How do I order a DK Saddle?
You have three options:
A. Use the order form and send photo's and order directly.
B. Go to the reps page of our web-site and locate the representative that is in your area and contact them to arrange a personal fitting session
C. Attend a fitting clinic with Danny Kroetch (check our schedule page to see when we will be in your area)
It's just that easy.
What should the sweat mark patterns on my horses' back look like after I have finished a ride?
A correct sweat pattern should show equal panel contact on both sides. However, because 70 percent of the weight bearing surface of the tree of the saddle presses down on the front part of the horses' back due to the girthing system and the stirrup bar location, the front 1/2 of the panel should be clean on your pad and dry on your horse and the back 1/2 of the panel should be wet and dirty. This is due to the fact that sweat is created when air and heat mix. The front part of your panels should be in constant contact with your horses' back, so therefore air is never introduced to this area. So while the area may get warm from exercise, it shouldn't sweat.
How can I tell if the tree in my saddle is fitting my horse correctly?
One simple way of telling if the tree point angle in your saddle is correctly fitting your horse's withers is by putting the saddle on your horse's back with no pad and putting your hands on top of the pommel with one hand on top of the other and pressing straight down . If the back of your saddle lifts off of your horses' back, the tree points are incorrectly fitting the withers. You can also tell if you have a small dry spot on the top part of the withers on both sides. This tells us that the top part of your tree point is too tight.
When I ride my saddle ends up riding forward onto my horses shoulders. Is this correct?
No this is not correct for the tree points are designed to keep the saddle riding in it's proper position behind the shoulders, in order to promote free shoulder movement. This is a common problem of an ill-fitted tree point angle to the withers. This is when the tree is too tight on top and the bottom of the tree point is not touching your horse, so when your horse pick his his back up, it pushes the saddle forward over the shoulder.
If my saddle is not fitting, what type of pad should I use to fix the problem?
Unfortunately the saddle pad industry is a huge industry that in my opinion sells products that don't work. If you put a shoe on your foot and this shoe is too tight on the side of your foot and if you put an insole in your shoe it just makes it tighter. So padding enhances the problem, it doesn't correct the problem. The answer to an ill-fitted saddle is always fitting the saddle correctly, not padding it.
What is your opinion of an air filled saddle versus a wool stuffed saddle?
I believe that every horse deserves to be ridden with and air filled saddle because of how horse and rider friendly it is. Wool rides more rigidly than air and there are approximately 19 different positions of the horses' back while in motion that interact with the saddle. When bone and muscle interact with wool it allows the bone and muscle to move with little to sometimes lots of resistance. The air system moves away with pressure so therefore we now have a saddle that fits your horse 100 percent of the time. Let's keep in mind that both the wool and air saddles have to be properly fitted to begin with. One of the greatest concerns that people have with air is that the saddle will bounce. If fitted properly, an air filled saddle will ride no differently than any other saddle. However you will feel the difference in how your horse works more freely and lifts his back more freely. With the air system it moves with the muscle of your horse. It is similar to massaging the muscle, which promotes more blood flow through the muscle, which in turn brings more oxygen to the muscle, which promotes faster healing and faster muscle development.
How does my girth affect how my horse moves?
What I like to see in a girth is always have elastic on both ends of your girth. For horses' breathing increases 12-16x's in motion. The horse has to be able to expand his rib-cage to breathe therefore the girth must be able to accommodate that expansion. If the girth does not allow the rib-cage to expand the horse will begin to breath erratically in order to not push into the rigid girth. The length of the girth is very important also. The horses' elbow should never come into contact with the buckling system of the girth, for this can effect forward motion. The proper girth length for a dressage saddle is the circumference measurement of the horse where the girthing system lies minus 48-50 inches. For a jumping girth minus 25 inches. It is also very important to have a wide weight bearing surface on the sternum and pectoral muscles. I recommend a girth no narrower than 4 inches in the center of the girth. For horses that are downhill or are carrying a large barrel I recommend a 7" diamond so that the girths will help align the billets perpendicularly.
How do I become a DK Saddlery clinic organizer for my area?
Please contact us through our toll free number 1-877-DAN-FITS and or e-mail us and we can give you all of the details that you require as well as the benefits to you as being a clinic organizer.