The construction system of the MATTES Skin Saddle is designed to be easily adapted to almost any horse back. The tunnels are available in different sizes: 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28 cm (photo 36). Further adjustment can be made by adding additional full- or half-sized POLY-FLEX® inserts as in our CORRECTION-System (photo 37). Due to the flexible design, the angles of the Saddle Pad adjust themselves to the horse’s conformation – even in the shoulder/withers area. However, each horse requires a fitted tunnel.
Step 1 The width of the withers is needed to determine the correct tunnel size. It can be measured by using a curve template. The curve template is put on the crest of the horse‘s withers with its ends pointing vertical to the ground (photo 38).
The horse should stand square on even ground and look straight ahead. Centre the curve template on the highest point of the withers. Shape the curve template exactly to the withers‘ sides and copy it onto a piece of paper. Take measurements on both sides from the higest point of the withers (15 cm along each side) (photo 39). Connect the two points with a straight line to get the correct measurement for the corresponding tunnel size as shown in the table directly below.
Step 2: After having assembled the saddle correctly, the rider can start walking the horse in order to let the saddle settle in the right position. After about 30 minutes, the MATTES Skin Saddle will be positioned correctly and further adjustments can be made.
It is important to check if there is enough space between the crest of the horse’s withers and the tunnel. In order to do so, the rider has to stand up in the stirrups and sit back down several times.
The gap between the withers and the tunnel should amount to a minimum of fi ve cm (or the width of three fingers) – regardless of the rider’s position (sitting or standing).
The horse should stand still and square in order to evaluate if the MATTES Skin Saddle is in balance or too low, either in front or in the back. If the saddle is too low in front or too close to the withers, POLY-FLEX® inserts need to be added in front (see CORRECTION® system). If the saddle is balanced but the gap between the withers and saddle is too narrow, whole length POLY-FLEX® inserts are required to compensate.
Once the MATTES Skin Saddle is girthed properly and appears to be level, the horse can be walked around in a steady walk. The rider should sit relaxed and comfortable in order to feel the horse’s back swinging as well as to feel his/ her own body balance. If the rider feels like the horse puts him/her either to the front or the back, additional POLY-FLEX® inserts should be used accordingly in order to put the rider in a correct and balanced position.
After riding the horse in all different gaits, the MATTES Skin Saddle might still need to be adjusted by using POLY-FLEX® inserts.
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