Probably a stupid question...
But what does full quater bars mean in relation to a western saddle?
Not a stupid question at all. Saddle designations can be very confusing!
Bar Angle Designations
Quarter Horse Bars - designed to fit narrower western horses which were commonplace up through the 1960's. These bars have a narrow angle.
Semi-Quarter Horse Bars - horses got bigger and wider from the 1970's on, requiring a wider angle in the bars. Semi-quarter horse bars fit most of todays western horses.
Full Quarter Horse Bars - have even wider angles to accommodate horses of Arabian stock or any other wider-bodied horse. These bars are also sometimes referred to as Arab, Arabian or Arab-Morgan bars.
There are also "specialty" bars for breeds such as Haflingers and Draft Horses.
Today, Full & Semi Quarter Horse bars are the most commonly seen sizes on the market.
If you are looking into purchacing a saddle, I would look into finding a saddle fitter. They are experts in finding the correct fit for a horse and rider, and I find them to be a huge stress reliever in saddle purchasing.
The only stupid question is the one not asked!
I personally think this is a good question. Thank you for asking it.
I have to say the definition really depends on maker. I have QH bars saddle and it's wider than semi-QH, but more narrow than full QH. I specifically contacted the maker as I was curious, and they said they measure it like that: semi-QH, QH, full QH (and they don't make any semi-QH, only QH/full QH).
I thought the semi qh was the narrowest? thats what I have for my STB
I know that because even though I don't ride Western, I have more than one friend who does and they always use semi because their horses are too wide for regular bars.
Unless they've changed the designations recently, the regular bars are supposed to be the narrowest ones.
Actually, a lot of it depends on who makes the saddle. A lot of the cheap imports are really way off. A friend bought a saddle off of Ebay that had semi-quarter horse bars. Didn't fit her horse becuase it was too narrow. She sent the saddle back and got the same model with full QH bars. Same problem. Go figure.
And to make things more confusing - the angle of the bars by one manufacturer, either semi, QH or full QH, will be different from the angle of another manufacturer. So, just because a Simco saddle with semi QH bars fits your horse just fine, doesn't mean that a Circle Y saddle with semi QH bars will fit the same way.
If I could find a saddle fitter around here, I would certainly pay them a visit. However, there aren't any - even though the Billy Cook factory is less than an hour from my house. :-(
My mare is proving to be a real PITA to fit!
I believe Semi QH bars are like the medium sized bars, and Full QH bars would be like the large.
And I guess while we are kind of on the subject here;
Are QH bars actually named after the Quarter Horse, or is it just a coinsidense? (sorry I can never spell that word)
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