Shetland ponies vary in size from nine to 13 hands high (a hand being four inches). But still, horse saddles will be far too large for most Shetlands. Owners of such small steeds need specially made smaller saddles. They can individually made, ordered from tack shops online or bought used from previous Shetland owners.
Saddles that can fit Shetlands will vary in names. Sometimes they will specifically be called Shetland saddles, but other times they will referred to as youth saddles, kid's saddles or miniature saddles.
Shetland saddles are basically smaller versions of horse saddles. Because not as much material is used into making them, they cost considerably less than a horse saddle.
Usually, saddles are not sold in sizes like pant sizes for people. You can get a measurement on the saddle seat width. For a Shetland saddle, an average saddle seat width is ten to thirteen inches.
Always have the saddle fit the Shetland and not the other way around. According to "Horse Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook", ill-fitting saddles will cause back pain and saddle sores.
Bareback pads with or without stirrups are also used as Shetland saddles, but they are not as sturdy as a pony saddle.
- Photo Credit Image from Wikimedia Commons.
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