Horse Saddle Fitting & Rider Training

Saddle Fitting using Equine Thermography - Horse Thermal Imaging - Horse Saddle Fitting - Equine Infrared

Our cameras can detect temperature changes of less than 0.05oC.

The correct fit of your saddle is paramount to your horse’s back health, and performance. Many ‘problem’ horses are working in ill-fitting saddles, or with incorrectly fitted saddle cloths, numnahs and pads. This can be likened to running in trainers which are too narrow and pinch your toes, or to wearing socks that wrinkle up inside your shoes. It wouldn’t be long before we chose to sit down rather than continue, or developed painful blisters.

Equine Thermography - Well fitting Saddle - Saddle Fit - Equine Infrared

A well fitting saddle as identified using Equine Thermography

A well fitting saddle should distribute pressure evenly across your horse's back.  This is shown by a uniform temperature distribution across the saddle.  The thermal imaging cameras used by Veterinary Thermal Imaging are so sensitive that they can detect the subtle temperature changes that result from the increased pressure, leading to increased friction and subsequent heat, caused by the saddle. We work in conjunction with your master saddler to optimise the fit of your horse's saddle.  The results speak for themselves, on the right you can see an example of a well fitting saddle that was made possible with the aid of a thermal imaging camera.

equine thermography - Saddle pad - Horse thermal imaging - racehorse - Saddle fitting - Equine Infrared

Before exercise, thermal pattern of a revolutionary saddle pad on test.

equine thermography - Saddle pad - Horse thermal imaging - racehorse - Horse Saddle Fitting - Equine Infrared

After exercise, saddle pad materials dispersing pressure over whole area.

Thermography can quickly and accurately show where the saddle, pressure pad, numnah etc. is in greatest contact with your horse’s back, and where it may be exerting uneven pressure. The process is two-fold. Firstly an image of the underneath of the saddle is taken prior to exercise, after your horse has been wearing it for a short while. A second image is taken after you have ridden in the saddle. Both images are expertly reviewed to provide valuable information as to the fit.

Problems such as bridging, saddles which are too wide or narrow, even lumpy flocking can all be picked up with Infrared imaging.  If your saddle was poorly fitted, we strongly recommend that you have your horse's back thermal imaged too. 

Equine Thermography - Bridging Saddle - Horse thermal imaging - Horse Saddle Fitting - Equine Infrared

Bridging Saddle

Equine Thermography - narrow Saddle - Horse thermal imaging - Horse Saddle Fitting - Equine Infrared

Narrow Saddle


When coupled with an image of the horse’s back, you have a true view on whether your tack could be leading to or exacerbating problems, or indeed whether your riding style might.

Without knowing, many of us are ‘one sided’, sitting more heavily to either the right or left rather than evenly spreading our weight, or sitting in front or behind the movement. This can affect your horse’s way of going, and is often very subtle, going unnoticed. Imaging your horse’s back and the underneath of the saddle before and after a schooling session can provide you and your instructor with valuable insight for your training.

Animal Thermography© 2018 Veterinary Thermal Imaging Limited.
Registered in England and Wales. Registration No 7159409.