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Can anyone tell me what type of saddle is best for a high withered horse? He’sa high withered and narrow TB. I just need something to give more clearance. Etc, barrel saddle, roping saddle etc...what typically sits higher?
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From what you say, sounds like you're talking Western, not English.

Study everything in the link below and if you have further questions come back. Saddle fit is a somewhat complex and involved subject. For instance, sometimes an overly prominent wither can indicate adjacent muscle wastage from previously bad fitting saddles. A properly fitting saddle can result in the return of muscle so then that saddle no longer fits.

Welcome to the saddle fit rabbit hole.

AMERICAN SADDLE MAKERS ASSOCIATION
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From what you say, sounds like you're talking Western, not English.

Study everything in the link below and if you have further questions come back. Saddle fit is a somewhat complex and involved subject. For instance, sometimes an overly prominent wither can indicate adjacent muscle wastage from previously bad fitting saddles. A properly fitting saddle can result in the return of muscle so then that saddle no longer fits.

Welcome to the saddle fit rabbit hole.

AMERICAN SADDLE MAKERS ASSOCIATION
Yes I am talking Western. I tried English bc that is what he was used to before he was given to me, but i cant find a saddle to clear his wither appropriately either.
 

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Can anyone tell me what type of saddle is best for a high withered horse? He’sa high withered and narrow TB. I just need something to give more clearance. Etc, barrel saddle, roping saddle etc...what typically sits higher?
As a general guideline, barrel saddles do tend to have good wither clearance ... but of course, not all of them.

It's really hard to give you any sort of suggestion without seeing your horse.

Can you post pictures of his back?

Also, what western saddles have you tried thus far?
 

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Yes I am talking Western. I tried English bc that is what he was used to before he was given to me, but i cant find a saddle to clear his wither appropriately either.
You honestly might find an easier time with an English saddle than Western. A large majority of English saddles are designed to fit the TB type build - especially older style saddles. It's just about knowing what to look for in your next saddle.

Is he truly narrow? Or just high withered? Does he have larger shoulders?

Both my WB mare & OTTB had very similar builds. High withers, but large shoulders. Neither would have truly fit a narrow gullet. English was 100x easier than Western. If you don't have a preference - I would go that route. If you'd rather Western - it's totally possible just potentially a bit tougher search.

Like beau said, we need more information (pictures) on the shape of his back. Mine fit well in a Big Horn Cordura SQHB & Simco Trail SQHB. I would agree barrel saddles tend to be built for the higher withered horses, & also that a lot aren't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here are some photos, the best I have for now. The English saddle I currently have seems to fit ok, but it doesn’t give the appropriate wither clearance- It doesn’t sit on the wither, but you know wht I mean. I am more comfortable and prefer riding Western, but I thought he would be more comfortable in English since that’s what he had been ridden in the past. He was a Hunter Jumper.
 

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gorgeous horse!

in general, a semi-quarter horse bars Western saddle would be the direction I'd go. Then, I'd use a very good quality pad, such as a 5 star. you can add shims, too, that will lift the saddle off somewhat, although the higher the saddle is lifted off the back, the more 'rock and roll' you get as the hrose moves.

His back doesn't look all that extreme to fit.
 

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He doesn't look like a difficult fit, but then again, neither did my grey horse and it took me forever to find him a saddle.

I agree with tinyliny to start your search with a semi qh bar tree and go from there. Realize that he may need a full QH bar in some brands and a semi in others, because there is no standard across western brands.

Saddle fitting is simply trial and error. You will not know if a saddle fits your horse unless you put it on their back.

As far as type of saddle (barrel racing, roping, trail, etc) that does not have anything to do with the fit. The TREE that is inside the saddle is what has to do with fit.

What do you plan on using your horse for? That should help you decide what type of saddle might suit your needs.

Do you have a tack store near you, where you can take your horse and try on saddles? That is the best thing to do.
 

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My guy is also very narrow, and the semi qh, although better, still needed a lot of padding to fit mediocre. What a very good saddle maker came down and did for me was take all of his measurements and she recommended a standard, which was a very common older style of saddle. She said that back then the horses were built like my guy. I found something that my grandpa owned that fit him perfectly.

I guess what I’m getting at, lol, is if the semi quarter is still too wide try looking for a standard.
 

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Trigger is real narrow, withers are kinda high, back is kinda swayed. SRS and Billy Cook (Greenville) barrel saddles fit him the best, coming in a hard second is this Connie Combs barrel saddle made by Saddlesmith. The straight up Saddlesmith was okay, but still fit weird in a couple of places. My only other solution is to go truly custom made, but I just can't bring myself to spend 3 grand on a Marty Byrd since we just casually trail ride.

Shockingly, the Corriente saddles with a Will James tree fit Trigger well, but I was not a fan of the shoddy stitching under the skirts. I've had to sew one up and it was not fun.

Sarge is most likely a TB or a high degree of TB blood in him, and he's built similar to your guy. The older Paul or Carl Ammerman roping saddles made in the 80s (Not the Action Co or Saddlemith/Action saddles) over a classic Equine ESP pad is what does it for him. Those are excellent saddles if you can find one and 'back in the day' they were handmade. Some of the Saddlesmith Ammermans were too and those are good saddles. I have one, have no idea how it fits any of our horses. Gonna find out tomorrow.

I also have a 1960s Hereford pleasure saddle that we picked up 75.00 and its been my Learn to Tear Into and Fix saddle... it has the older style tree in it, and it fits Trigger AND Superman like it was made for them, and they are both built very differently. Its a good all around fitting saddle, but not at all comfortable to sit in. So it will remain my trial and error saddle.

I can't stress enough the importance of a good pad, btw. I'm really liking the ESP by Classic Equine and the Pro Choice pads. I also have a contoured Diamond Wool felt pad that's a wonder for all our horses. The others we have can go to new homes or the dog house now. :p
 

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Do you want this saddle for pleasure riding?
I have a mare with fairly high withers. I ride with a Tucker Plantation.
Another consideration might be a good Aussie. Just a thought.
Good luck to you in your search. I find saddle shopping no fun at all.
Your horse is very handsome, by the way.
 
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I ride mostly TBs, and almost all, if not all have what people would call "shark fin" withers.

For the mature horses I have a couple western saddles with semi-quarter horse bars, as has been mentioned. For the younger ones, and those coming back from illness, I have a 1940s N. Porter. Many of those old saddles have narrow bars because the horses weren't as big and wide as we breed them to be now.

I do have one friend that has a cutaway wool pad for a couple of his horses. He makes saddles, and rides his own. He also likes tall, lanky horses, and his personal saddle is just slightly wide for them. The cutaway seems to work well. He doctors cattle and we all prefer good withers when roping adult bovines.

For polo I have two saddles. One fits the average TB and the other only fits horses lacking muscle or size. It is quite narrow.

I hope you find something that works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all for your thoughts! I am just riding him for fun, some trails here and there. I talked to a company online who instructed me on how to do a wither tracing. I did that and also attached some better photos of his spine, wither, and shoulder areas. He is truly narrow. He doesn’t have big shoulders at all, though he does need some weight, which I am still working on, I think that is his build. The saddle company suggested a semi bar barrel saddle. 6.5 gullet. I’m still waiting for the new pad I purchased before I really try it. Crossing my fingers!
 

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I have a Circle C endurance saddle that is built on a medium western style tree (just no horn) and it fit my shark-fin withers Appendix QH very well.

It is nothing fancy; leather and cordura with centerfire rigging. Love the saddle but don't have the horse anymore. Willing to sell it for $250. If you are interested, PM me and I can take some pictures and measurements.
 

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Hi, it won't matter what brand of saddle you purchase because they're all made different. It's all about the bars of your saddle. If the bars are too wide (say full quarter horse bars made for horses with wider, rounder backs) on a narrow horse jt would pinch the middle and sit on the withers or have very little clearance. If your horse's back is narrow and has high withers it may need a saddle with QH( quarter horse bars) or SQH (semi quarter horse bars). Unfortunately we can't tell you EXCATLY what will and won't fit your horse, it's a matter of trial and error. When you buy a saddle set it on your horse's back with no pad and see how ot looks. When you buy a new saddle make sure you CLARIFY if you need a qh or sqh bars. Example: roping saddle QH bars, barrel saddle SQH bars. It doesn't matter what type of saddle you get, there's barrel saddles with high wither and low wither clearance. It just depends. My previous saddle was a little too narrow so i got a new saddle with Full Quarter horse bars and it fits like a glove
 

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What is your budget and what do you actually want? Do you want a western saddle or an english saddle? or just a saddle?

Im not a huge fan of thorowgood saddles for a lower budget but they make them with clearance and adjustable tree. https://thorowgood.com/t4-saddles/item/18-t4-gp-high-wither#.Wpmu--jwZPY
https://thorowgood.com/t8-saddles/item/11-t8-compact-gp-high-wither#.WpmvKOjwZPY

Are you sure he's a narrow? Have you thought about hiring a saddle fitter to make sure you get an appropriate saddle? He doesn't look like a narrow but I personally cant tell from a picture.
 
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