Need help fitting a western saddle please
   

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Need help fitting a western saddle please

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  • How you should sit in a well fitted western saddle video
  • Is my western saddle too long for my horse

 
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    01-09-2011, 12:09 AM
  #1
Started
Need help fitting a western saddle please

I was under the impression that the saddle was too narrow for Legacy, but when I posted a pic in another thread a few posters pointed out that the saddle seemed too wide. So basically I am now totally confused lol.
There are a ton of videos for fitting an English saddle but none for western, so can anyone please help me, I'm going to include a few pics of him and possibly a video of lunging him with my other geldings saddle(the one I thought was too narrow)
Ok here is the video, I couldn't get it on youtube but you should be able to see it on facebook, it's poor quality because it was taken with my cell phone, my trainer who moved is lunging him
Lunging video







I'm hoping it won't be too cold tomorrow and i'll go for a ride, if I do I'll get more pics with the saddle on him, I know it's hard to tell from pics, but is there any angle that would give you a better idea...oh and the nearest tack shop is an hour away and there are no saddle fitters that will come out here and I don't have a horse trailer so i'm kinda all on my own, The horseloverz.com tack shop is supposed to be pretty good at helping fit horses without bringing the horse to them, but once I get the saddle home how will I know for sure that it fits correctly? This was all so much easier when I was young and didn't know any better lol
     
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    01-09-2011, 12:50 AM
  #2
Foal
To me it looks like the saddle is sitting down on his withers, which is bad. The saddle needs to be up of his withers for better movement and comfort. There should be enough room to fit your hand in between the saddle and your horse at the withers. Hope this helps.

Here is a video on fitting a western saddle:
     
    01-09-2011, 02:50 AM
  #3
Super Moderator
Rachel,
It was me that thought the saddle was too wide. That's because it looked like it had no room under the pommel, and I think even you said it didn't, when your trainer was in the saddle. A saddle too narrow would sit really high off the withers, and a saddle too wide slides down the side of the withers (behind the shoulder) that it actually sits on top of the wither bones (the spinious process is the name of the bones, I think)

The video dos't tell much except that he lunged pretty well and moves just fine. I think he will be areally nice riding horse in the future.

Take some pics with him wearing the saddle w/o apad and from front, side, rear and front 45 degrees
     
    01-09-2011, 04:30 AM
  #4
Foal
I agree with tinlily. My horses saddles are fit (english) with 3 fingers in between and w/o a saddle pad looking down the horses back through the saddle you should be able to see even light gap through. Among other things of course. Western saddles are different of course you shouldnt have any of that gullet space area sitting or resting on the horse at all it should only be the flat panels of the saddle touching the horses back. The saddle sitting like that is actually putting pressure in totally wrong spot and will start hurting the horse and possibly even put its back out. What size is the saddle? I cannot tell from the pic where you are sitting on your horse but it does look like that saddle is actually too small for you. The saddle should be the right size for you (so you can ride comfortably) but it also affects the horse with where your balance is placed on his back too and if its too small you may be sitting on the cantle or almost which is going to put more pressure on his lower back which is also the weakest part of the horses back as that's the end the ribs stop at.
What breed is he? Is he an Apaloosa or something else like a Knabstrup or something.... Definitely agree with trying your saddle on w/o a saddle blanket that defines more if your saddle fits properly.
     
    01-09-2011, 04:36 AM
  #5
Foal
Oh and you can buy a gullet measure that actually tells you what size gullet they are. Mind you you have to do it right but it tells you how on it. Think mine costed around $30 bucks.Bates Wintec do it so you may have to check online not too sure if they sell stuff like that in stores (havent travelled to Pennsylvania lol)
     
    01-09-2011, 10:01 AM
  #6
Green Broke
You have it placed in the right spot, which is great. But I agree, it's sitting too low. It's either too wide for him or just doesn't give enought wither clearance. I have an Appy at my barn with similar withers/shoulders. I use a pad with extra foam on each side and a clear spine chanel. I use a Skito Interpad with him over a doubel folded blanket. This helps the saddle clear his withers and adds good shock absorbtion. Tom at Skito can look at pictures of your horse with and without his saddle, and can give you the best recommendation based on his conformation, saddle fit, your riding habits, and your weight. Skito has two different foams for the pads and lots of different options. "Skito Custom Saddle Pads"

I am also a heavy rider and your saddle fit for you and the horse is very important. That saddle looks too small for you, which puts you against the pommel and cantel, which concentrates the pressure on your horse. I ride in a 17" western saddle. I can fit in one of my clients 15" saddles (it's flatter with a lower cantle) and my daughter's 16" saddle, but my horses are much more comfortable when I ride in my 17" saddle that fits me better. I use a round skirt Abetta synthetic to make sure the saddle's not too long for the horse's back and to help lighten things up for the horse . Abettas are built in the USA on good quality trees. They're affordable too and used saddles often come up on craigslist.org, eBay, and tacktrader.com.

Good luck.
     
    01-09-2011, 12:55 PM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Rachel,
It was me that thought the saddle was too wide. That's because it looked like it had no room under the pommel, and I think even you said it didn't, when your trainer was in the saddle. A saddle too narrow would sit really high off the withers, and a saddle too wide slides down the side of the withers (behind the shoulder) that it actually sits on top of the wither bones (the spinious process is the name of the bones, I think)

The video dos't tell much except that he lunged pretty well and moves just fine. I think he will be areally nice riding horse in the future.

Take some pics with him wearing the saddle w/o apad and from front, side, rear and front 45 degrees
I didn't think the video would be very helpful, especially because of the low quality, but since I only had that one picture of him with the saddle on I figured maybe it could help lol...it's really windy and cold today so I may not be able to get the pics today, but if the wind dies down a bit I will

Quote:
Originally Posted by StormvaleQHStud    
oh and you can buy a gullet measure that actually tells you what size gullet they are. Mind you you have to do it right but it tells you how on it. Think mine costed around $30 bucks.Bates Wintec do it so you may have to check online not too sure if they sell stuff like that in stores (havent travelled to Pennsylvania lol)
I do have the gullet measuring system, it came with my wintec pro dressage saddle that I got for Bella, my OTTB, I did use it on him and I might have done it wrong because it said he would need the white/wide plate, but that really doesn't help for a western saddle(or at least it doesn't help me lol) because i'm not sure how wide translates to Semi-QH and Full-QH ect. My dressage saddle also came with all the gullet plates

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
You have it placed in the right spot, which is great. But I agree, it's sitting too low. It's either too wide for him or just doesn't give enought wither clearance. I have an Appy at my barn with similar withers/shoulders. I use a pad with extra foam on each side and a clear spine chanel. I use a Skito Interpad with him over a doubel folded blanket. This helps the saddle clear his withers and adds good shock absorbtion. Tom at Skito can look at pictures of your horse with and without his saddle, and can give you the best recommendation based on his conformation, saddle fit, your riding habits, and your weight. Skito has two different foams for the pads and lots of different options. "Skito Custom Saddle Pads"

I am also a heavy rider and your saddle fit for you and the horse is very important. That saddle looks too small for you, which puts you against the pommel and cantel, which concentrates the pressure on your horse. I ride in a 17" western saddle. I can fit in one of my clients 15" saddles (it's flatter with a lower cantle) and my daughter's 16" saddle, but my horses are much more comfortable when I ride in my 17" saddle that fits me better. I use a round skirt Abetta synthetic to make sure the saddle's not too long for the horse's back and to help lighten things up for the horse . Abettas are built in the USA on good quality trees. They're affordable too and used saddles often come up on craigslist.org, eBay, and tacktrader.com.

Good luck.
Thanks for that website, Although that is not me in the picture, so that is why the saddle doesn't fit her, but it does fit me, that saddle is a 15" I'm about 5'4-5'5 and 130lbs, I'm always behind the camera lol When I go and take pictures of him, i'll also take pics of just the saddle, I also have another saddle that a friend of mine is letting me use, she always rides bareback(i wish I had her balance lol) I'll look into the abetta saddles, Legacy is actually my moms horse and she is wanted to get a sythentic saddle because she has tendinitis in her shoulder...Actually I have a pic of my mom on him, which may give you a better idea since my mom is closer to my build, anyway I'm working with Legacy to get him trail ride ready for her, he's a little much for her on the trail yet lol....here is the pic of her on him ...well it's not the greatest pic because she's on the other side of the round pen and it's from the side so you can't see whither clearance, but maybe it will help someone more knowledgeable
     
    01-09-2011, 03:16 PM
  #8
Green Broke
When someone is sitting in the saddle, you should be able to easily fit a finger under the front of the saddle. If there is no space, or you can only fit your pinky, then there's not enough room and the saddle can rub or injur the top of his withers.
     

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