Determining your western saddle bars size
 
 

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Determining your western saddle bars size

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  • Saddle with 94 degree bars
  • How to determine saddle angle western saddle

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  • 1 Post By SouthernTrails

 
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    04-18-2013, 10:56 AM
  #1
Foal
Question Determining your western saddle bars size

Hey! So the more I read about saddle fit the more I think I need to investigate my saddle and figure out more about it! Other then its basic measurements I've been wondering about the angle of the bars.

How do you measure the angle of your saddles bars once the saddle is already assembled? I heard that gullet size doesn't always correlate with the bar size. So even if you have a 7in gullet your bars could have a little more angle to them then the usual fqhb bc there is no standard for various makers. Anyone else heard this?

Also, once you measure the angle of the bars what is the easiest way to measure the angles of your horses back to see if the two will fit together?

I'm just really trying to learn as much as I can about fitting a horse properly with the right saddle.
     
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    04-20-2013, 08:09 PM
  #2
Foal
Hi :)
Yes the more you read about saddle fit the more confusing it gets!
Basically what you've heard is correct (gullet size doesn't always correlate with the bar size) and every brand of saddle tree is different and even one brand of saddle tree can vary due to the 'handmaking' process. If you have 2 saddle trees by different makers both marked as fqhb you can guarantee the size, shape, angle and flare of the bars will be different changing the whole final product "the finished saddle" in the way the seat feels and how it fits your horse.
I think it's great that you're taking an interest in your saddle fitting your horse properly and making sure he's comfortable too many people if seen only worry about their own comfort and that's when things start going wrong.
It's difficult to figure out bar angle + bar flare and give a number to it even when you've got the bare saddle tree in front of you so once the saddle's been made no chance of figuring that out in my opinion. BUT no need to worry about that, you can figure out if your saddle is fitting your horse properly without measurements and angles... besides even if you found a way to measure the tree angle & horse exactly you wouldn't want that because your horse will change through the seasons due to exercise level , the weather, the feed available, their overall health etc so a saddle that fits 'like a glove' today will not in a month or 2.
SO WHAT TO DO?
Just make sure you're saddle is suitable to the breed of your horse and their conformation... If you had a high withered narrow stock horse you wouldn't try riding him in a wide saddle with fqhb you'd find him a saddle suited to his shape.
If you're unsure of the type of bars your saddle has no problem, just sit it on your horse with the saddle pad you're using (making sure it's the right on to suit your saddle & horse) then once it's in the position you think is correct sway it back and forth a little so it finds its own spot ( this will happen anyway as you ride so you need to get it to that place to start with)
When it right, check the main places that can cause pressure points and restrict your horses movement.
- check the gullet height, make sure there is enough clearance for his wither (remember when you get on this will push your gullet down further)
- check the room available between the front of the skirt and his shoulder, you should be able to slip your hand in there without much trouble if it's too tight there it will restrict his shoulder movement
- check the channel that runs down his spine make sure it clears his spine (especially at the lowest part of the seat)
- put your hand under the skirt and make sure the bars are in even contact with his back, this will distribute weight evenly
- finally make sure the length of the skirts suit the shape and length of his back so they won't dig into him as you ride.

That's all I can think of, hope I didn't forget something! Good luck :)
     
    04-20-2013, 09:23 PM
  #3
Showing
.

Good points Renee

The two most popular Tree Makers in the US have some similarities that may help.

Semi-QH 6.5" Gullet 86-88 degree bar angle
Reg-QH 6.75" Gullet 90-92 degree bar angle
Full-QH 7.0" Gullet 94-96 degree bar angle
Draft 7.5-8.0" Gullet 100-105 degree bar angle

Those are averages of course and will vary by tree manufacture.

Every Tree Maker and Saddle Maker will measure the same Tree a little different, so it does get confusing

.
ReneeM likes this.
     
    04-21-2013, 10:25 AM
  #4
Showing
Because of the confusion, it's helpful if those selling a saddle would take a pic of the front, a visual reference. The most accurate meas. Is taken where the gullet joins the skirt and subtract 1/2" to allow for skirt thickness. A rawhide covered tree will fit differently and often much better than a Ralide.
     
    04-24-2013, 01:45 AM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernTrailsGA    
.

Good points Renee

The two most popular Tree Makers in the US have some similarities that may help.

Semi-QH 6.5" Gullet 86-88 degree bar angle
Reg-QH 6.75" Gullet 90-92 degree bar angle
Full-QH 7.0" Gullet 94-96 degree bar angle
Draft 7.5-8.0" Gullet 100-105 degree bar angle

Those are averages of course and will vary by tree manufacture.

Every Tree Maker and Saddle Maker will measure the same Tree a little different, so it does get confusing

.

Thanks for the info. My saddle is an 8" and it just fits my wide shoulder Appy. It's got some rock in the middle and is just fits at the butt. I had a saddle fitter come and she said it will work just fine and to add shims to help the rock in the middle. I will be looking for a second saddle to use on her and everything is so confusing.

This helped How to Measure for the Best Fitting Saddle
Then I used these templates to my paper tracing.
Easy Saddle Expert System and Templates: Saddle fitting made easier.

I hope to figure out how to get a saddle a tad wider in the front and at her butt but still be good in the middle. Probably not possible but who knows.
     
    04-24-2013, 06:57 AM
  #6
Showing
.

I love the paper templates in the 2nd example

The 1st way using a wire and measuring down is not a good way. Example, two Horses same exact width where the bar of tree fits, one has mutton withers, one has shark fin withers.... measuring down 3" and across can get one in trouble.

.
     

Tags
gullet size, roping saddle, saddle fitting, western

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