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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. April / 20 / 2021

Pets experience separation anxiety as owners return to work - whnt.com
Pets experience separation anxiety as owners return to work  whnt.com

Pets being returned to shelters after adoption boom - FOX 5 DC
Pets being returned to shelters after adoption boom  FOX 5 DC

Pets being returned to local shelters after adoption boom - FOX 5 DC
Pets being returned to local shelters after adoption boom  FOX 5 DC

Peloton Tread Plus: CPSC warns it can kill kids, pets and says stop using it 'immediately' - CNET
Peloton Tread Plus: CPSC warns it can kill kids, pets and says stop using it 'immediately'  CNET

Don’t Forget to Vaccinate your Pets - WFLA
Don’t Forget to Vaccinate your Pets  WFLA

Now is the time to prepare your pets for when you leave them for the day - Bangor Daily News
Now is the time to prepare your pets for when you leave them for the day  Bangor Daily News

N.J. pets in need: April 19, 2021 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: April 19, 2021  nj.com

PACC offering $0 adoptions for adult pets this month - KOLD
PACC offering $0 adoptions for adult pets this month  KOLD

Is your office ready for pets? - Fortune
Is your office ready for pets?  Fortune

Pets of the Week for April 20, 2021 - WKRN News 2
Pets of the Week for April 20, 2021  WKRN News 2

COVID adopted pets have helped people manage pandemic stresses - KTVH
COVID adopted pets have helped people manage pandemic stresses  KTVH

Pets of the Week: Meet Titan and Sangha - Gaston Gazette
Pets of the Week: Meet Titan and Sangha  Gaston Gazette

Pets In Need in Southern Maryland "Dog of the Week" Ying-Yang - The Southern Maryland Chronicle
Pets In Need in Southern Maryland "Dog of the Week" Ying-Yang  The Southern Maryland Chronicle

PHOTOS: Pets of the Week - Statesville Record & Landmark
PHOTOS: Pets of the Week  Statesville Record & Landmark

Lyme disease in pets being reported in high numbers - The Columbus Dispatch
Lyme disease in pets being reported in high numbers  The Columbus Dispatch

Public Invited to Submit Art Highlighting the Dangers of Releasing Pets and Plants into the Wild - livingsnoqualmie.com
Public Invited to Submit Art Highlighting the Dangers of Releasing Pets and Plants into the Wild  livingsnoqualmie.com

St. Anthony Hospital opens pet therapy room - Chicago Sun-Times
St. Anthony Hospital opens pet therapy room  Chicago Sun-Times

Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat - Modern Farmer
Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat  Modern Farmer

VERIFY: Eating cicadas won't harm your pet - 13WMAZ.com
VERIFY: Eating cicadas won't harm your pet  13WMAZ.com

PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — April 19 - Gwinnettdailypost.com
PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — April 19  Gwinnettdailypost.com

Lafayette shelter pets hitch a ride to freedom and life - KATC Lafayette News
Lafayette shelter pets hitch a ride to freedom and life  KATC Lafayette News

Minot mobile home fire claims two pets - KFYR-TV
Minot mobile home fire claims two pets  KFYR-TV

Madison basement fire displaces 4 people, 2 pets - WKOW
Madison basement fire displaces 4 people, 2 pets  WKOW

Berks community steps up to offer pet cages to shelter pets after a fire, chief says - Reading Eagle
Berks community steps up to offer pet cages to shelter pets after a fire, chief says  Reading Eagle

Pet of the Week: Leo | Pets | independenttribune.com - Independent Tribune
Pet of the Week: Leo | Pets | independenttribune.com  Independent Tribune

How to Help Pets Deal With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety, According to Veterinarians - New York Magazine
How to Help Pets Deal With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety, According to Veterinarians  New York Magazine

Pet adoptions surge to ‘highest’ levels in pandemic, but experts caution first-time owners - Boston Herald
Pet adoptions surge to ‘highest’ levels in pandemic, but experts caution first-time owners  Boston Herald

5 best practices for dog, cat, pet microbiome research - PetfoodIndustry.com
5 best practices for dog, cat, pet microbiome research  PetfoodIndustry.com

Salazar: Pets For Patriots Program at LCHS | Columnists | oanow.com - Opelika Auburn News
Salazar: Pets For Patriots Program at LCHS | Columnists | oanow.com  Opelika Auburn News

As Americans Pamper Their Pets, This ETF Lets You Cash In - ETF Trends
As Americans Pamper Their Pets, This ETF Lets You Cash In  ETF Trends

[VIDEO] Coyote with mange spotted in Colorado park around pets and children - OutThere Colorado
[VIDEO] Coyote with mange spotted in Colorado park around pets and children  OutThere Colorado

Kirkendall: Grains are friends, not fillers for pets - telegraphherald.com
Kirkendall: Grains are friends, not fillers for pets  telegraphherald.com

The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work - CNN
The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work  CNN

The cat's out of the bag: Yes, there's a pet food shortage - Florida Today
The cat's out of the bag: Yes, there's a pet food shortage  Florida Today

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

dvm360® and Banfield Pet Hospital® Partner to Host Second Virtual Recruitment Event - PRNewswire
dvm360® and Banfield Pet Hospital® Partner to Host Second Virtual Recruitment Event  PRNewswire

Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits - Baltimore Sun
Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits  Baltimore Sun

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of April 18, 2021 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of April 18, 2021  Summit Daily News

Experts: Prepare dogs, cats to be home alone when you go back to work - Newsday
Experts: Prepare dogs, cats to be home alone when you go back to work  Newsday

Porto Seguro and Petlove launch Porto.Pet as a result of recent alliance in the Brazilian pet segment - PRNewswire
Porto Seguro and Petlove launch Porto.Pet as a result of recent alliance in the Brazilian pet segment  PRNewswire

Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Lucky - TAPinto.net
Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Lucky  TAPinto.net

Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you  Tampa Bay Times

Smart Pet Feeder Is Well Engineered - Hackaday
Smart Pet Feeder Is Well Engineered  Hackaday

Standard Journal Pets of the Week for the Wednesday, April 21, 2021 edition - Northwest Georgia News
Standard Journal Pets of the Week for the Wednesday, April 21, 2021 edition  Northwest Georgia News

Nigerian dwarf goats selling for up to $15,000 as pets and for high-quality milk - ABC News
Nigerian dwarf goats selling for up to $15,000 as pets and for high-quality milk  ABC News

Pet of the Week: Miss Sassy! - WKRG News 5
Pet of the Week: Miss Sassy!  WKRG News 5

What do you do if you see a pet or child waiting alone in a hot car? - nbc16.com
What do you do if you see a pet or child waiting alone in a hot car?  nbc16.com

Midcoast Humane helps lost pets reunite with their owners through microchips - WGME
Midcoast Humane helps lost pets reunite with their owners through microchips  WGME

Pet of the Week Evie | Pets | independenttribune.com - Independent Tribune
Pet of the Week Evie | Pets | independenttribune.com  Independent Tribune

Pets of the week: Polly wants to be your buddy. Potato needs a new home - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Polly wants to be your buddy. Potato needs a new home  MLive.com

Video The Impact of Reopening on Our Pets - WebMD
Video The Impact of Reopening on Our Pets  WebMD

Photos: A look at presidential pets through the years - Corvallis Gazette Times
Photos: A look at presidential pets through the years  Corvallis Gazette Times

Flea and tick prevention tips for pets - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Flea and tick prevention tips for pets  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Pet adoption fees lowered during Empty the Shelters event - Brunswick News
Pet adoption fees lowered during Empty the Shelters event  Brunswick News

Good Day Pets – Meet Madden! - KCAU 9
Good Day Pets – Meet Madden!  KCAU 9

Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It. - Barron's
Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It.  Barron's

Wild One launches new Extra Small Harness for dogs - NBC News
Wild One launches new Extra Small Harness for dogs  NBC News

Lady is KLBK’s Pet of the Day! - KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com
Lady is KLBK’s Pet of the Day!  KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com

Dilworth City Council to discuss limiting pets, microchip licensing - INFORUM
Dilworth City Council to discuss limiting pets, microchip licensing  INFORUM

How Much Do These Unusual Pets Actually Cost? - GOBankingRates
How Much Do These Unusual Pets Actually Cost?  GOBankingRates

Herald's Women in Business: Four sisters who run Stay and Play Pet Pet Resort devoted to canine customers - Grand Forks Herald
Herald's Women in Business: Four sisters who run Stay and Play Pet Pet Resort devoted to canine customers  Grand Forks Herald

Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: George, Otis & Midnight - 9 & 10 News - 9&10 News
Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: George, Otis & Midnight - 9 & 10 News  9&10 News

U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing - NBC News
U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing  NBC News

My Pet Pal: Tonks - News from southeastern Connecticut - theday.com
My Pet Pal: Tonks - News from southeastern Connecticut  theday.com

Haunted Mansion's Pet Cemetery Has a New Death Bed - Inside the Magic
Haunted Mansion's Pet Cemetery Has a New Death Bed  Inside the Magic

Cat found bound, stabbed to death in funeral home parking lot - Johnson City Press (subscription)
Cat found bound, stabbed to death in funeral home parking lot  Johnson City Press (subscription)

Pet dental tips with the Vinton Veterinarian Hospital - WFXRtv.com
Pet dental tips with the Vinton Veterinarian Hospital  WFXRtv.com

Pet of the Week: Amado from The Haven - FOX10 News
Pet of the Week: Amado from The Haven  FOX10 News

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

After lost dog found, KCK owner says local pet rescue not giving him back - WDAF FOX4 Kansas City
After lost dog found, KCK owner says local pet rescue not giving him back  WDAF FOX4 Kansas City

Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter supports Raccoon River Pet Rescue - theperrynews.com
Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter supports Raccoon River Pet Rescue  theperrynews.com

Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping - PRNewswire
Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping  PRNewswire

C.A.R.E.4Paws hosts first countywide pet food donation drive-thru to help pet owners struggling amid pandemic | NewsChannel 3-12 - KEYT
C.A.R.E.4Paws hosts first countywide pet food donation drive-thru to help pet owners struggling amid pandemic | NewsChannel 3-12  KEYT

Animal Shelter Report: Big boy Blue is Pet of the Week - Chinook Observer
Animal Shelter Report: Big boy Blue is Pet of the Week  Chinook Observer

Pet of the week: Goofball that loves water - wpde.com
Pet of the week: Goofball that loves water  wpde.com

Pets Of The Week: Animal Lifeline Pittsburgh – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Pittsburgh - CBS Pittsburgh
Pets Of The Week: Animal Lifeline Pittsburgh – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Pittsburgh  CBS Pittsburgh

AVMA celebrating what pets have meant to people during pandemic - American Veterinary Medical Association
AVMA celebrating what pets have meant to people during pandemic  American Veterinary Medical Association

Pender Co. officials urge owners to vaccinate pets after rabid bobcat killed - WECT
Pender Co. officials urge owners to vaccinate pets after rabid bobcat killed  WECT

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

Dog food drive in San Antonio aims to help pet families in need - KSAT San Antonio
Dog food drive in San Antonio aims to help pet families in need  KSAT San Antonio

Trisha Yearwood Worked with Her Rescue Dogs to Create Her New 'Practical and Pretty' Pet Line - PEOPLE
Trisha Yearwood Worked with Her Rescue Dogs to Create Her New 'Practical and Pretty' Pet Line  PEOPLE

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week: Maurice - ThurstonTalk
Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week: Maurice  ThurstonTalk

EPA Investigating Pet Incidents Involving Seresto Collars - NBC10 Boston
EPA Investigating Pet Incidents Involving Seresto Collars  NBC10 Boston

Suffield Pets Who Need A Home: Pearl & More - Suffield, CT Patch
Suffield Pets Who Need A Home: Pearl & More  Suffield, CT Patch

Pets Help Children Reduce Their Stress and Stay Active During COVID-19 Pandemic, Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Pets Help Children Reduce Their Stress and Stay Active During COVID-19 Pandemic, Survey Finds  PEOPLE

Netflix Reality Show Pet Stars Follows Hollywood Pet Talent Agents - PEOPLE
Netflix Reality Show Pet Stars Follows Hollywood Pet Talent Agents  PEOPLE

Tampa Bay area pets looking for new families - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for new families  Tampa Bay Times

Salmonella Scare Drives Pet Food Recall - WebMD - WebMD
Salmonella Scare Drives Pet Food Recall - WebMD  WebMD

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Launches Spanish Pet Adoption Platform - ATP Tour
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Launches Spanish Pet Adoption Platform  ATP Tour

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of April 11, 2021 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of April 11, 2021  Summit Daily News

Pets & Pandemic: Veterinary Advice on Pet Care During These Unusual Times - Maine Public
Pets & Pandemic: Veterinary Advice on Pet Care During These Unusual Times  Maine Public

Pets Keep Us Paws-itive During the Pandemic - Duke Today
Pets Keep Us Paws-itive During the Pandemic  Duke Today

No, your pet won't die if it eats a cicada. What to know about Brood X - CNET
No, your pet won't die if it eats a cicada. What to know about Brood X  CNET

Pet adoption: Oswego County 'princess' dog looking for home after owner passes away - CNYcentral.com
Pet adoption: Oswego County 'princess' dog looking for home after owner passes away  CNYcentral.com

Pets Became Purrfect Pals During Pandemic While Startup Funding Didn't Lay Down - Crunchbase News
Pets Became Purrfect Pals During Pandemic While Startup Funding Didn't Lay Down  Crunchbase News

There’s a Huge Dog-Food Recall Due to Salmonella Risk to Pets and People - Self
There’s a Huge Dog-Food Recall Due to Salmonella Risk to Pets and People  Self

Midwestern Pet Foods Voluntarily Recall Due to Possible Salmonella Health Risk - FDA.gov
Midwestern Pet Foods Voluntarily Recall Due to Possible Salmonella Health Risk  FDA.gov

More people adopting pets during pandemic - 13newsnow.com WVEC
More people adopting pets during pandemic  13newsnow.com WVEC

National Pet Industry Exceeds Over $100 Billion in Sales for First Time in Industry History - PRNewswire
National Pet Industry Exceeds Over $100 Billion in Sales for First Time in Industry History  PRNewswire

'My pet has helped me so much during the pandemic' - BBC News
'My pet has helped me so much during the pandemic'  BBC News

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