• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums’ policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

Should you be able to get your fingers under fork of properly cinched saddle?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Should you be able to get your fingers under fork of properly cinched saddle?

    It seems that you can with english saddles, but with every western saddle I have been checking, the answer is "no." These are english and western saddles on other horses that I have checked whereby the owner says the saddle fits well.

    I am just curious as to why that might be. I know that many english horses are higher-withered and thus have a wither pocket that might make it easier to slip one's fingers inside -- or maybe something to do with the flocking vs not. Or maybe simple the weight of a western saddle vs english. But it is something I have consistently seen.


  • #2
    Do you mean under the bars along the front of the saddle, the part that lies next to the shoulder? Or under the actual fork/pommel? The answer is yes to either. But if you mean under the bars, I think it's going to feel more snug with a Western saddle because of the lack of flocking. But you should be able to check fit by sliding your flat hand underneath and running it from top to bottom of the bar. I wouldn't say it's super easy, depending on how heavy the saddle is. And tougher to do when it's cinched. If you can't even wiggle anything underneath, I'd say it doesn't fit.


    • Original Poster

      oh yeah, I meant under the bars -- not wither clearance.

      My new saddle -- the one that puts me in such a great position -- feels snug to me, but I come from an english background and it seems all the western saddles at my barn are just as snug. My horse is a 12yo foundation-type QH, a former ranch horse/roper, so he is on the wider side, but not draft wide. The saddle is a wade with 93 degree bars...they normally don't come wider than that. I have a hard time believing he would need anything different as his back and build look pretty normal to me and everyone who has looked at him. Prior owner used full QH bars.

      So that made me wonder if it was just an inherent difference in how the saddles sat, weighed, flocked, etc. or whether all these western riders at current barn don't have good saddle fit and don't know it. It is a boarding barn, so no trainer oversight, I suppose that is possible. Most have swell-fork saddles, if that makes a difference, but I don't think it should..

      Without cinching and no pad, it feels great, even pressure and not too snug. I changed from 3/4 in wool pad to 1/2 in and it seemed to fit even better, but it is still snug compared to english saddles..

      I have read every great website on saddle fit, so I know what is supposed to be in theory, just surprised in practice, lol!

      A couple of people have said my saddle looks too far back. I put the concho right behind his shoulder blade, but I have to admit, having it up a little further *looks* better. I wonder if I am placing it too far back and it would be less snug if I moved it forward an inch, and the bar crown would allow the shoulder to slide under... The barn owner, a rated roper, says the saddle fits well. (but I have also heard ropers prefer tight cinches and tight saddles). My former dressage trainer said "oh my, that is WAY too tight." Arrgh.

      My horse doesn't seem to mind, but we haven't really had a long enough/hard enough time in saddle for him to get sore. An hour or two a day of arena and trail several times a week is our norm, and I have had the saddle 3 weeks, but I don't think it is enough to sore a horse if it didn't fit.

      Just curious as to what others have experienced. I will go test out if I can get any fingers under when cinched, versus just feeling tight.

      Thanks for the feedback.


      • #4
        Not sure what you mean by getting your fingers under the "fork" of a Western saddle, because I've always known that to be the swell, which just connects both sides of the saddle together, under the horn. It doesn't have anything to do with the fit of the saddle, although of course you need to have clearance above the horse's withers.

        But if you are referring to the bars, I don't run my hand under the saddle when it's cinched up, but I probably also ride with my saddle cinched tighter than most (don't want it to go anywhere in the middle of a barrel run!). It is not easy to get your hand/fingers under there, and I personally don't feel it gives me that much useful information when it is cinched tight. Yes, with my English saddle, it is pretty easy to slide your fingers along the front of the bar, but it also seems "more flexible" with the flocking and easier to do so.

        I evaluate fit the most with the saddle sitting on the horse's bare back (no pad) and not having it cinched. And then yes, I do run my hand under the tree all over to see how it feels, along with looking how it sits on their back, and seeing if I can rock/roll it anywhere. If it looks promising, then we cinch up with a pad (see how it looks) and then ride until they are sweaty

        It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


        • #5
          Originally posted by BlueDrifter View Post

          Just curious as to what others have experienced. I will go test out if I can get any fingers under when cinched, versus just feeling tight.

          Take some pictures for us and post! We'll take a look.

          Take pictures without the pad and without cinching it. Get a side view and get a view of how it matches with the shoulder angle.

          It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


          • Original Poster

            I hope this works...so hard to get photos by yourself! the saddle actually feels tighter without a wool pad than with!

            Wade trees do not have gullet sizes, but handhold sizes...and I have never seen anything but 4 inches.. and this guy just doesnt look that hard to fit to me!

            I actually can get my fingers under bar when cinched up, and when walking under saddle, but not if he has his neck turned right or left.


            • #7
              Your pictures are kind of small (fun cinch!!) but it seems to be an okay fit. It's sitting level and you appear to have it place appropriately on the back. The picture of the horse's left shoulder angle seems to match very nicely with the bar angle. The picture of the right might be playing tricks on my eyes (because of the sun and shadow) ... there might be a tight spot, but it might just be an optical illusion.

              You do have to consider that a Wade saddle like that is simply going to be a lot heavier than any English saddle, and that's going to make it "feel" much different. But looks like you have a decent fit.

              How are the sweat patterns after a ride?
              It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for looking, beau159! I need to check what the size limit is for CoTH photos.

                Had a second western trainer take a look at, and then ride, and he felt the saddle fit. He is a fan of wet saddle blankets to know for sure, so maybe I will have another judgement point later on. Right now, I am just going to go with it.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BlueDrifter View Post
                  Thanks for looking, beau159! I need to check what the size limit is for CoTH photos.
                  I feel like pictures show up better if you upload to a separate site (such as photobucket) and then post the pictures. Seems like COTH doesn't resize them smaller, like it seems to do with attachments.

                  Of course, I know (for example) that Photobucket requires a paid membership now for folks to be able to link their pictures to different sites.

                  It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


                  • Original Poster

                    I haven't checked out the photo-sizing deal yet, but one thing I did today was just purchase the Dennis Lane templates. I will put that in another thread..