|Missouri 5 year old walker/saddlebred
ridden in mullen mouth eggbutt snaffleand western saddle by beginner.
Question: I am having trouble getting a saddle to fit my horse.
How do I measure for correct fit ?
From Panelsit Liz
This is not an easy topic. The best way to fit your horse with
a saddle is to have a "bare tree" fitting done, by someone who is a pro
at it, with a number of trees to try out. You can also take tracings
(using wire that bends to shape) over the withers, behind the withers and
over the back under the seat area and toward the cantle ... then send those
to a saddle
The short, and not very accurate, way to tell if the saddle approximates
a fit is to see that it leaves at least two fingers of room at the gullet
between withers and saddle, when you are sitting in it. Check that the
bars fit down over each side of the back below the withers, not perching
up above it, and that the back of the saddle sits down on the horse's back,
Good luck finding a saddle that works for your horse.
From Panelist Stella
You really are better off either dealing with tack stores/companies
that allow you to try the saddle and return if not fitting, or, trailer
your horse with you(making sure he's very clean,bring a clean girth and
pad) to a large tack store with a BIG selection, and try them out right
in the parking lot!(works for me!)If you're not sure what a good fit is,
then take someone with you who really does, even if you have to pay a pro...remember
I think this is really the best way for the hard-to-fit horse. In the "old days," saddles were custom-made for each horse, but due to mass production now, they're made for the "average" horse, and in western, that would mean QHs, Arabs, etc. whose "average" backs are different from TWH and Saddlebreds...you may more easily find an australian or plantation that fits than western. Some of the westerns for Arabs may fit better than those made for QHs, so dont overlook those; they wont be as broad and some accommodate a bit more wither.
You still can get a custom made saddle, if you're willing to spend the money. In this case, there is material now available to make a plaster "cast" of your horse's back to send to a reputable maker...but be sure to get references from such makers, and do check with people that have used their services.
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