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how to fit a western saddle to a person

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First,start with some general rules of thumb for proper western saddle seat size for the rider:Keep in mind that Western saddle seat size refers to rider fit and has nothing to do with how the saddle fits the horse.There should be approximately four inches between the front of your body and the fork (or swells).Your rump should rest on the base of the cantle,but should not be pressed against the back of the cantle.More items

What size western saddle seat do I Need?

Western Saddle Seat Size Chart These are general guidelines. 5′ – 5’5″ 5’6″ – 5’9″ 5’10″+100 – 125 lbs 13.5″ – 14″ ]

How can I tell if my saddle fits correctly?

You know you have the proper saddle fit when:Your horse is relaxed and willing to obey commands easilyYou spend far more pleasurable hours in your saddle – as opposed to fighting with your horse to comply with your commandsYour saddle feels comfortable and fits like a worn gloveMore items…

How to sit the trot in a western saddle?

Sit tall and don’t lean forwardKeep your seat in the saddleHave your weight on your heelsThe reins are light in your hands — your horse should not be pulling

How to measure a western saddle?

Measuring the saddle size for a western saddle starts from the back of the swell at the top of the gullet and is measured back to the stitching on the cantle binder. This measurement is typically around the same as the tree seat size, although the finished seat size will be less than the tree size. The difference between the two will depend on …

How to determine western saddle size?

The easiest conversion is to subtract two inches from the size of your English saddle, and you’ll be left with the size of your western saddle. Use the following chart to determine your Western saddle size based on your leg/seat measurement:

What happens if the saddle is too wide?

If the bars slide down very far past the spine , then the saddle is too wide. The bar width is closely related to the gullet clearance; a too-narrow bar width will cause a larger gullet space while a too-wide bar width will cause little to no gullet clearance.

Why is a saddle fitting important?

A good fitting saddle is imperative for the comfort of both horse and rider. It improves the way your horse will work, making them more willing. Instead of looking for the best-looking saddle or the cheapest deal, take a few minutes to get a proper saddle measurement and outfit your horse in the best tack for its body.

Why do horses need gullets?

The gullet is the long empty space that runs length-wise along the spine of the horse, and fitting this properly is crucial for preventing nerve pain and spinal injuries in your horse. A proper fitting saddle will allow you to see all the way through the gullet when viewed from the back.

What to ask a trainer about a saddle?

If you are working with a trainer, ask them for a recommendation! They can provide you with a better idea of what type of saddle you should choose and how much it should cost.

How to measure saddle seat size?

Seats come in a variety of sizes for the multiple body-types riders have. To measure your seat, sit in a chair with your back against the chair back and your feet on the floor.

How big is a saddle?

The measurement/size approximately equates as: A leg/seat measurement of 16.5 inches (41.9 cm) or less equals a 15 in (38 cm) saddle. A leg/seat measurement of 16.5 to 18.5 inches (41.9 to 47.0 cm) equals a 16 in (41 cm) saddle.

Why do horses dip their top line?

We see this often also due to horses dipping/dropping their top line in an attempt to get away from the pain of an ill fitting saddle. This can be corrected up to a point with our remuda saddle fitting pad. In this case if it is the only problem you would put shims in the middle only the same thickness as your gap.

Why does my saddle sit down hill?

Many saddle makers in an attempt to correct this have made the gullet width wider but leaving the angle the same which just puts the pressure point lower down on the withers , causes the saddle to want to sit “down hill”and then you also can have a problem with not having enough clearence/gullet height.

What is a saddle tree rocker?

Rocker = The shape/curve of the back from the scapula to the flank/cowlick area. Saddle tree bars have different rocker shapes, some straighter/flatter, some more arched/curved. You bump the wire right behind the shoulder blade in that “sweet spot” 4” down parallel to the spine/center of back.

What is the most important part of a horse?

Here again you can see how where we are taking the tracing relates to the saddle tree bars which is the most important part for the horse. All of your weight is distributed on these bars and you want as close to 100% in contact as possible, otherwise you get excess pressure points that are painful.

How much of the tree bar should be in contact with the horse back?

Ideally you want 100% of the whole surface of the tree bars in contact with the horse back so the weight and pressure is evenly distributed over a large surface for maximum comfort, fit and stability on the horses back.

How to measure thigh?

Thigh Measurement: sit in a saddle, on a horse, with your legs out of the stirrups, with your upper legs and knees as straight down as possible. Very important is your heels need to be in line with your shoulder! To help get in that position, over stretch your upper leg way back then relax.

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How many fingers should be between the top of the wither and the gullet of the saddle?

Place the saddle on the horse’s bare back without a pad. There should be two to three fingers space between the top of the wither and the gullet of the saddle.

Why is my horse’s wither narrow?

A very prominent, narrow wither may indicate the lack of muscle behind the shoulder blade and the need for a shoulder bridge pad. The shoulder bridge pad fills in this "hollow" area, allowing the saddle bars to make better contact with the horse. Large muscles behind the scapula can interfere with saddle fit.

Why does my horse’s saddle rock?

Rocking is a condition where the tree puts more pressure on the center of the horse’s back, and less at the ends of the bars. A tree with a "mule bar" or a pad with shims may be recommended.

What type of tree should I use for a horse with rounded withers?

Horse with defined wither and usually fits a medium, regular, or semi-Quarter horse tree. Horse with rounded withers that typically needs a Wide or Full Quarter Horse Tree.

Why do saddle bars need a bridge pad?

A bridge pad is needed to bridge the gap between the horse’s back and tree bars and to effectively distribute the rider’s weight.

How to adjust a saddle on a horse?

If the saddle is not level, try adjusting it by using shims, sliding it forward or back to raise or lower the front, or trying different rigging positions. When all else fails, you may need a different saddle with a better fit.

How big should a saddle be?

Discipline of riding plays a role in the size of a saddle. In general, you should have 4" between the front of your body and the swell of the saddle.

Why do saddles have flares?

In addition, the bars of the tree for this particular type saddle have flare in the front of the bars in order to allow free and greater movement of the horse’s shoulders, and more rock, or curvature in the bars to conform to the horse’s back. Of course, every horse is different.

How to make a saddle tree fit a horse?

Place The Saddle Tree On Your Horse’s Back. To make sure you have the correct size saddle for your horse, place the saddle or saddle tree on your horse’s back. If you can place two or three fingers in between the horse’s gullet and your horse’s withers, that means it’s a good fit. However, if the space is larger, that means the tree is too narrow.

How to measure Western saddle seat?

Here’s how to measure a Western saddle seat to make sure it fits you. First, sit in the middle of the pocket with your stirrups adjusted correctly. You want to look at how much space you have between your thigh and the edge of the swells. You should be able to get two to three fingers between your swell and your thighs.

What are tree bars?

Construction of Tree Bars. The bars of the saddle are made up of the two slats that lay against the horses back on either side of his spine. Correct saddle fit for the horse means that the bars need to be at the correct angle. The correct angle will ensure that the bar is distributing the weight of the rider evenly over the horse’s back.

Why do western saddles fit?

The reason the saddle has to fit the horse correctly is so that the horse doesn’t end up with a sore back, blisters and soars. So I’m going to give you some helpful tips that will help you learn how to measure a Western saddle seat before you make your purchase.

Why do you need to measure a saddle seat?

The reason the saddle has to fit you correctly, is so that you can maintain correct posture, sit in balance, and sit the stop (especially if you’re participating in rodeo events).

Do horses need a tree?

Many horses with defined withers do well with a regular tree. If you have a horse with wide or rounded withers and a flat back, your horse needs a wide tree. Some horses, such as draft horses, need an extra wide or draft tree. You can always use an extra pad to fill in the space if a horse has narrow withers.

Why the Differences?

There are a number of measurements in addition to seat size that impacts the fit of a western saddle. These include:

How to size a saddle for a horse?

First, start with some general rules of thumb for proper western saddle seat size for the rider: 1 Keep in mind that Western saddle seat size refers to rider fit and has nothing to do with how the saddle fits the horse. 2 There should be approximately four inches between the front of your body and the fork (or swells). 3 Your rump should rest on the base of the cantle, but should not be pressed against the back of the cantle. 4 Some prefer a tighter fit, some looser. In general, it’s better to have a saddle a smidgen too big than a smidgen too small. (A smaller saddle may cause uncomfortable chafing.)

What is a cantle dish?

Cantle dish: The cantle can be flat or have a recess or dish on the front side that can be an inch or more in-depth.

How big should a saddle seat be for a horse?

There should be approximately four inches between the front of your body and the fork (or swells).

What is the seat size on a western saddle?

Seat size simply measures the distance from the base of the horn to the top middle of the cantle. This distance is then expressed as a size in half-inch increments from 12 inches to 17 inches.

Where should the rump rest?

Your rump should rest on the base of the cantle, but should not be pressed against the back of the cantle. Some prefer a tighter fit, some looser. In general, it’s better to have a saddle a smidgen too big than a smidgen too small. (A smaller saddle may cause uncomfortable chafing.)

What happens if you get too big of a saddle for trot?

If the saddle is too big, it will be hard to learn how to sit the trot. Likewise, if the saddle is too small, you will not be able to comfortably sit the trot either.

How to become a pro at trotting?

However, by knowing the gait, perfecting your posture, learning on the lunge line, checking your saddle fit, and trying various horses, you can become a pro at sitting the trot.

Why do western saddles have deeper seats?

Also, a Western saddle structure naturally allows for a deeper seat because the stirrups are longer.

What is a post trot?

Posting the trot is where the rider lifts out of the saddle on alternate beats of the gait, thereby minimizing the contact with the saddle when the bump is at its worst.

How big is the Tucker saddle?

But if your current saddle is too small for you, check out the Tucker Saddles Old West Trail Saddle 277 since it goes all the way up to 18.5-inches.

Why is lunge line work beneficial?

Lunge line work is beneficial to learning because you won’t have to think about anything but sitting the trot.

What does it mean to be in control of a horse?

That person is in control of the horse’s speed and direction, leaving you free to focus on relaxing those muscles, following the movement of the trot, and keeping your posture pulling up.

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