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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 Tue. May / 18 / 2021

Pets of the week: Kittens Wilbur, Charlotte and Fern - The Advocate-Messenger - Danville Advocate
Pets of the week: Kittens Wilbur, Charlotte and Fern - The Advocate-Messenger  Danville Advocate

Hotel and Flight Tips for Traveling with Pets - NerdWallet
Hotel and Flight Tips for Traveling with Pets  NerdWallet

PetSmart® Hosts Donation Drive to Help Pets Impacted by Emergencies - PRNewswire
PetSmart® Hosts Donation Drive to Help Pets Impacted by Emergencies  PRNewswire

Pets of the Week for May 19, 2021 - The Advocate
Pets of the Week for May 19, 2021  The Advocate

Unique Gadgets for Pampering (or Protecting) Your Pet - AARP
Unique Gadgets for Pampering (or Protecting) Your Pet  AARP

After the Texas missing tiger saga, owning a big cat as a house pet might become illegal in the US - CNN
After the Texas missing tiger saga, owning a big cat as a house pet might become illegal in the US  CNN

Opinion | Shaming people who give up pandemic pets won't keep animals and humans together - Washington Post
Opinion | Shaming people who give up pandemic pets won't keep animals and humans together  Washington Post

Furry good news: More pets can now fly in cabin on overseas PCS flights - Military Times
Furry good news: More pets can now fly in cabin on overseas PCS flights  Military Times

End-of-life photography for pets - NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ
End-of-life photography for pets  NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ

Some pets are being returned to shelters and rescues as their owners return to the office - 13abc Action News
Some pets are being returned to shelters and rescues as their owners return to the office  13abc Action News

Local organization aims to keep pets from returning to shelters - Fox 59
Local organization aims to keep pets from returning to shelters  Fox 59

Couple petition for pigs to be allowed as pets in Chapel Hill - WRAL.com
Couple petition for pigs to be allowed as pets in Chapel Hill  WRAL.com

Installment Payments Expand Consumer Access To Premium Pet Care Products - pymnts.com
Installment Payments Expand Consumer Access To Premium Pet Care Products  pymnts.com

Abandoned dog one of a number of pets given up after adoption during pandemic - KTVZ
Abandoned dog one of a number of pets given up after adoption during pandemic  KTVZ

Pandemic pets being returned to shelters - WKOW
Pandemic pets being returned to shelters  WKOW

Pandemic pets being returned - KVOA Tucson News
Pandemic pets being returned  KVOA Tucson News

PET TALK COLUMN: How to keep pets safe from heatstroke - New Castle News
PET TALK COLUMN: How to keep pets safe from heatstroke  New Castle News

Returning to work? Here’s how to reduce pet separation anxiety - Local 5 - weareiowa.com
Returning to work? Here’s how to reduce pet separation anxiety  Local 5 - weareiowa.com

Anti-Cruelty Society offers to help pets, owners transition as more families head back to work - WLS-TV
Anti-Cruelty Society offers to help pets, owners transition as more families head back to work  WLS-TV

New dog collar claims to help owners communicate with their pets: FOX 8 put it to the test - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland
New dog collar claims to help owners communicate with their pets: FOX 8 put it to the test  WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

Off-the-cuff Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell jokes about bringing pet lion to practice - ESPN
Off-the-cuff Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell jokes about bringing pet lion to practice  ESPN

Pets of the Week for May 18, 2021 - WKRN News 2
Pets of the Week for May 18, 2021  WKRN News 2

Pets face separation anxiety as owners begin to return to work | TheHill - The Hill
Pets face separation anxiety as owners begin to return to work | TheHill  The Hill

As summer approaches, beware of children, pets in hot cars - WSMV Nashville
As summer approaches, beware of children, pets in hot cars  WSMV Nashville

Medication errors in pets: How to lower the risk - Phys.org
Medication errors in pets: How to lower the risk  Phys.org

Meet Gmork and Baby Luna! Chemung County SPCA's Pets of the Week - WENY-TV
Meet Gmork and Baby Luna! Chemung County SPCA's Pets of the Week  WENY-TV

How to Avoid Getting Common Illnesses Spread by Pets - Lifehacker
How to Avoid Getting Common Illnesses Spread by Pets  Lifehacker

Pet trade may pose threat to bushbaby conservation - Science Daily
Pet trade may pose threat to bushbaby conservation  Science Daily

Mark Scheifele has pet goats named after GOATs Tom Brady and Tiger Woods - ESPN
Mark Scheifele has pet goats named after GOATs Tom Brady and Tiger Woods  ESPN

Pet Living Expert Kristen Levine Shares Advice on National Pet Month With TipsOnTV - PRNewswire
Pet Living Expert Kristen Levine Shares Advice on National Pet Month With TipsOnTV  PRNewswire

Ravenna police save woman from one house fire; pets die in two separate fires - Record-Courier
Ravenna police save woman from one house fire; pets die in two separate fires  Record-Courier

Petlibro to Launch a Capsule Automatic Water Fountain to Keep Pets Hydrated and Healthy - Business Wire
Petlibro to Launch a Capsule Automatic Water Fountain to Keep Pets Hydrated and Healthy  Business Wire

How much do pets influence people’s home-buying decisions? - KSAT San Antonio
How much do pets influence people’s home-buying decisions?  KSAT San Antonio

Prince William-Area Pets: Meet Bron from Manassas - Prince William Living
Prince William-Area Pets: Meet Bron from Manassas  Prince William Living

PHOTOS: Pets of the Week | Local News | mooresvilletribune.com - Mooresville Tribune
PHOTOS: Pets of the Week | Local News | mooresvilletribune.com  Mooresville Tribune

Busting pet adoption myths - KELOLAND.com
Busting pet adoption myths  KELOLAND.com

It's costing more for troops moving pets overseas. Here's some help - Military Times
It's costing more for troops moving pets overseas. Here's some help  Military Times

Young-Williams Animal Center taking entries for annual pet calendar contest - WATE 6 On Your Side
Young-Williams Animal Center taking entries for annual pet calendar contest  WATE 6 On Your Side

Adoptable pets from the Atlanta Humane Society – WSB-TV Channel 2 - Atlanta - WSB Atlanta
Adoptable pets from the Atlanta Humane Society – WSB-TV Channel 2 - Atlanta  WSB Atlanta

Animal magic: Children who sleep with pets get better 'quality' shut-eye, study suggests - Yahoo News
Animal magic: Children who sleep with pets get better 'quality' shut-eye, study suggests  Yahoo News

Pets of the week: An exotic looking cat and a cuddly terrier mix - Duluth News Tribune
Pets of the week: An exotic looking cat and a cuddly terrier mix  Duluth News Tribune

Pet cremation, burial or both after a beloved animal dies? - Reading Eagle
Pet cremation, burial or both after a beloved animal dies?  Reading Eagle

Vet offices seeing an influx of pet patients during pandemic - KTNV Las Vegas
Vet offices seeing an influx of pet patients during pandemic  KTNV Las Vegas

General Mills to buy Tyson’s pet treat biz - Morning Brew
General Mills to buy Tyson’s pet treat biz  Morning Brew

Pets are being returned to Tampa Bay shelters after pandemic adoption boom - Tampa Bay Times
Pets are being returned to Tampa Bay shelters after pandemic adoption boom  Tampa Bay Times

Pamper your pet at EarthWise in Avon Lake - cleveland.com
Pamper your pet at EarthWise in Avon Lake  cleveland.com

Strategies For Securing A Trustworthy Pet Sitter - Escalon Times
Strategies For Securing A Trustworthy Pet Sitter  Escalon Times

Dumb Friends League Adoptable Pets: Week of May 17 | YourHub - The Know
Dumb Friends League Adoptable Pets: Week of May 17 | YourHub  The Know

Bald Eagles Are Back. And They Want to Eat Your Pets. - The Wall Street Journal
Bald Eagles Are Back. And They Want to Eat Your Pets.  The Wall Street Journal

Pandemic pups pack pet lodges - WTOC
Pandemic pups pack pet lodges  WTOC

As animal shelters see an uptick in returns, Arizona pet shop helps people become responsible owners - FOX 10 News Phoenix
As animal shelters see an uptick in returns, Arizona pet shop helps people become responsible owners  FOX 10 News Phoenix

Tools For Helping Pet Separation Anxiety - Daily Beast
Tools For Helping Pet Separation Anxiety  Daily Beast

In China, Deaths of Mail-Order Pets in Mystery Boxes Set Off a Backlash - The New York Times
In China, Deaths of Mail-Order Pets in Mystery Boxes Set Off a Backlash  The New York Times

Pet Talk: Meet Molly - KYMA
Pet Talk: Meet Molly  KYMA

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

Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: Nell, Luna & Cindy Lou - 9 & 10 News - 9&10 News
Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: Nell, Luna & Cindy Lou - 9 & 10 News  9&10 News

The shocking amount of money people spend on their pets annually - Journal Times
The shocking amount of money people spend on their pets annually  Journal Times

U.S. Pet Training Services Market (2021 to 2026) - Increase in Pet Humanization Presents Opportunities - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Business Wire
U.S. Pet Training Services Market (2021 to 2026) - Increase in Pet Humanization Presents Opportunities - ResearchAndMarkets.com  Business Wire

The One Homemade Treat Everyone Is Trying for Their Pets | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That
The One Homemade Treat Everyone Is Trying for Their Pets | Eat This Not That  Eat This, Not That

‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office - Digiday
‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office  Digiday

Record Returns for Pets Adopted During Pandemic - WebMD
Record Returns for Pets Adopted During Pandemic  WebMD

Pet Dietary Supplements Market to grow by $ 666 Million During 2020-2024 | 35% growth to come from Europe | Technavio - PRNewswire
Pet Dietary Supplements Market to grow by $ 666 Million During 2020-2024 | 35% growth to come from Europe | Technavio  PRNewswire

Pets experience separation anxiety as people return to work - WKRC TV Cincinnati
Pets experience separation anxiety as people return to work  WKRC TV Cincinnati

8 best pet hair removal tools for 2021 - NBC News
8 best pet hair removal tools for 2021  NBC News

Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes  Tampa Bay Times

They fell in love with their pandemic pets. Now they don’t want to leave them. - Seattle Times
They fell in love with their pandemic pets. Now they don’t want to leave them.  Seattle Times

Pet of the week: Anchovy | Jordan News | swnewsmedia.com - SW News Media
Pet of the week: Anchovy | Jordan News | swnewsmedia.com  SW News Media

Pets adopted during pandemic are being surrendered at Seminole shelter as people head back to work - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Pets adopted during pandemic are being surrendered at Seminole shelter as people head back to work  FOX 13 Tampa Bay

HSPPR partners with BISSELL Pet Foundation and Code 3 Associates to launch National Shelter Alliance - Colorado Springs Gazette
HSPPR partners with BISSELL Pet Foundation and Code 3 Associates to launch National Shelter Alliance  Colorado Springs Gazette

‘Invisible hand’ pulls up the handbrake on Xi’s pet project - Financial Times
‘Invisible hand’ pulls up the handbrake on Xi’s pet project  Financial Times

Teen builds pet relief area at rest stop - Albuquerque Journal
Teen builds pet relief area at rest stop  Albuquerque Journal

Police: Hundreds of cockroaches, pets found in dirty Florida home - FOX 35 Orlando
Police: Hundreds of cockroaches, pets found in dirty Florida home  FOX 35 Orlando

Dog found abandoned in desert one of a number of pets given up after adoption during pandemic - AZFamily
Dog found abandoned in desert one of a number of pets given up after adoption during pandemic  AZFamily

COVID-19 pet boom has veterinarians backlogged, burned out - The Associated Press
COVID-19 pet boom has veterinarians backlogged, burned out  The Associated Press

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

'Animals who aren't perfect make wonderful pets:' Palm Beach County couple adopt dogs with disabilities - WPTV.com
'Animals who aren't perfect make wonderful pets:' Palm Beach County couple adopt dogs with disabilities  WPTV.com

Best pet stores in the Philadelphia area - The Philadelphia Inquirer
Best pet stores in the Philadelphia area  The Philadelphia Inquirer

The 7 Hardest-Working Air Purifiers for Homes With Pets - Dwell
The 7 Hardest-Working Air Purifiers for Homes With Pets  Dwell

Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned at record numbers: report - Fox News
Pets adopted during the pandemic are being returned at record numbers: report  Fox News

Pet of the Week: There's no replacement for Bentley - WOAI
Pet of the Week: There's no replacement for Bentley  WOAI

Pet of the week: Will be your best friend for neck rubs - wpde.com
Pet of the week: Will be your best friend for neck rubs  wpde.com

Pet of the Week: Bob, Finger Lakes SPCA - WETM - MyTwinTiers.com
Pet of the Week: Bob, Finger Lakes SPCA  WETM - MyTwinTiers.com

What I’m Supposed to Do: Green Bay pet rescue grows along with founder’s dream of saving special needs cats - WeAreGreenBay.com
What I’m Supposed to Do: Green Bay pet rescue grows along with founder’s dream of saving special needs cats  WeAreGreenBay.com

How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger - The New York Times
How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger  The New York Times

Sunny weather brings adders and risk to pets - YLE News
Sunny weather brings adders and risk to pets  YLE News

Rescuers Save Lost Dog from Giant Hole in Georgia and Reunite the Unharmed Pet with its Owner - PEOPLE
Rescuers Save Lost Dog from Giant Hole in Georgia and Reunite the Unharmed Pet with its Owner  PEOPLE

Chicago Fire Department crew rescues ‘pet bird’ from window ledge in Loop - Chicago Tribune
Chicago Fire Department crew rescues ‘pet bird’ from window ledge in Loop  Chicago Tribune

Pet of the Day: Kaa - FOX 4 Dallas
Pet of the Day: Kaa  FOX 4 Dallas

‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side - The New York Times
‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side  The New York Times

Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week In Howard County - Patch.com
Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week In Howard County  Patch.com

These Small and Cuddly Pets Are Perfect For Busy College Students - POPSUGAR
These Small and Cuddly Pets Are Perfect For Busy College Students  POPSUGAR

Pet Expert on Microchipping Cats and Dogs: It's 'the Safest Way to Find and Keep Your Pets' - PEOPLE
Pet Expert on Microchipping Cats and Dogs: It's 'the Safest Way to Find and Keep Your Pets'  PEOPLE

Dog Pound Pet of the Week - Hillsboro Times Gazette
Dog Pound Pet of the Week  Hillsboro Times Gazette

CBD for pets: does it work and is it safe? - ZME Science
CBD for pets: does it work and is it safe?  ZME Science

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners - New York Post
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners  New York Post

Pet Shop Boys: Discovery: Live in Rio 1994 Album Review - Pitchfork
Pet Shop Boys: Discovery: Live in Rio 1994 Album Review  Pitchfork

Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds  PEOPLE

Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram! - POPSUGAR
Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram!  POPSUGAR

10 Eco-Friendly Pet Products to Help You Celebrate Earth Day with Your Cat or Dog - PEOPLE
10 Eco-Friendly Pet Products to Help You Celebrate Earth Day with Your Cat or Dog  PEOPLE

‘Pandemic puppies’ help fuel Rover’s comeback as pet-sitting startup preps to go public via SPAC - GeekWire
‘Pandemic puppies’ help fuel Rover’s comeback as pet-sitting startup preps to go public via SPAC  GeekWire

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