the horse, but you have to realize you move anyway...
Subscribe to RSS Feed In part one about rider effects on the horse, we talked about the effect of movement - horse and rider - on how the rider impacts the horse.… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/effect-rider-part-two/

The effect of the rider - Part one

Yup, the rider affects what the horse feels too. It's not all just the saddle...
Subscribe to RSS Feed Daring to walk into a lion’s den here… When discussing “big picture saddle fit”, we have to look at more than just the tree and the saddle.… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/effect-rider-part-one/

Myth Busting - Cranial Nerve 11 and Saddle Fit

Supposedly, saddles putting pressure on Cranial Nerve 11 is a major problem. Actually, you don't have to worry about it...
Subscribe to RSS Feed The Story I saw it again this last week. Another website/video talking about Cranial Nerve 11 and how important it is regarding saddle fit.… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/myth-busting-cranial-nerve-11-and-saddle-fit/

You're sitting on his kidneys! Get off!

You are. And you can't...
Subscribe to RSS Feed One of the biggest things we hear from people saying you can’t have any saddle pressure on the loin area is that “you’re putting pressure on… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/youre-sitting-his-kidneys-get/

Behind the scenes of "the video"...

Filming a video on western saddle fit takes time, effort, and ingenuity...
Subscribe to RSS Feed This last week we have been concentrating on our video project. We spent a lot of time last summer filming, and a pile of time over the… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/behind-scenes-video/

Cinches - what more I have learned

It seems there is a lot of discrepancy on where people say the cinch ring should lie. But I found one research article that answers at least one piece of the puzzle.
Subscribe to RSS Feed After my last blog post about the “external abdominal vein” and the real anatomy related to cinches, I had a few interesting conversations and… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/myth-busting-external-abdominal-vein/cinches-what-more-i-have-learned/

You're saddling your horse wrong...

Something we'd like to tell a lot of people...
Subscribe to RSS Feed The first thing the rider does that affects saddle fit is to put the saddle on their horse. Where they position it is so very important.… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/youre-saddling-your-horse-wrong/

Center of pressure under a saddle

Where is the rider's weight really centered under a saddle? Maybe not where you think...
Subscribe to RSS Feed A long time ago, in a blog post far, far away… I posted this picture of how a rider’s weight is distributed on a saddle tree. You have the red… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/center-pressure-under-saddle/

How do I measure my horse for bar angles?

You can't give a single angle to a complex shape like a curve, let alone the complex shape of a horse's back. Some people still try. Here's why it doesn't work.
Subscribe to RSS Feed We occasionally hear of people using protractors to try and measure angles off their horse and correlate them to bar angles on saddle trees.… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/how-do-i-measure-my-horse-bar-angles/

Bridging

What does it mean when a saddle bridges? And how do you know if it does?
Subscribe to RSS Feed This is a bridge. It contacts at both ends and has lots of empty space underneath it. This is a badly bridging saddle tree. It contacts… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/bridging/

Flat on round and round on flat - a paradox

We don't make bars the reverse shape of the horse, and there's reason for this. Here's an example of what we do instead, and why...
Subscribe to RSS Feed Some people think that when we get Dennis Lane measurements or back drawings of a horse, we make the bottom of our bars the exact… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/flat-round-and-round-flat-paradox/

Angles - it just isn't that simple

90 degrees. It is a set angle, so all trees that are called 90 degrees have to fit the same - right? Wrong...
Subscribe to RSS Feed We have written about this before, explaining why the numbers of bar angles are meaningless between makers, but let’s try another way. When we… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/angles-it-just-isnt-simple/

Rethinking saddle fit and shoulder blade movement

The traditional teaching about saddles needing to avoid the shoulder blade as it rotates back when the horse extends its leg forward is just, plain wrong. Here's proof, plus proof that you need to have your saddle behind the shoulder blade anyway...
Subscribe to RSS Feed If you read anything about saddle fit and the shoulders, you will learn that the top of the shoulder blade rotates backwards when the horse… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/rethinking-saddle-fit-and-shoulder-blade-movement/

Position - Why it is so important

Pressure testing shows that changing saddle position from on to behind the shoulder blade means going from high pressure to low or no pressure. Position makes a difference!
You can now purchase our 67 minute video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, by going to our new website, westernsaddlefit.com. We also have a 7 minute YouTube video on Western… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/position-why-it-so-important/

Position - Seeing the shoulder blade under saddle Part one

Figuring out where the shoulder blade of the horse is relative to the bar of a saddle is more difficult than seeing it on a bare horse, because you not only have to figure out the bone under the skin, but also the bar under the leather.
Subscribe to RSS Feed You can now purchase our 67 minute video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, by going to our new website, westernsaddlefit.com. We also have a 7… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/position-seeing-shoulder-blade-under-saddle-part-one/

The effects of “flare” - and it's not pretty...

The best way to know how a theory works is to see the results over time in real life. We now have an example of the damage that occurs when the "flare" theory is put into practice, thanks to an owner willing to share her story.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Just over a year ago, we put up a post on “flare” – the idea that you curve out the front of the tree bars a lot so that it doesn’t contact the… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/effects-flare-and-its-not-pretty/

Wither conformation - seeing the damage

There's normal and then there's abnormal, and abnormal doesn't mean uncommon...
Subscribe to RSS Feed By contemplating equine back conformation (not a normal activity for normal people, but definitely normal for tree makers) you come to realize… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/wither-conformation-seeing-damage/

Wither conformation - variations on "normal"

Horses come on all sizes and shapes. Here's the range we have seen so far in the wither pocket area, plus what we think about when fitting them.
Subscribe to RSS Feed You can now purchase our 67 minute video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, by going to our new website, westernsaddlefit.com. We also have a 7… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/wither-conformation-variations-normal/

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