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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my friends has a saddle for sale and it turns out to be a wide one so I borrowed it on trial to see if it fits my mare. What is your opinion? I’m not sure about my own opinion, I’m horrible at this. I can generally tell if there’s obvious discomfort, but other than that when it comes to knowing if it’s a smidge off, I’m blank. The angle of the bars fits her well, but the gullet looks too narrow, I think it’s a 61/2-7” gullet. Her reg. saddle is an 8”. I could try tomorrow to get pics of that saddle, today I just rode her in the new one, and threw her old very first synthetic black saddle on for comparison. i trotted her around,she wasn’t that willing to trot, I can’t tell if it’s cause she was being a little lazy and didn’t want to give more than she had to or if it actually pinched her. When I threw my leg up she didn’t act uncomfortable or anything, I shifted a few times, she didn’t swish her tail, but she was definitely more aware I was up there.i also used a thinner pad than normal. Y’all, tell me what to look for because I’m new to this!!!🙈 thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is her current roping saddle, 1st picture is from the day I got it. The 2nd one is from tuesday. It sits fairly level on her, and I get good even sweat marks from a long ride. I like it, it’s kinda old and heavy.
 

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Hi, firstly, can't tell much about fit with a big pad. Can't tell anything about your current saddle from those pics except that it looks quite a bit too far forward, sitting over her scapula.

As for the unpadded pics of saddle in question, appears it is also too far forward - should be no pressure on or within a couple inches behind the scapula. So westerns which especially seem to extend more forward, should have quite flared bars at the front to allow for free shoulders, if they can't be set back far enough.

Assuming the saddle was in the right position, it seems to bee too narrow of a bar angle - the top of the bars aren't sitting against the horse at all! So there will be a lot of sharp pressure down lower. Could be that the gullet is ok but bar angle too sharp. Pommel sits high but I don't think it's obviously because it's too narrow. All in all, I'm guessing with bar angle too narrow that far forward, it will prob be worse with saddle back behind scapula.
 

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I would not rope on that first saddle. Cheap Asian made junque. Can't say too much about the synthetic one because I can't see much of it, but the tree looks Asian. Most of them have uneven, warped trees. I can't really see the third saddle, but it looks like it fits from the picture and doesn't have the telltale Asian made features.
 

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The saddle should be resting on her back with the front of the bars about two inches behind her scapula. I'm not sure that it is. As it sits in the photos, it looks too narrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi, firstly, can't tell much about fit with a big pad. Can't tell anything about your current saddle from those pics except that it looks quite a bit too far forward, sitting over her scapula.

As for the unpadded pics of saddle in question, appears it is also too far forward - should be no pressure on or within a couple inches behind the scapula. So westerns which especially seem to extend more forward, should have quite flared bars at the front to allow for free shoulders, if they can't be set back far enough.

Assuming the saddle was in the right position, it seems to bee too narrow of a bar angle - the top of the bars aren't sitting against the horse at all! So there will be a lot of sharp pressure down lower. Could be that the gullet is ok but bar angle too sharp. Pommel sits high but I don't think it's obviously because it's too narrow. All in all, I'm guessing with bar angle too narrow that far forward, it will prob be worse with saddle back behind scapula.
Thank you!!! I knew something was a little off.Just wondering how you measure a horse for the gullet width?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would not rope on that first saddle. Cheap Asian made junque. Can't say too much about the synthetic one because I can't see much of it, but the tree looks Asian. Most of them have uneven, warped trees. I can't really see the third saddle, but it looks like it fits from the picture and doesn't have the telltale Asian made features.
I don’t believe it’s Asian, it’s a royal king that was custom made for another person, I think it’s old enough to be when they were still a US company. The synthetic one I had was a cheap one, one that a girl is more than happy to call a saddle when she first gets a horse. 😉 It worked very well. And my current saddle is a bighorn roping saddle, older but has a sturdy solid tree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Too far forward and too narrow.
Thank you. That’s what I thought. Something just didn’t look right but I’m not an expert and I’m so frustrated with trying to find saddles that fit. And I have no idea what to look for, besides one with a wide angle, and a wide gullet? Because she’s a stocky wide QH.
 

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Your friend's saddle in your first posts are WAY too narrow for your horse. It is "perched" on her back. It looks like both the gullet and the bar angle are both too narrow (too small of a bar angle).


It's hard to tell what's going on for the synteic black saddle because your pictures are so zoomed in. But something is clearly not right or not fitting because there's actual air space between your horse's back and the saddle tree. (or else you rhorse was just standing that badly and/or you have the saddle placed that poorly)


Can't access anything from the current saddle you posted. Too far away to see what's going on, and need to see without a pad under it.


Taking a REAL gullet measurement is impossible once the saddle is finished. Gullet is technically measured on the bare tree. You can get an estimate of about what the gullet is, but just remember it is not a true measurement. As far as trying to measure the horse, there are templates to get you in the ballpark of what the horse needs but you have to remember that gullet is only one piece of the puzzle.
For example: You can have two different saddles, maybe one that is a 6 1/2" gullet and one that is a 7" gullet, and they might BOTH fit the horse well enough. Because you have to also consider the angle of the bars, the flare of the bars, the rock in the tree, etc etc etc and all those things will influence how the saddle fits and sits on the horse's back.

Or you might have two different saddles, both with a 7" gullet and one fits the horse and one does not. Again, gullet is only one aspect.


There is no standard in the western industry on how to measure a tree or measure a horse. This is why saddle fitting is maddening, LOL. You will not know if a saddle fits a horse, until you put it on their back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Your friend's saddle in your first posts are WAY too narrow for your horse. It is "perched" on her back. It looks like both the gullet and the bar angle are both too narrow (too small of a bar angle).


It's hard to tell what's going on for the synteic black saddle because your pictures are so zoomed in. But something is clearly not right or not fitting because there's actual air space between your horse's back and the saddle tree. (or else you rhorse was just standing that badly and/or you have the saddle placed that poorly)


Can't access anything from the current saddle you posted. Too far away to see what's going on, and need to see without a pad under it.


Taking a REAL gullet measurement is impossible once the saddle is finished. Gullet is technically measured on the bare tree. You can get an estimate of about what the gullet is, but just remember it is not a true measurement. As far as trying to measure the horse, there are templates to get you in the ballpark of what the horse needs but you have to remember that gullet is only one piece of the puzzle.
For example: You can have two different saddles, maybe one that is a 6 1/2" gullet and one that is a 7" gullet, and they might BOTH fit the horse well enough. Because you have to also consider the angle of the bars, the flare of the bars, the rock in the tree, etc etc etc and all those things will influence how the saddle fits and sits on the horse's back.

Or you might have two different saddles, both with a 7" gullet and one fits the horse and one does not. Again, gullet is only one aspect.


There is no standard in the western industry on how to measure a tree or measure a horse. This is why saddle fitting is maddening, LOL. You will not know if a saddle fits a horse, until you put it on their back.
Lol back to square one 🏼 Unfortunately I don’t have a ton of money to spend on saddles that I don’t know are gonna fit her, and we don’t have a tack shop for miles around, closest is an hour and a half away and they don’t even sell good name brand leather saddles. Or much less let me take one home on trial basis to try on her. Yes I’m so confused about the gullet thing, how do you if a gullet fits right? And also, if I measure the bar angle of her current saddle, down where the bars end,from side to side, is that any help in the future for buying a saddle? She’s like a wide barrel. And even though I get a good sweat pattern with her saddle, I have my doubts it fits her as good as it could.
 

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I don’t believe it’s Asian, it’s a royal king that was custom made for another person, I think it’s old enough to be when they were still a US company. The synthetic one I had was a cheap one, one that a girl is more than happy to call a saddle when she first gets a horse. 😉 It worked very well. And my current saddle is a bighorn roping saddle, older but has a sturdy solid tree.
No, sorry Asian made. In fact here's an old thread, the information posted about the tree is by a saddle maker, Southern Trails.
https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack-reviews/silver-royal-saddles-your-opinions-115332/
 
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No, sorry Asian made. In fact here's an old thread, the information posted about the tree is by a saddle maker, Southern Trails.
https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack-reviews/silver-royal-saddles-your-opinions-115332/



I have a new 'throw away/no name' saddle almost exactly like it, but in a very light oil color. It's just that - a cheap throw away saddle. And yes, it's Asian made. I keep a few el cheapos like that around for people that want an occasional use saddle.



I agree with everyone else on the fit.
 

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I won't even critique that junque, get it off the horse's back!
 
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Thank you!!! I knew something was a little off.Just wondering how you measure a horse for the gullet width?
I think more than a little off there, if it's so obvious just from a few pics. With good pics, we can usually still only tell overt things, or get the idea the saddle might fit fairly. Needs evaluation in person & feeling not just looking to get a good idea.

If you Google wither measurement you will see. But gullet width is only one of many considerations when considering saddle fit. There are many good saddle fitting sites/vids etc tho.
 

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Lol back to square one 🏼 Unfortunately I don’t have a ton of money to spend on saddles that I don’t know are gonna fit her, and we don’t have a tack shop for miles around, closest is an hour and a half away
Sounds like you need to learn a lot more about saddle fitting before trying any, or employ a saddle fitter (not that that be any guarantee either).

But 1.5hrs doesn't sound terrible, I'm in rural Oz & everything is at least an hour away. Which is really close for a lot who live more 'out back'. For somewhere with a big selections so you could trailer your horse there to try a fair few at the shop. And while they prob wont loan you saddles to trial, they should have a deal to buy them back after a short trial, at the same price, if they're kept clean & same condition.

But I hear you, money-wise, as I'm sure many do. Esp when you don't got a lot to throw around, cheap ones may be only option, and I don't believe just because it's asian(or Argentinian or such) means it's *necessarily* rubbish either, but you need to have an understanding of the whys & wherefores, to have a clue if it is.

I wasted money that was hard to come by, trying many saddles that didn't fit, just rode in a bareback pad in between times, tried treeless - back in the day where most were just glorified bareback pads, before I ended up making my own - called it a 'flexible tree' because it has a flexible but firm plastic tree shaped insert with rigid steel gullet, and panels which are attached by velcro, to be adjustable in position, thickness etc. Essentially it's like a lot of the modern treeless, which are often very good options, but it's ugly - being home made & covered in wetsuit material!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don’t believe it’s Asian, it’s a royal king that was custom made for another person, I think it’s old enough to be when they were still a US company. The synthetic one I had was a cheap one, one that a girl is more than happy to call a saddle when she first gets a horse. 😉 It worked very well. And my current saddle is a bighorn roping saddle, older but has a sturdy solid tree.
No, sorry Asian made. In fact here's an old thread, the information posted about the tree is by a saddle maker, Southern Trails.
https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack-reviews/silver-royal-saddles-your-opinions-115332/
Yeah the newer models are Indian/Asian made, and yes those are junk. I wouldn’t buy one no matter how fabulous they make them seem. I like my leather, not the fake imitation crap. I saw an article online yesterday but that’s all I could find when I looked up the brand after picking this saddle up. It said about 10-12 years ago (as of 2013,now would be 16-18 yrs ago) it was a us company.and I don’t know how old this saddle is. It was custom made for a horse that’s now somewhere in her 20’s, so it could be the cheap model. It’s a lot sturdier than what a cheap saddle would be imo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sounds like you need to learn a lot more about saddle fitting before trying any, or employ a saddle fitter (not that that be any guarantee either).

But 1.5hrs doesn't sound terrible, I'm in rural Oz & everything is at least an hour away. Which is really close for a lot who live more 'out back'. For somewhere with a big selections so you could trailer your horse there to try a fair few at the shop. And while they prob wont loan you saddles to trial, they should have a deal to buy them back after a short trial, at the same price, if they're kept clean & same condition.

But I hear you, money-wise, as I'm sure many do. Esp when you don't got a lot to throw around, cheap ones may be only option, and I don't believe just because it's asian(or Argentinian or such) means it's *necessarily* rubbish either, but you need to have an understanding of the whys & wherefores, to have a clue if it is.

I wasted money that was hard to come by, trying many saddles that didn't fit, just rode in a bareback pad in between times, tried treeless - back in the day where most were just glorified bareback pads, before I ended up making my own - called it a 'flexible tree' because it has a flexible but firm plastic tree shaped insert with rigid steel gullet, and panels which are attached by velcro, to be adjustable in position, thickness etc. Essentially it's like a lot of the modern treeless, which are often very good options, but it's ugly - being home made & covered in wetsuit material![/QUOTE]


I agree 1.5 hours away isn’t terrible. Although for the selection in that town I wouldn’t waste my money since it’s not high quality, and they have very little in stock. My best bet would be a pawn shop, but I’m not sure they would give you a full refund if it didn’t fit. I’d have to check. And about the saddle fitting, I agree I have a lot to learn, lol. Thanks for the education. If you don’t mind me asking but how can I shop for a saddle online and ask for the right measurements? This is kinda big to me because I want to do it right, but I don’t have money for a custom made saddle, saddle that might not fit her etc. I looked into getting treeless but I’ve heard before treeless can actually be worse for your horse’s back in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
@loosie I’ve been trying to measure her gullet and have a general idea about the flare and width of the bars, angle, etc, wondering how you measure a horse’s gullet? Everybody’s saying a QH is 7”-71/2” but my horse is wide, im getting a wider measurement than that, and I’m confused. On my last thread about saddles as well, somebody kindly gave me a link to print a wide angle (full QH bars) template out.I matched it to her withers but the gullet is too narrow?
 
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