View Full Version : Western Saddle for Prominent Withered TB

Feb. 25, 2012, 04:22 PM
My TB mare and I are in need of a new western saddle.

V's a lighter built TB, more "A" frame, with very prominent withers. (Her pic is in my profile - it was taken two days after she was delivered to me; she has since gained back the weight she was lacking and then some :winkgrin:) I need a more narrow seat (not flat and wide). We will be doing mainly trails and arena work, and possibly dabbling in other areas as well.

I'm thinking a semi-QH tree would be a better fit. I've ridden in a Crates for several years but sold it to buy a different saddle for a different horse I had at the time. Loved that saddle - fit me and most of the horses I used it on pretty well. However, while browsing the saddles at my local tack shop, all of them seemed too low/not have enough clearance in the gullet area for her withers. V already has a white scar on the back side of her withers from before I bought her, so finding a saddle to fit her well is paramount.

Finding one that fits me is just as important...as I found out the hard way that a too-wide saddle for me makes it almost impossible to move and/or dismount after more than a 1 hr ride.

I will eventually be looking to get a dressage or a/p saddle in the future. However, since I'm just getting back into riding and getting my confidence back, I feel more comfy in a western saddle at this time.

Any suggestions from those who've had the same / similar problem?


Feb. 25, 2012, 05:17 PM
I'm very happy with my Simco - Rusty Taylor gaited horse saddle. It seems to give good withers clearance, and the seat doesn't feel terribly wide to me. I find a lot of semi QH bars too wide for my TBs. Only problem I had is that I have to wear my stirrups on the shortest hole :)

Feb. 25, 2012, 10:56 PM
I got a semi QH bar Wintec western that fit my withery TB perfectly (shape wise-I had alot of problems with saddle soreness that I think had more to do with it being a synthetic). They also make western wither pads and built up pads that work well

Feb. 25, 2012, 11:51 PM
I tried a Crates that I loved on my high withered appendix qh some years back and indeed didn't have the right clearance. A Circle Y size 4 tree fit him for a while- but what continues to fit are a McCall Wade and a saddle made here in Utah by a young man downstate. The McCall is a hair too wide in the seat for my taste, but fits the horse.


The 'custom' saddle (for less than the McCall) fits horse and has a much better (narrower) seat:


Feb. 26, 2012, 12:01 AM
Circle Y Flex Tree all the way!

meaty ogre
May. 7, 2012, 09:02 AM
I am interested in this topic as well. I have a supremely comfortable Abetta Manta Stealth that I am going to have to sell or trade because it is just too wide. (It is an extra-wide tree, unbeknownst to me...I thought it was a standard FQHB but it's wider).

My gelding has shark-fin withers that have only become more prominent as he has aged. He has hollowing on either side of the withers, but then his shoulders flare quite wide. A semi-qh is going to be too narrow, but a wide will not make contact properly. What to do?

Do you go with the FQHB tree and add a pommel pad or use a built-up cutback pad?

Also, he is somewhat short backed despite being 16.2. I think I am going to need a round skirt, or at least a shorter style, like perhaps a barrel racing saddle?

I've been researching this and I have found threads on other sites where people have had good luck fitting broad-shouldered TBs with gaited horse saddles, so I may look into that as an option as well.

I really don't want to spend a fortune fittng this horse as he is in his golden years and I'll just be using this saddle for piddling around a infrequent trail rides, so if there is a special therapeutic pad or something I can use to fill in the gaps that would be great. If I find a saddle to fit this guy it definitely won't work on anything else! :lol: