QH Bars & Brand - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-10-2011, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Gaylord, MI
Posts: 97
• Horses: 2
QH Bars & Brand

Do you find that all Quarter Horses need the full QH bars, most, some? lol

What part of the horse do I have to measure to know if it will need semi or full QH bars? (something about gullet and cneter of the back right?) And what are the actual measurements that would make it so? (I'd try to measure the horse myself and take it off to a saddle shop to see if I can find a great fit, but there aren't any here that I know of, so I am thinking of getting a saddle online.)

I had my eye on some the Abetta saddles. They seem to be good quality and well priced. I was just wondering what your opinions are on them too. So if you own/have owned/ridden in one, could you tell which 'model' it was and how you liked it?

I was also looking at the Abetta Pathfinder, and somebody (in a review) said that it fit all her horses, which were various breeds, very well... how often does that happen with saddles? That is fits many different breeds/horses with different conformation, etc.

Another thing I noticed was a lot of the Abetta's say something about a Quarter Horse Ralide tree (or just Raliade tree)... what is that???

I've been looking on Stateline Tack for a long time. XD lol My eyes may fall out...

So many questions... XD
Thank yooouuu!


If you'd like to look at these and tell me what you think, that would be great! (for QH trail horse)

Pathfinder - Abetta Pathfinder Saddle - Statelinetack.com
Camo - Abetta Camo Square Skirt Saddle - Statelinetack.com
Super Cushion Trail - Abetta Super Cushion Western Trail Saddle - Statelinetack.com
Chisolm Trail - Abetta Chisolm Trail Saddle - Statelinetack.com

not all of them give all the info for bar and tree types among other things. ROAR. I don't know why. :(

RIP Thunder Bill... I will never love another as I have loved you. <3
I go where the sound of thunder is.
We have always been dreamers in Montana.

Last edited by breezystar; 02-10-2011 at 01:50 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-10-2011, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 13
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I see "QH bars" as more of a size measurement than anything. Quarter horses come with all shapes and sizes of backs, just like any other breed. QH bars/full QH bars is about the same as saying it has a medium tree. And such, it fits a lot of horses, because most average-size horses take a medium tree. But of course, every saddle maker views "medium" slightly differently, so you may want to take that with a grain of salt.

I would be very cautious of believing someone online who says that their saddle fits every horse ... You don't know what their knowledge level is - a lot of people throw a saddle on a horse and think if they can cinch it up and it doesn't fall off that it "fits."

My suggestion would be to ask some friends to borrow their saddles. Try them on your horse and then measure the gullet (Google "how to measure a western saddle gullet" if you don't know how). If you're wondering whether or not a saddle that you try fits, you could always post pictures here for feedback! (Just make sure you take pictures from a few different angles - most importantly the shoulder area). That way you can see which ones fit and you won't be going blindly into buying one online. Even if you don't find one that fits, knowing what doesn't fit could be just as helpful (if a 6" gullet is to narrow and a 7" is too wide, you know to look for something in between). When buying online, make sure you know how many inches the gullet is, as "QH bars" can be a very generic term and some people may assume since they use it on their quarter horse that it's "QH bars."

As far as Abetta saddles go, I used to borrow my friend's and I liked it a lot! It seemed to hold up well and fit my horse nicely (he's pretty easy to fit saddles to, though).

Ralide has to do with the material they make the tree out of. I've heard good and bad things about it .... On the positive side, it's less expensive and supposedly very strong. On the negative side, they make crappy saddles with ralide trees because of the fact that it's inexpensive and some people prefer a tree made of a traditional/natural material.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-10-2011, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 9,534
• Horses: 4
I recommend reading here:

Western Saddle Fitting and Different Tree Sizes

The big problem is that one manufacturer's full quarter horse bars may be significantly different than another - so unless you have checked that brand of saddle, you don't know.

Trees used to be made from pine. Pine isn't the hardest or strongest, but it has some flex to it, making it more comfortable of the horse and more adaptable. Ralide is strong, but it doesn't flex. Many folks are now making 'flex tree' saddles, which are an attempt to make a plastic tree with the flexibility of pine. The plastics are lighter, don't warp in rain and easier to make.

I had an Abetta. It was a very good value, but it didn't fit my horses. It had full quarter horse bars. The width was OK, and the curve along the back was OK, but the tree was too long for their short Arabian backs. I ended up giving it away to a friend of my wife, and I gather she loves it. I seriously considered buying an Abetta with an Arabian tree, but ended up buying an Australian style saddle instead.

If you want enough info to REALLY make your head spin, read:

If it is like its english counterpart, it will tend to make you think every horse needs a custom saddle, but most do not. But it has lots of good info on saddle fit and what to look for. The tough part is that you just don't know until you put it on the horse's back. If you buy online - and all of my saddles were bought online - make sure you can return it. It will run $35-100 to return a saddle, but that beats trying to sell it at a loss, or putting up with a saddle that hurts your horse.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-10-2011, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Gaylord, MI
Posts: 97
• Horses: 2
Thank you both so much. I need to be printing all this info out soon. lol

I've already made a binder with tons of horse info in it... I just want to be as prepared as possible. :P

RIP Thunder Bill... I will never love another as I have loved you. <3
I go where the sound of thunder is.
We have always been dreamers in Montana.
breezystar is offline  

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