So once you know about the factors in the tree and saddle that affect the fit for your horse, you can look at the horse to get an initial idea if there are any areas that may cause problems. These posts talk about things that you need to pay particular attention to when checking a saddle, ordering a saddle or tree or even deciding if you want to buy the horse in the first place. Recognizing what a damaged horse looks like compared to a normal horse is also something worth knowing, and we talk about that as well.
You can see your horse, but how does your saddle maker or tree maker know what it looks like? There are a few ways to communicate this information to them. The best by far, in our opinion, is the Dennis Lane Equine Back Profiling system. It has been confirmed by an academic study done by Colorado State University to accurately define horse shape. These posts explain how and why to use it and some other methods as well. But a warning here – make sure you use the method your saddle or tree maker recommends. They know the information they need to make your saddle, so do what they ask!
The saddle must fit the rider as well as the horse, because how the rider sits and rides affects the horse. But how to find the right size for you? Basically, you have to sit in it to know and the post on seat length and thigh length explains why. Specifics on how the rider affects the horse is also discussed in this section.
Evaluating a horse's back for saddle fit - part 1
Evaluating a horse's back for saddle fit - part 2
Evaluating a horse's back for saddle fit - part 3
How do I measure my horse for bar angles?
Wither conformation - variations on normal
Wither conformation - seeing the damage
The downhill horse
Measuring horses for fit
Taking the shoulder to hip measurement
How we use the Dennis Lane Equine Back Profiling Numbers
An academic study on Dennis Lane's Equine Back Profiling System
The value of an objective standard
Seat length and thigh length relationships - size for the rider
Measuring thigh length
The effect of the rider - part 1
The effect of the rider - part 2
Search the Western Saddle Fit website: