How to do tracings for saddle fit?
I have a new horse (a little QH mare) and I'm not sure if she needs a medium tree, a wide tree, or something inbetween. Is there a way I can tell without having the saddle in person to try on her? Also, I hear about "tracings"... I'm not sure what that is, but it sounds helpful.
I grew up in a world where "medium fits all", so I should know things like this, I don't :-|
Sorry if this has been asked a lot- I've been gone for a while.
It's explained pretty well in the sticky 'Saddle Fit' post but let me know if you get stuck.
Instructional Video: How To Do A Back/Wither Tracing
(and just check the whole "Saddle Fitting" section there).
Thank you! And Kitten_Val, thanks for posting that link. That helped me with a spot I was unclear on. I do have a few more questions though...
From the first tracing (the one by the scapula), you go 3" down from the highest point, measure it accross, and that tells you how wide of a gullet you need, right? How do I know what inches equal a standard medium, medium wide, or wide tree?
Second, I know horses vary as far as flat backs or 'bendy' backs (trace T18 in the video). What's the cut-off though? If a horse has a sway back, it's obvious. But other than that, they all look kind of average to me... So even if I have that tracing, I'm not sure if I should be looking for a saddle known to have flat or curved pannels.
And lastly, if a horse has a really short back, what do you do? I usually ride in a 17", but I thought about getting a 17.5" so there's more room for my long upper leg. I'm worried that might be too big....
My new gelding has a super short back and I had the same concerns.
I found this video (as well as others on their website) to be really helpful in the "How long is too long?" side of saddle fitting.
I didn't check the other listed videos so if this is a duplicate, I apologize.
2. Ask the retailer. Problem is half of them are clueless.
3. It depends on the panel length. Strictly speaking you shouldn't go past the last rib (T18). Short backs and bigger riders are often a problem, but shorter usually means stronger so you can go past the end rib up to an inch in a lot of instances, in my view.
Bear in mind it's impossible to judge with any accuracy without seeing saddle and horse and rider.
What you can do is to take measurements and contact Trumbull Mountains for recommendations (you'll have to scan and email them the tracings). I dealt with them before, and they are very nice and come up with good recommendations.
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