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We are no longer building saddle trees. We have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com websiteWestern Saddle Fit - The Basics, aimed at riders, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo while the six hour series Well Beyond the Basics, aimed more for professionals but understandable by anyone, is available by streaming on Vimeo. (We left this website up because we have had many requests to keep the information available.)

Comparing bar spread and bar angle

Posted by RodandDenise on January 23, 2024

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

Bar spread and bar angle are separate entities in a western saddle tree, but they are related. Just looking at a saddle, they look like they are doing the same thing – making the saddle sit high on the horse if too narrow and fall down in front if too wide. But the “fix” for both of them is quite different. So how can you tell which is affecting the fit of the saddle? You have to feel for it! So what are you feeling for?

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Bar spread - seeing what you are feeling for

Posted by RodandDenise on January 23, 2024

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

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We looked at what you are feeling for when checking out bar angles. But what are you feeling for with bar spread difference? (Bar spread is the distance between the bars - how far they are set apart. This is determined by the hand hole measurement as the gullet width measurement is useless in practice .) From the side, this tree looks ok just sitting on the horse. But let’s take a look from the front. (Remember, you can’t see this in pictures or even in person on a finished saddle. You have to feel for it!! But these pictures are meant to help you know what you are feeling for.)

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Effect of padding on rock

Posted by RodandDenise on January 23, 2024

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com.

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Continuing on looking at padding's effect on saddle fit, we will see that it also affects rock. These pictures aren't ideal since they weren't taken to present this idea, but they will give you an idea that what we are saying is true.

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Effect of padding front to back

Posted by RodandDenise on January 14, 2024

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com.

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Continuing on with padding – obviously putting a pad under a tree/saddle lifts it further off the horse’s back. But does it do it evenly front to back, or not? And the answer is definitely not! Here are some pictures where we tried as hard as we could to keep everything the same as we took pictures with a saddle bare on the horse, with ½” folded wool blanket and then a 7/8” wool felt pad.


Effect of padding on clearance

Posted by RodandDenise on January 11, 2024

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com.

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We show a lot of pictures with bare trees on horses, and we recommend that people initially feel under their saddles without padding in order to check for high pressure areas. So what changes when you add padding?

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Bar angles – seeing what you are feeling for

Posted by RodandDenise on January 11, 2024

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com.

We have written a lot about bar angles and why the numbers are meaningless between makers and how angles aren’t that simple. We have said that you need to feel for fit – you can’t see it in pictures. But what we haven’t done on this blog is show you just what you are feeling for under a saddle with regard to bar angles. So here are some pictures showing, with bare trees on horses, what you are feeling for under the saddle when you check it.

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You can’t see good fit in pictures!

Posted by RodandDenise on January 11, 2024

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com.

 

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We regularly see pictures like this on the internet, asking if the angle of the saddle matches the “angle” of the horse. We don’t respond to these posts, because really, we can’t tell. What we see in a picture is the skirts – and what needs to fit the horse are the bars. 

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Why conchos should have nothing to do with positioning your saddle

Posted by RodandDenise on December 23, 2021

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com.

Here's why "set the center of the front concho at the back of the shoulder blade" is really, really bad advice! We've seen this come up on the internet at times and thought we should explain, from our point of view, why it is just wrong.

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Well Beyond the Basics video is done!

Posted by RodandDenise on May 8, 2021

We are no longer building saddle trees. We have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com websiteWestern Saddle Fit - The Basics, aimed at riders, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo while the six hour series Well Beyond the Basics, aimed more for professionals but understandable by anyone, is available by streaming on Vimeo. (We left this website up because we have had many requests to keep the information available.)

Well, after long last (far longer that we anticipated when we started filming the summer of 2015!) our six hour long video series Western Saddle Fit - Well Beyond the Basics, is finally finished!!  

It is available by streaming on Vimeo on Demand. (Due to cost of production and anticipated sales, we do not have this one available on DVD.) We have it set so when you buy it, you can watch it as many times as you want, not just once. Priced to be affordable, it is produced so it is understandable by anyone, though professional saddle makers, trainers, and other equine professionals (even veterinarians) will benefit from it. 

And if six hours is too much for you, we still have our 67 minute Western Saddle Fit - the Basics available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo on Demand. We really should have called this one Much More Than Just Basics as it really does contain more solid information about Western saddle fit than you can get almost anywhere these days. This one is geared more for the rider, though saddle makers, etc. will also gain from the information in it.

Enjoy watching and learning! 

 

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Proper Position of a Western Saddle Video

Posted by RodandDenise on July 8, 2020

We are no longer building saddle trees. We have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com websiteWestern Saddle Fit - The Basics, aimed at riders, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo while the six hour series Well Beyond the Basics, aimed more for professionals but understandable by anyone, is available by streaming on Vimeo. (We left this website up because we have had many requests to keep the information available.)

We have a new video out!!  It actually is one of the sections from our Western Saddle Fit - Well Beyond the Basics video that we are still plugging away at getting finalized. But the biggest issue we see in saddle fit is simply that the saddle is put in the wrong place - usually over the top of the shoulder blades. And that is a BIG problem!!

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