Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Wales, UK
• Horses: 0
If you have gullet plates here's the way to tell.
Have both plates out of the saddle. Measure three finger widths (2") back from the back edge of the shoulder blade and drop each gullet over the withers at that point. The correct width should fit snugly, touching the horse along its whole length.
Basically, if there's a gap at the top between plate and spine it's too narrow. If it's in contact with the spine at the top but it 'rattles' side to side, ie. There's a gap between the 'legs' of the plate and the horse, it MAY be too wide. In the latter case if you press it against one side which raises the other to give a small gap you can hardly get your finger in then it's barely half a tree width too wide, which should be fine. That usually means the horse falls in a bit behind the shoulder and you'll need the extra width for shoulder clearance, but the saddle might need some extra flocking in front.
Within reason, you're usually best going for a wider rather than narrower gullet in most cases.
Once you've chosen the gullet and fitted it back in the saddle, just check the saddle level looks okay when it's girthed up tight enough to mount and put the flat of your hand between the front of the saddle and the horse's shoulder while lifting his leg forward (a bit awkward until you've got the knack) to check it's not tight, on both sides.
Hope I explained that okay :)
Last edited by unclearthur; 03-20-2013 at 06:51 AM.