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Discussion Starter #1
I need some help with saddle fitting. I used my fiance's Vinton ranch cutter just to have something to work off of, I am looking to purchase a saddle for myself. I know the saddle obviously doesn't fit, I just need to know why so I can find something more appropriate. The bars are the right angle for him, just not much gullet clearance on the saddle.
What I am really wondering is WHY the saddle tips up in the back? Is if a matter of the bars being to wide? Not enough rocker on the tree? Or too much? My guess was not enough rock or curve in the tree. Is that incorrect? With the pad on the back tips up maybe and inch with his head up, when he lowers his head it flips about maybe 3 inches, I have pics of both.
Saddle is a semi-qh. I forgot to ask the company what tree it is, I just know its one from bowden... I am guessing the BW cutter. Its about 7" wide and flares out a bit in the front to about 8 1/2" (me measuring, not the bare tree).


No pad and cinched down lightly:
 

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The tree is too wide for him. A 7" gullet measnt the tree is a full QH, not semi. Even with no pad on, the pommel should be at least two fingers width away from the withers. The saddle doesn't really tip up, your horses withers just sink in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
With a pad and cinched down tight: Gives him quite a bit of wither clearance. Last pic shows how high the saddle pops up - he has his head to the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yes I know it is too wide, he needs closer to a 6". Do you think that is the reason it is tipping up? Or more because the tree is too flat?

And I am positive it is a semi-qh tree. I spoke to the saddle maker himself. Vinton rarely uses FQHB
 

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Yeah...you have a TB too don't you? I have the EXACT same problem with basically any western saddle on my guy. The saddle just sinks right down because he has bony withers and pops up in the back. I bought a barrel racing pad with extra padding in the withers, and I'm going to see if that helps some. I'm also looking in to getting an Australian/Stock saddle, they don't have pommels like western saddles do, so high withers aren't a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry about the pics with the pad, I have the saddle sitting a bit too far forward. The saddle still pops up regardless.
 

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I would think a "gaited horse" western saddle would be ideal for this horse. They accommodate a higher withered horse and seem to fit horses in this situation a lot better!
 

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I would have to go with one of the other posters and say that a gaited tree would probably work well for him...he has those higher shoulders with the withers as well.

Usually, seven inches plus in the gullet equals a full quarter horse bar, but I think that is just a general rule. Not every saddle is made the same way. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had thought the same about the gullet width too until I actually talked to a saddle maker, we had just assumed the saddle had FQHB. I was also surpised to find a FQHB with a 6" gullet.

I am actually going to have a saddle made for him by Dixieland. I'm still waiting on the fit forms to arrive so haven't actually ordered anything yet.
 

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Look at how the saddle is rigid?? The girth is right under the horn?? What do you expect with pulling the saddle down this far forward. I actually like the saddle, it has alot of good features.
I perfer center fire riging which means the girth is moved way back into the center of the saddle , almost behind your leg and it pulls the saddle down evenly on the back. I also prefer english girthing with a short 24 inch dressage girth that keeps all buckles well below the leg and makes for a flat saddle with no bulges under the fender.
You could make that saddle work.
 

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I have these made up by the local amish harness maker. They cost me $57 and I put them on all western saddles to accept the 24 inch dressage girth.
If I had to use that saddle I would strip it down to almost the bare tree, custom fit the tree to the horses back using fiberglass and grinding and then reuse the existing pieces to once again assemble the saddle
 
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