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Saddle fit

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  • Saddle fit

    Western saddle fit confuses me. It seems like every saddle that I try on my mare is pretty snug right between the conchos. Are they suppose to fit like that? I can easily slide my hand down the sides until I get to the conchos were I have to force my hand under them. How is a western saddle suppose to fit? It seems like while there are a lot of resources available for english, there are not as many available for western.

    Here is my current saddle:




    Left shoulder

    Right shoulder

    As you can see her right shoulder is bigger than her left shoulder, and while it doesn't seem to make a huge difference with english saddle fit, for some reason it seems to make a huge difference with western saddle fit.

    My BO suggested that I try a saddle pad that is a little built up in the front to lift the conchos up, but I am not sure how I feel about that.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog

  • #2
    In the pictures, it looks like you have the saddle girth tightened? Try just setting the saddle up there without putting the girth on, and then run your hand underneath. If you have the cinch tightened, you are inevitably going to have more torque on the front part of the saddle (that's where a lot of back cinches come into play to tighten down the back part of the saddle).

    Also, when you set the saddle up there, make sure the front of the bars fit in that natural locking point behind the shoulder. After that, you are going to want even pressure from the front to the back of the bars on both sides. From there you can play around with things to raise it/put more padding in different areas. I know a friend of mine has a pad that has different pockets to add more padding in different areas.

    Best of luck.
    The holy grail is to spend less time making the picture than it takes people to look at it.


    • #3
      I like how that saddle fits. I like the balance front-back, and I life the clearance in the pommel. Your saddle pad (so long as its a good one, you can't use cheap saddle pads on a western saddle like you can an english saddle) will bring the whole saddle up higher, and give you less horse between the conchos. You could use a front riser pad (although I don't think you need one), but the only one I would recommend is the classic equine biofit pads, IME all the others just mess with the saddles balance and make the horse uncomfortable.


      • Original Poster

        I did cinch up the saddle, I guess I figured the same rules of wanting to girth up an english saddle to judge fit applied, oops!

        So even though the area between the conchos is snug, it won't cause pressure points once the pad is under there?
        Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
        The Blog


        • #5
          What kind of pad are you planning on using and what kind of riding are you planning on doing? You won't have a problem with the right pad, but the right pad is going to be vastly different if you're doing long trail rides versus pleasure riding versus a speed event.


          • Original Poster

            I haven't really given a whole lot of thought into what pad I will use. I will be using it to show as well as ride trails.
            Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
            The Blog


            • #7
              It does look like it is going to pinch to me. I would prefer to see a little more angle in the gullet so that it lies flat behind the shoulder instead of putting all the pressure on the front of the tree where the conchos are.... padding will NOT help, just make it pinch more.... A wedged pad might help, thinker above and thinner bshims might help, but I'd be happier with a different gullet.... This is a big issue in saddle fit....most of the time, they just make them wider, but don't change the angles enough.... there are some saddles that fit this type of horse better though... I have the same issue with my TWH. My draft saddle actually fits her the best....


              • Original Poster

                Well I have decided not to keep this saddle, so the search is on!
                Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                The Blog