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I've been looking around western saddles for my high withered OTTB. I've found it hard to find something with a high enough gullet. He has rather narrow shoulders, and I am wondering if a gaited saddle might be a better fit for him? I have never had a gaited horse, so no reason to have a gaited saddle, but it is my understanding that the tree is narrower up front and gets wider in the back? Buckles is narrow up front, with a big ol butt (hes rather pear shaped); so do you think a gaited saddle would fit better than a regular old semi-qh tree?

Here's some pics to get a better idea of what his big awkward withers look like:
 

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Wow.... I think I have that reversed, the gaited saddle is wider up front and narrower in back?? :oops: Not sure why I was thinking the other way around... thats not going to work for him hahah

Anyways, I would still like your opinions on a saddle that might fit my guy.
 

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A Gaited Saddle has built in Flair in the very front edge of the bar to keep the tree from digging and or freeing up shoulder movement, I do not see he has huge protruding shoulders, so that would not help

Some Gaited Saddles have extra high gullet clearance, but are normally only in the TWH Saddle and they would be way, way too wide.

A Fork Trees generally have about a 1" higher gullet clearance than traditional Trail Tree, but very few come in Semi-QH widths.

Have you tried a Semi-Qh with a cutback wither pad?


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I bought a custom wade tree saddle from "Rider's Choice" on eBay. (See photo below).

You can send in a wither tracing and they WILL make you a custom saddle, even with semi-qh bars, in a wade tree, and it has excellent wither clearance. The one I needed was full QH bars (wide tree) and it still has wither clearance for everything I have put it on so far, even Foxtrotters and a QH that was built like a TB. The only thing is, I would only buy one of their "custom" line of saddles. Their cheaper ones are junky.
Their custom wades run about $900

Another option, but it would take a little looking, is to find a good quality, good condition older saddle. I have a neighbor who sometimes buys older saddles to resale, and the really old ones, like from the early 1900's often have really narrow trees. Horses weren't as fat and were bred narrower way back when.

Another idea is to look at endurance saddles. Alot of endurance type horses are narrower in build. Maybe there are some endurance type saddles with a nice high A-fork gullet.

Just my ideas. :)
 

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