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Rules of Thumb for Saddle Fit


In compiling some information on achieving a proper fit to the horse when purchasing a saddle I came across several "Rules of Thumb" to bear in mind. There's a wealth of information available on the subject of saddle fitting, some of it contradictory. It's easy for the first time (or even second time) saddle buyer to get confused . The following Rules of Thumb are designed to help a prospective buyer get pointed in the right direction.

The Rules :

Rule of Thumb #1: All saddles don't fit all horses.

This would seem obvious, but the novice might buy a saddle with only the rider in mind. While it's obvious that a Belgian, Quarterhorse, and Haflinger would each require a saddle of a different size this is still a good rule to keep in mind.

Rule of Thumb #2: Some western saddle (trees) fit most western or stock horses.

There is truth to this statement. A Western Saddle built on semi-quarter horse bars will fit most cow ponies and similarly an English saddle on a medium tree will fit most horses. Either way, you have maybe an 80% chance of success. But if you have to go through the hassle of returning a saddle or have to suffer with a poor fit those aren't necessarily the best odds.

Rule of Thumb #3: If you purchase a saddle based on appearance alone, it won't fit (Murphy's Law applied to saddle buying).

Well, we all do things like this occasionally, probably more with automobiles than with saddles. It's hard to turn down something that appeals to the eye. But most experienced horsemen and horsewomen wouldn't buy based on looks alone - would we?

Rule of Thumb #4: Like other things in life, the more information you gather, the better your chance of success.

What this says is that if you're going to purchase a saddle, the more you know about saddles and the more you know about the horse(s) in question, the better your chance of success (a good fit) will be. You needn't be an expert - just take the time to learn a few things like, why fit is important, the basic parts of the saddle tree, etc..

A corollary to this rule is - find out what the saddle maker or retailer needs in the way of information to get you the saddle you need. If they don't ask for some information find another retailer.

Rule of Thumb #5: If you don't know a lot about horses, get someone who does to help you out.

Put another way - If you don't know what you're doing, don't do too much of it. This is probably the best ruile for the novice to follow. Get a friend or aquaintance who knows a lot about horses, or your vet or your local outfitter - anyone you feel you can trust - to help you out. They can tell you what measurements to need to take or, by looking at the horse, whether you really need to take any. Getting some expert assistance can save you lots of grief downstream.

Rule of Thumb #6 (Golden Rule): You won't know for sure if the saddle fits until you put it on the horse and go for a ride.

This rule has all sorts of implications. "Measuring" the horse for saddle fit can range from visual inspection to withers tracings to molds and high tech measuring devices. The more you measure the better the fit you are apt to achieve but at some point it can be overkill because you never achieve a "perfect fit". The only way to validate good fit is to put the saddle on the horse and go for a ride.

More detailed information on saddle fit plus a number of related pet articles from the pet information channel: can be found at www.your-guide-to-gifts-for-horse-lovers.com/saddle.html.

Copyright © 2005 W. Savage. All Rights Reserved.

William "Bill" Savage, a retired, engineer lives on the Goose Bay Ranch in Montana where he spends time with family, horses, and his web site.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Thu. November / 21 / 2019

Don’t feed pets these Thanksgiving foods - WWBT NBC12 News
Don’t feed pets these Thanksgiving foods  WWBT NBC12 News

Shelter Tails: Senior pets need love too - Times Herald-Record
Shelter Tails: Senior pets need love too  Times Herald-Record

Innovet Pet Releases Thanksgiving Food Guide For Keeping Pets Safe During The Holiday - PRNewswire
Innovet Pet Releases Thanksgiving Food Guide For Keeping Pets Safe During The Holiday  PRNewswire

Pets and renter’s insurance: Why you need it - Bankrate.com
Pets and renter’s insurance: Why you need it  Bankrate.com

6 Thanksgiving foods you should keep away from your pets - WNDU-TV
6 Thanksgiving foods you should keep away from your pets  WNDU-TV

Pets of the Week for Nov. 21 - Chico Enterprise-Record
Pets of the Week for Nov. 21  Chico Enterprise-Record

Pets of The Week Shelter List - Times Herald-Record
Pets of The Week Shelter List  Times Herald-Record

Massive ‘Borderlands 3’ Patch Buffs Moze’s Mech, FL4K’s Pets And Zane’s Everything - Forbes
Massive ‘Borderlands 3’ Patch Buffs Moze’s Mech, FL4K’s Pets And Zane’s Everything  Forbes

Petition seeks medical marijuana for ailing household pets - KOB
Petition seeks medical marijuana for ailing household pets  KOB

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Cosmos - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Cosmos - 47abc  WMDT

Thanksgiving table staples that could be toxic to your pets - Cleveland 19 News
Thanksgiving table staples that could be toxic to your pets  Cleveland 19 News

Facial recognition software to help find lost pets - WCTI12.com
Facial recognition software to help find lost pets  WCTI12.com

Pet events: Holiday events coming up for pets and people - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pet events: Holiday events coming up for pets and people  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

How Sasha the lost cat found his way home after 5 years and 1,300 miles - AZCentral
How Sasha the lost cat found his way home after 5 years and 1,300 miles  AZCentral

Long Beach City Council to consider increasing allowed pets from 4 to 6 to reduce animal euthanasia - Signal Tribune
Long Beach City Council to consider increasing allowed pets from 4 to 6 to reduce animal euthanasia  Signal Tribune

History of Heath's Haven Rescue & Sanctuary — How to Help Disabled Pets - WomansDay.com
History of Heath's Haven Rescue & Sanctuary — How to Help Disabled Pets  WomansDay.com

Losing a pet is tough. That's why this program that helps pet owners deal with grief wants to expand - KSHB
Losing a pet is tough. That's why this program that helps pet owners deal with grief wants to expand  KSHB

Keep human food away from pets - WJFW-TV
Keep human food away from pets  WJFW-TV

Petition seeks medical marijuana for ailing pets - KRQE News 13
Petition seeks medical marijuana for ailing pets  KRQE News 13

Mohawk School students create 100 blankets for homeless pets - The Macomb Daily
Mohawk School students create 100 blankets for homeless pets  The Macomb Daily

How to make sure your pet has a stress-free holiday - Yahoo Lifestyle
How to make sure your pet has a stress-free holiday  Yahoo Lifestyle

Pitt County Animal Shelter uses facial recognition to find lost pets - WITN
Pitt County Animal Shelter uses facial recognition to find lost pets  WITN

Le Mars student donates pet oxygen masks to help save pets - KCAU 9
Le Mars student donates pet oxygen masks to help save pets  KCAU 9

Holiday travel tips for pets - KFOX El Paso
Holiday travel tips for pets  KFOX El Paso

Local organization helps ensure pets aren't euthanized if owner can't afford emergency medical care - WKBW-TV
Local organization helps ensure pets aren't euthanized if owner can't afford emergency medical care  WKBW-TV

Kent County Animal Shelter waiving fees on adoptable pets - WZZM13.com
Kent County Animal Shelter waiving fees on adoptable pets  WZZM13.com

Pets, people, cows all pollute the Río Fernando - taosnews
Pets, people, cows all pollute the Río Fernando  taosnews

Frozen cat food recalled over salmonella risk posed to pets and owners - USA TODAY
Frozen cat food recalled over salmonella risk posed to pets and owners  USA TODAY

Cute kittens and dogs available for adoption in Yolo County | Pets of the Week - Woodland Daily Democrat
Cute kittens and dogs available for adoption in Yolo County | Pets of the Week  Woodland Daily Democrat

Petcurean Donates Meals to Feed Homeless Pets in New Mexico - Pet Business Magazine
Petcurean Donates Meals to Feed Homeless Pets in New Mexico  Pet Business Magazine

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Carol - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Carol  KCBD

Is Your Pet at Risk For Breast Cancer? - NBC 6 South Florida
Is Your Pet at Risk For Breast Cancer?  NBC 6 South Florida

The pet industry's shift towards technology - Axios
The pet industry's shift towards technology  Axios

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets Out Today for PS VR - PlayStation.Blog
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets Out Today for PS VR  PlayStation.Blog

Meeting held on prevention tactics after pets attacked by coyotes in College Park - WESH 2 Orlando
Meeting held on prevention tactics after pets attacked by coyotes in College Park  WESH 2 Orlando

Freeze-Dried Pets Are Forever - Slate
Freeze-Dried Pets Are Forever  Slate

Pets Global launches new premium brand with high-meat, ancient grains - Pet Food Processing
Pets Global launches new premium brand with high-meat, ancient grains  Pet Food Processing

Ohio State program that is helping pet owners cope with grief hopes to expand across the US - News 5 Cleveland
Ohio State program that is helping pet owners cope with grief hopes to expand across the US  News 5 Cleveland

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Ozzy - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Ozzy - 47abc  WMDT

Local Carpet Cleaning Company Helps Out Our Homeless Pets in Columbus - WLTZ 38 NBC
Local Carpet Cleaning Company Helps Out Our Homeless Pets in Columbus  WLTZ 38 NBC

Boys & Girls Club collecting donations for needy pets this holiday season - KFOR Oklahoma City
Boys & Girls Club collecting donations for needy pets this holiday season  KFOR Oklahoma City

Thank you, Marie Collins; all about pets - Davie County Enterprise Record - Davie Enterprise Record
Thank you, Marie Collins; all about pets - Davie County Enterprise Record  Davie Enterprise Record

'They're like children': How to keep pets safe amid record-breaking cold weather - USA TODAY
'They're like children': How to keep pets safe amid record-breaking cold weather  USA TODAY

KPD Animal Control accepting pet supply donations - WVLT.TV
KPD Animal Control accepting pet supply donations  WVLT.TV

Marion County Pets: Colin, Flip and RJ - WCJB
Marion County Pets: Colin, Flip and RJ  WCJB

Adoption center has senior pets looking for a home - KOB
Adoption center has senior pets looking for a home  KOB

Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 20, 2019 - OregonLive
Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 20, 2019  OregonLive

Hotel Owners Challenge Ocean City's Pet Policy - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 - - WBOC TV 16
Hotel Owners Challenge Ocean City's Pet Policy - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -  WBOC TV 16

Three People, Two Pets Escape Coventry House Fire - Coventry, RI Patch
Three People, Two Pets Escape Coventry House Fire  Coventry, RI Patch

Gov. Ivey awards $95K grant to provide shelter for pets belonging to victims of domestic violence - WSFA
Gov. Ivey awards $95K grant to provide shelter for pets belonging to victims of domestic violence  WSFA

Adoptable pets of the week at Animal Harbor in Nov. 21, 2019, edition - Winchester Herald Chronicle
Adoptable pets of the week at Animal Harbor in Nov. 21, 2019, edition  Winchester Herald Chronicle

Pet owners should be aware of traps and snares in Idaho - Idaho News
Pet owners should be aware of traps and snares in Idaho  Idaho News

Bells Will Be Ringing, Tails Will Be Wagging: Pet Owners to Spend an Average of $137 on Furry Friends During Holidays - PRNewswire
Bells Will Be Ringing, Tails Will Be Wagging: Pet Owners to Spend an Average of $137 on Furry Friends During Holidays  PRNewswire

Rabies confirmed in pet cat, Michigan county health officials say - MLive.com
Rabies confirmed in pet cat, Michigan county health officials say  MLive.com

Cat Food Sold Nationwide Is Recalled Over Risks To Pets And Humans - KFSM 5Newsonline
Cat Food Sold Nationwide Is Recalled Over Risks To Pets And Humans  KFSM 5Newsonline

Broome County Humane Society reminding pet owners of importance of spaying and neutering - WBNG-TV
Broome County Humane Society reminding pet owners of importance of spaying and neutering  WBNG-TV

Maleah Stringer column: More to do in helping pet owners in crisis - The Herald Bulletin
Maleah Stringer column: More to do in helping pet owners in crisis  The Herald Bulletin

Pet of the Week - Lamda - News8000.com - WKBT
Pet of the Week - Lamda  News8000.com - WKBT

Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Jasper - Patchogue, NY Patch
Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Jasper  Patchogue, NY Patch

Pups in tuxes and paw-dicures at pet-friendly Fur Ball to support PAWS Chicago - Chicago Tribune
Pups in tuxes and paw-dicures at pet-friendly Fur Ball to support PAWS Chicago  Chicago Tribune

Several pets dead, home damaged in Longview fire - KLTV
Several pets dead, home damaged in Longview fire  KLTV

Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science - NBCNews.com
Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science  NBCNews.com

Here's proof pets have unconditional love for their humans - WLWT Cincinnati
Here's proof pets have unconditional love for their humans  WLWT Cincinnati

Where do your pets fit in with your holiday plans? - WTOP
Where do your pets fit in with your holiday plans?  WTOP

Pet Startup Pawp Wants To Take A Bite Out Of Chewy - Forbes
Pet Startup Pawp Wants To Take A Bite Out Of Chewy  Forbes

Can my pet eat this? Holiday food tips for your pets - KRON4
Can my pet eat this? Holiday food tips for your pets  KRON4

Edgewater's Pet Mayor, Pax The Goat, Leads Effort To Raise Funds For Local Dog Park - Block Club Chicago
Edgewater's Pet Mayor, Pax The Goat, Leads Effort To Raise Funds For Local Dog Park  Block Club Chicago

City warns pet owners to be wary of weather - Monitor
City warns pet owners to be wary of weather  Monitor

NJ pets in need: Nov. 18, 2019 - NJ.com
NJ pets in need: Nov. 18, 2019  NJ.com

Low-cost pet adoption events coming to Solano - Fairfield Daily Republic
Low-cost pet adoption events coming to Solano  Fairfield Daily Republic

Pets Get An Oppawtunity To Explore David Lawrence Center - CBS Pittsburgh
Pets Get An Oppawtunity To Explore David Lawrence Center  CBS Pittsburgh

18 Bookish Gifts for Animal Lovers (and Pets!) - Book Riot
18 Bookish Gifts for Animal Lovers (and Pets!)  Book Riot

ARL rescues 26 pets from Des Moines feces-filled home, cages - KCCI Des Moines
ARL rescues 26 pets from Des Moines feces-filled home, cages  KCCI Des Moines

Pet of the Week: Hayden - Lewiston Sun Journal
Pet of the Week: Hayden  Lewiston Sun Journal

Leon County Humane Society collecting pet food donations for seniors in need - WTXL ABC 27
Leon County Humane Society collecting pet food donations for seniors in need  WTXL ABC 27

Free preventative care clinic for pets for low-income, homeless pet owners happening Monday - KSAT San Antonio
Free preventative care clinic for pets for low-income, homeless pet owners happening Monday  KSAT San Antonio

Family says 4-pound dog squashed by FedEx box; pet is euthanized - Los Angeles Times
Family says 4-pound dog squashed by FedEx box; pet is euthanized  Los Angeles Times

The best pet and animal related gifts of 2019 - Los Angeles Times
The best pet and animal related gifts of 2019  Los Angeles Times

Cat food sold nationwide is recalled over Salmonella risk to pets, humans - KATU
Cat food sold nationwide is recalled over Salmonella risk to pets, humans  KATU

Protecting your pets from the cold - WITN
Protecting your pets from the cold  WITN

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (11/19/2019) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (11/19/2019)  ABC15 Arizona

Dubuque Fire Department receives donation of pet oxygen masks - KCRG
Dubuque Fire Department receives donation of pet oxygen masks  KCRG

Pet Parents: This Is Your Holiday-Travel Essential - Refinery29
Pet Parents: This Is Your Holiday-Travel Essential  Refinery29

Lost And Found Pets Of Will County: Week of Nov. 18 - Mokena, IL Patch
Lost And Found Pets Of Will County: Week of Nov. 18  Mokena, IL Patch

Now You Can Turn that Ugly Holiday Sweater You Want to Regift Into a Cute Toy for Your Pet - PEOPLE.com
Now You Can Turn that Ugly Holiday Sweater You Want to Regift Into a Cute Toy for Your Pet  PEOPLE.com

Wet Nose Wednesday Pet: Max - RADIO.COM
Wet Nose Wednesday Pet: Max  RADIO.COM

For Pet's Sake: Learn proper nail care for your pets - WCYB
For Pet's Sake: Learn proper nail care for your pets  WCYB

Nashville Is Going to the Dogs in a Good Way — And Your City Can Too! - PEOPLE.com
Nashville Is Going to the Dogs in a Good Way — And Your City Can Too!  PEOPLE.com

Pets of the Week - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week  Clarksville Now

Ohio State program helps pet owners cope during grief process - The Ohio State University News
Ohio State program helps pet owners cope during grief process  The Ohio State University News

Islip Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Giggles - West Islip, NY Patch
Islip Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Giggles  West Islip, NY Patch

The Adoptables: Pets of the week (11/20/19) | Gallery - Fredericksburg.com
The Adoptables: Pets of the week (11/20/19) | Gallery  Fredericksburg.com

Nicholas Pet Haven in need of holiday fosters - KETK | FOX51 | EastTexasMatters.com
Nicholas Pet Haven in need of holiday fosters  KETK | FOX51 | EastTexasMatters.com

Hurricane Katrina inspired a national pet evacuation policy. The plan could save human lives, too. - Vox.com
Hurricane Katrina inspired a national pet evacuation policy. The plan could save human lives, too.  Vox.com

'Bring your pets inside.' MACC on protecting your pets in the cold - NewsChannel5.com
'Bring your pets inside.' MACC on protecting your pets in the cold  NewsChannel5.com

Scientists develop sensor to save children and pets from hot car deaths - CNN
Scientists develop sensor to save children and pets from hot car deaths  CNN

Pets of the week: Abandoned by his owner, pretty Marshmallow needs some love - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Abandoned by his owner, pretty Marshmallow needs some love  MLive.com

Former Casper execs launch DTC pet wellness company Jinx - Digiday
Former Casper execs launch DTC pet wellness company Jinx  Digiday

Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 13, 2019 - OregonLive
Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Nov. 13, 2019  OregonLive

Pet Talk | A new treatment for broken bones - Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette
Pet Talk | A new treatment for broken bones  Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette

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