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Unsoundness, not picking up the correct lead, going too fast, bad ground manners, “girthy” horses… problems we have all encountered, but not often linked to an ill fitting saddle. In today’s post, I interview Terry Peiper, who tells us why we should listen to our horses and what they may be telling us, as these problems can sometimes be traced back to bad fitting saddle.

This past summer, I had the privilege of meeting Terry Peiper of Fit Right Saddle Solutions when she did a fitting on a mare that a friend and student of mine was leasing. The difference in how that mare moved under her new saddle compared to her old saddle was enough to get me very interested in learning more about the art of saddle fitting. Terry recently invited me to a free lecture she taught on saddle fitting at her farm in Carlisle, Pa, so I made the trip up last week with camera gear in tow to learn more about this important topic and get some insights and stories from Terry that I could share with you here at CRK Training Blog.

To give you a little more background on Terry, she is also a certified riding instructor who has been teaching for over 30 years, and was ranked among the top 50 riding instructors in America. Terry balances helping her riding students with her passion for educating people about the importance of saddle fit through her career as a Saddle Ergonomist/Independent Saddle Fitter. Please hit play to watch the interview and then scroll down for more saddle fitting resources.

You can find more information on Terry and contact her at

To learn more about how to check your own saddle fit, visit There are some great videos on this site as well!

Finally, please put your thoughts and questions in the comments section below!

p.s. I plan to do more interviews to bring in expertise from all kinds of professionals within the horse industry to share with you, so let me know if you like these interviews and what you want to learn more about!


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8 Responses

  1. What should riding instructors do for there lesson horses? I have kids ranging in age from 5 to 18. All needing a different saddle for the same horse.

    1. Hi Lisa – I have the same challenge. What I have started doing is investing in several sizes of saddles that are completely adjustable so I can have them re-adjusted for different horses if needed. Also, I am going with larger saddles simply because it is easier to ride in a saddle that is a bit too big than one that is too small.

  2. The story about the mare brought tears to my eyes when she said the horse let out sigh. My gelding is very “stocky” my current saddle is too narrow, I think that’s why he doesn’t like to bend and do circles. I’ve tried several saddles that I borrowed from others, and even bought a new one thinking it would work, full quarter horse with 7″ gullet. It was better but still restricting. I don’t want to keep making mistakes, how do I get it right, and if necessary how do I find a reputable saddle fitter?

  3. Oh my God that what happend to me. I have a horse after race careere. Everyone told me that she is fast and unpredictible because of that. I changed the saddle and she’s totalny different now. 100% better.

    1. I’m not surprised at all! Saddle fit has a huge effect on a horse’s behavior!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

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