A saddle that doesn’t fit properly to the horse or rider can cause problems. All widths are different with saddle makers, even if they call it full. Following is general information to give you an idea of some guidelines.
Quarter horse bars = 6 1/2″ gullet (medium)
Semi Quarter Horse bars = 6 3/4″ gullet (medium wide)
Full Quarter Horse bars = 7″ gullet (wide)
Size is of the tree before building the saddle. Manufacturing will depend on how it fits your horse.
Stand your horse on flat even ground.
- Place the saddle on his back without a pad. A properly fitted saddle will settle nicely on his back.
- Check the skirt to see if it follows the shape of the horse’s back.
- Check for balance. The pommel should not be higher than the cantle, however, the cantle may be higher than the pommel depending on style of saddle.
- Check pommel fork clearance. You should be able to place four stacked fingers between the withers and fork. The clearance will shrink to 2 1/2 stacked fingers after the saddle breaks in.
- Look down the gullet of the saddle, making sure there is clearance of the entire run of the back.