View Full Version : Picking the right western saddle?
09-24-2010, 02:35 PM
Their is a new horse I am riding for awhile and He is a 17hh saddlebred all black, I need to know what size western saddle he should have. I can't seem to get one that fits him perfect, He is lean.
What size should I get? any suggestions?
09-25-2010, 10:19 AM
Standard seat sizes for western saddles are 15-16" for adults and this measurement is for the rider, mostly. I say mostly 'cause the seat size does influence the overall length and a 17" seat may cause the overall length to be so great that the saddle back is touching an asb's hip bones. The measurement you need most to concern yourself w/ will be gullet size. My educated guess will be that if your horse is a tall but narrow boy and he will need no wider than a 6.5 " gullet. Very hard to find these. They are sometimes listed as semi-quarter bars or narrow tree. Avoid full quarter bars, but always measure, as most people have no idea what their saddle measures or what the sale tags said before they got cut off. Bear in mind that the majority of western saddles are designed for the big-as-a-battleship Quarter Horse and none of these will properly fit an asb. Needles in haystacks come to mind. Get used to trying on saddles, prowl all local tack shops, find someone w/ saddle fitting knowledge, read everything you can on the internet about western saddle fit, and prepare to search for a long while.
09-25-2010, 11:43 AM
:) Recently I have made friends with an expert saddle fitter...and it appears the best way to see what tree size your horse needs is to have a saddle maker's trees (custom saddle makers have these, usually from the manufacturer) placed on your horse, bare naked, so to speak...and that will tell you which one(s) may be the best
I have five ASB's and the two we used were different...one fit the Arab tree best, and the other, a Gaited tree...just remember, most Western saddles have Semi Quarter Horse Bars ,....which is the narrowest, and might fit your horse the best, if you say he is a lean built horse.
Then Full Quarter Horse trees are the next widest...and I believe, followed by the Gaited, and then the Arab tree...just remember not all saddles are made the same...so you may have to see if you can have the saddle on a loan to try riding him in and checking for dry spots(not good...because that means there is too much pressure in those spots)ie., an even sweating pattern is best.
If you want more info on this, I would recommend buying the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Saddle Fitting DVD--I think it is only $5.00 which pays for shipping...but some very useful info.
Remember, you do not want the "bars" of the tree too narrow, so that his shoulder "hits"
the bar and restricts his movement...this will make a hollow backed, or sore backed horse.
I also recommend the Parelli Theraflex pad under your saddle, since it allows you to "fix" by shimming, any spots of the saddle which don't exactly fit your horse the best. This is shown in the Saddle Fitting DVD too....
09-26-2010, 02:57 AM
Thank you both, I will look into in more online and I will look into buying that dvd (-:
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