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Saddle fit

29860 Views 35 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  george the mule
This question is asked so many times that I felt it should have a "sticky".

Aside from taking your horse to the tack shop or having a pro come out to fit him/her, how do you find the right fit without taking saddles home to try 6 or 7 times?

The method I recommend is this:

Go to the hardware store and get about 4’ of 12 or 14 gauge house wire (the kind electricians use to wire a house) and cut it in half. This was written for Western saddles but the principle is the same for English or Australian.

Take 2’ and shape it over your horse’s withers. Take the other 2’ and shape it over the center of his back.

Carefully take the wires and trace the inside of the wire on a heavy piece of cardboard (or poster board if you have it). Cut out the cardboard shapes and take them to the saddle shop to fit against some saddles.

This part is Western: Keep in mind that QH bars in one saddle may not be the same in another brand. There are no standards for saddle trees so each manufacturer has his own idea what dimensions make the designations.

As for you, your bum should not be squished against the cantle, it should have a little room at the top and there should be about 4" of space between your tummy and the swell.

How do you do it?
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Hi All!

There is good information here, and some interesting DIY's for mapping a horses back.
I didn't see it mentioned anywhere, so I'll add my $.02:
There is a tool called an EQUImeasure that really takes all of the guesswork out of this process.
They are currently $125, which seems a bit expensive until you consider the cost of shipping a saddle back and forth a few times, or even the costs for gasoline and wasted time driving back and forth to the saddle store. They're reusable, too. I was introduced to these by the good folks at Synergist Saddles, but I would think that any custom saddle maker would be more than happy to get an EQUImeasure template along with a saddle order.
I have used them (the same one, actually) for fitting several backs, and they just work. Thought you ought to know . . .

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