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Discussion Starter #1
So for those of you who have TB's with high withers (preferably who ride western) HOW on earth do you find a saddle that sits correctly? I know his gullet size is like 6 1/2", which is semi quarter bars, but I can't seem to find a saddle with a high enough pommel to suit him. English saddles are wonderful because they don't have one, but I'm not comfortable riding English. I was thinking of getting an Aussie stock saddle, since they have those things that keep your legs in, lol.

So, what have you guys found? Any western saddle manufacturers that make high enough gullets?
 

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sorry i dont know that much about western saddles but i would reccomend asking someone in a shop about it they would be able to tell you alot about it:)
 

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Steele saddles have high gullets - at least the one I own does! My horse is QH but is built more like a TB. I recently bought an Aussie Down Under saddle and it seems to fit him well. The Steele saddle is fabulous but the twist is a little wide for me so I got the Aussie.
 

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Try looking for saddles built on an "A" fork tree, they typically have higher gullets and fit high withered horses pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Alright so I went out and re-molded his withers today and they measure somewhere between 6 1/4 and 6 1/2 inches, which narrows me down to a tiny sliver of saddles on the market currently, and they're almost all barrel saddles. I have four in mind, two of them being Abettas, which I'm happy about because they're super comfortable. So my next question is, where do you measure gullet height from?

Also any opinions on the saddles would be helpful!

Wintec Barrel Racing Saddle: Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com

American Saddlery Leather & Synthetic Barrel Saddle - Horse.com

Abetta® Cordura® Round Skirt Saddle - Horse.com

Abetta® Trail Saddle - Horse.com

I'm also looking at getting a stock saddle through Down Under saddlery, because they make adjustments to the tree for free.
 

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Unless you have a very thin, small horse you are hopefully not measuring correctly. It is doubtful that he needs a 6 1/4".

Follow this method: http://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack-equipment/saddle-fit-45868/ then from the top of the the cardboard cutout from the withers, measure down 3" to 4" and take the measurement there. Hopefully it will come in at 6 3/4".
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
He is a little bit underweight, I'd say at most he needs another 100 pounds, and thats a generous estimate. He also has no muscle to speak of in his back or anywhere else. I tried a 6 3/4" saddle today (it was the smallest gullet in our tack room and just so happened to be that narrow) and it was still a little slippery even with a pad. Even though that pic is almost 3 months old now, he hasn't changed much, except in December I was still riding him. For the record, he's 16hh.

That's the method that I used :) I probably just measured too high up on him. I'm still debating on using the aussie saddles though, I know QHDragon has a nice one for sale, and I would have to get it fitted for him, but I still think I want a Western to use. I was actually thinking of going with the Wintec or the Abetta Round skirt, which have a 6 1/2 inch gullet.


 

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Saddle fit is more then the gullet/wither fit. If you get a saddle that fits him in the withers, the bars may be too narrow. I would consider an "A" fork, as I mentioned, if you want to go Western.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You are right, but his withers are really the hardest part in trying to find a saddle for him. I can find plenty of saddles that fit his back, but if they sat on top of his withers, that wouldn't help me either. The slope of his back is normal, and with more of a top line his back would be even as well. In the case that something doesn't/didn't fit, I could always return/exchange it anyhow. I have no problems with trial and error.
 

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Try looking for saddles built on an "A" fork tree, they typically have higher gullets and fit high withered horses pretty well.
This is good advice. Also, and it might be harder to shop for, but a lot of really old western saddles are also very narrow. I guess horses were built narrower back then and probably weren't as fat as many horses are today either.

I have a neighbor who buys and sells a lot of tack, and I am always wondering what kind of horse those old saddles must have fit, many of them are really narrow. You might look at some used saddles, I mean fairly old ones, say from the 40's or before, because they do tend to have narrower trees.
 

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Personally I don't care for the wintec or the abetta western saddles. The wintec ones just feel like they are made of cardboard to me. They make really nice english saddles, and I heard that their aussie saddles are really good too, but I have yet to be impressed with their western saddles. I am not a fan of cloth saddles like the Abetta, plus I felt like it positioned my leg way in front of me and I was constantly fighting the saddle to get my leg under me, however that may just be me.

My TB was built exactly like your horse, high withers with a dip behind them. I never did find a western saddle to fit him properly (which is why I bought the aussie saddle). Not only do you have to consider his high withers, and how narrow he is right now, but a lot of western saddles are made for QH type horses who have more of a flat back, and it looks like you may run into trouble with briding on your horse.
 
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