Need help with western saddle purchase/sizing
Though I've ridden western for longer than I've ridden English, I've never owned my own western saddle and so I don't know much about them. Now, if I had a quarter horse, I don't think that this would be as big of a deal, but I've tried three different western saddles on my thoroughbred and all of them sat on her withers once I sat down on her. So, I asked a girl at a tack shop and she said that I should look for something that's narrower - the saddles I've tried probably have full quarter horse bars - because she's really narrow and has higher withers.
I found this saddle on eBay: Vintage 15? Padded Suede Seat Tooled Western Saddle - eBay (item 320631881185 end time Dec-26-10 08:51:01 PST)
...but I'm reluctant to buy anything without having a "trial period" because she seems like such a difficult fit. What do you guys think of it? Is there anything else I should keep in mind? I'd appreciate any input.
Even though that is listed as a charity, I would still be hesitant to purchase from a seller with absolutely no feedback. I too would be hesitant about purchasing without a trial period. Have you tried a saddle pad with the wither relief pads built into it?
I like the look of that saddle. It's a show saddle, thus the low horn, and I hate horns, so the lower the better!
There is some odd white area on the saddles left side . What is that?
Ask if there is a maker anywhere. It looks like a really nice saddle!
Just wanted to add that many of the older saddles are really well made and in the older days horses tended to have more wither, so this one might be the answer to your prayers.
It seems like a really great deal for a nice older saddle in good condition. I think the saddle itself is beautiful, but tinyliny, you're right about that mysterious white strip. I wrote it off as flash glare, but it's too white for that. I sent the seller asking about it and also asked them to send me a message from their "other account" to prove that they are who they say they are. It's so cheap, I figure that I can always put it on consignment at a local tack shop and get my money back if it doesn't fit.
If you are talking about the horse you have in your barn thing-she's very pretty! I don't have tons of experience in saddle fitting but what I'd look for is a semi-QH bar tree OR if you can find it, I'd suggest trying an arab tree saddle on her because they are made for arabs with a typically higher wither, so they fit are supposed to fit it. Of corse, like all saddles, they don't always do what they say they do.
I know that a saddle pad can not correct a saddle fit, nor should it have to but Because your mare looks to have a slight sunken in wither, just to make her more comfortable in a western saddle, i'd try looking for a pad that has a little extra padding in the front. Try to stay away from cutback pads because if they are used incorrectly, they can be very uncomfortable for the horse, but something with a slight built-up padding in the front may be helpful.
If you have any friends that have western saddles in a Semi-QH bar or arab tree, I'd try asking them to see if you could try it on your horse to just see how it fits. Just know that not all brands have the same measurements so try to stay within that brand and around that maker year if you find one that fits.
good luck on your saddle search :]
Thanks! Yes, that would be her.
The reason I'm so concerned is because once I got on in the other saddles I tried on her, literally the underside of the part where the horn is was ON her withers. I'm not sure any number of pads can help that. It's bad enough for an english saddle to rest right on the withers, but at least with that, the pressure would not be as solid and rough as that of a western saddle.
Thanks for the advice. I tried a gaited saddle on her once and it sat up on her really, really high. Like, it felt like I was on an elephant on one of those little perches. But I haven't heart about "arabian saddles."
I'm just tempted by this one because the gullet seems small and I really like the looks of it - not to mention the price.
It says it's a 5" gullet, but that looks pretty wide to me. I would want to see a picture of the saddle with a ruler in the front, at the level of the front conchos.
The Abetta All-Around saddle has the option of a semi-qh bar tree and it has a taller pommel with more room for the withers.
Abetta Cordura All-Around Saddle
Another option would be an A-Fork saddle with semi-qh bars (NOT a Wade tree). An a-fork saddle has a pommel that tends to be a bit higher with more room underneath.
American No. 1773 Old West Trail Saddle, 15&16, Semi QH Bars [No. 1772, No. 1773] - $739.00 : Red Dot Horse Equip. Co. Tack, Saddles, Outback Coat Store
Kevin at Southern Trails can also help. He can find just the right tree and build you a semi-custom saddle at an affordable price.
Western Saddles, Trail Saddles, Barrel Saddle, Ranch Saddle
For everyone that was concerned about the legitimacy of the ad. The seller sent me a message from her other account, like I asked. So I do believe that it is legit.
If this vintage saddle doesn't work out, I will definitely look more into A-fork saddles with semi-quarter horse bars. Thank you again!
So I did end up getting that vintage saddle - for $150 (includes shipping). What a deal! I figure if it doesn't fit I can always resell it for that. Wish me luck with it fitting her...
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