[singlepic id=567 w=200 h=150 float=] As with humans, the dominance of a horse being one-sided creates uneven lateral musculature. A rider often spends more time on the weaker side of the horse, working on lateral balance.
When a symmetrical saddle is placed on an asymmetrically built horse, the saddle is going to fall into the weaker side. This may not be an issue for men, who have narrowly placed sitting bones, and can merely sit slightly to the stronger side for lateral balance. For most women though, with a much wider base, they often have to sit further to the stronger side to get that same feeling and often have to collapse their upper body to laterally balance – this starts a chain of compensations.
Whereas a man’s centered position seldom interferes with the horse’s biomechanical movement, a woman’s cantilevered position will force the horse to brace on the rein of the stronger side for his or her lateral balance. This promotes additional muscling on the stronger side of the horse, and other compensations including inward lateral tracking on the passive hock.
Because of those compensations, the saddle should be fitted so the rider’s position does not negatively affect the biomechanical movement of the horse, and allow the rider to sit evenly in the saddle having full use of his or her relaxed core strength – the asymmetrical fit.
-By George Gullikson – Master Saddle Fitter – to view this article in full visit www.equineinspired.info.
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