Put your fingers on the top of your horses withers...can you get at least 3 fingers when it's not girthed up? (with a girth you'd probably want 1.5-2 fingers). Put your hand where the tree is...does it feel really tight there?
Also, another good way is to cinch it up and then lunge your horse until he sweats (easiest thing is to do this on a hot day so you don't have to be there all day) and then take off the pad and look at the sweat marks...the back should be all wet with sweat....no dry spots around the withers.
It would work for riding also.
It isn't "look" too small or too big, but it's hard to tell because of the quality of the picture and just me not being there. Maybe someone that is better at it through pictures can tell you a better idea
Ok thanks. I'm a little better with this stuff with western saddles but not too good with english I "finger" check tomorrow afternoon and lunge and ride and will take better pictures and post them. Well hopefully tomorrow anyways. (my sister's friends are comin over so I might be forced to hang out with them )
Also try doing it without the pad...that will say for sure if it's too small for the horse. If it's too small without the pad it defiantely will be too small without it. If the saddle is big you can always pad up
If you have a trainer you could always ask him/her to see if the saddle fit (that's what I did with the ones I get)
Nope no trainers that know what they are doing around here :( , even if there where, we don't have a trailer yet, we always used our neighbors trailer but they moved . I miss them, I haven't been on a trail in over a year and a half.
The finger trick is a rough estimate... saddle fitting is an art, and usually I try to ask the horse if it fits--if after a few rides he suddenly gets 'snotty' with the saddle, then it doesn't fit!
Here's a ridiculously useful article: