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Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog post relating to how saddles work on horses on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com. 

Wither conformation - variations on "normal"

Posted by RodandDenise on April 4, 2015

Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog posts relating to how saddles work on horses organized on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com.

2015 April 4 1 wither pocket area.jpg

We’ve talked before about the bell curve and how we see it applying to equine conformation related to saddle fit. The idea of the bell curve also applies to the conformation of the “wither pocket” area, where there is quite the variety of shapes. Wither pocket is not a technical term, but is pretty much understood by a lot of western saddle makers to designate the area behind the shoulder blade where the front bar pad is supposed to rest, as shown in the above picture.

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Rod's new toy

Posted by RodandDenise on March 27, 2015

2015 March 27 1 laser level.jpg

Rod saw this in a Lee Valley catalogue a few weeks ago and thought it would be useful in the shop, so when I went to Edmonton early in February, I picked one up. He was right. It is very useful. It is a self calibrating laser level which automatically aligns itself with gravity and projects a true horizontal and vertical beam. (Or you can lock it so it projects true cross hairs at an angle, but Rod hasn’t found a use for that – yet...) So how does he use it?

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Spring

Posted by RodandDenise on March 21, 2015

2015 March 20 1 Wednesday March 18.jpg

The sun has been shining. It has been warm and melting for a long time now. The water is running and the open fields are bare. We had Canada geese fly over our yard this week as well. And on Wednesday, Rod was working outside! That has to be the surest sign spring is here!

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Why does my saddle lift up at the back? Part three

Posted by RodandDenise on March 17, 2015

Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog posts relating to how saddles work on horses organized on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com.

2015 March 16 1 saddle up at back.jpg

In the first part of this series we talked about the three most common causes that a saddle will lift up at the back – too wide a bar spreadtoo wide a bar angle and too much rock in the bar for the horse. In the second part we looked at another couple causes – too narrow an angle at the middle of the bar and a rigging that is set way too far forward. So, with all these options, how can you tell which is the cause in a specific case? Here’s a few things you can do to test it out. (I just have to point out that this saddle is too far forward on the horse – up on his shoulder blades when it should be behind them.)

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Why does my saddle lift up at the back? Part two

Posted by RodandDenise on March 11, 2015

Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog posts relating to how saddles work on horses organized on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com.

2015 March 12 1 lifting up at the back.jpg

In our last blog post, we described the three most common reasons saddles lift up at the back. These next two reasons are not as common, but are still real.  (We have to point out that this saddle is too far forward, sitting on the horse's shoulder blade. But even with it on a wider part of the horse, it still tilts forward and lifts up at the back on this horse.)

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Why does my saddle lift up at the back? Part one

Posted by RodandDenise on March 7, 2015

Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog posts relating to how saddles work on horses organized on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com.

2015 March 6 1 saddle lifting at back.jpg

This is a question we see not uncommonly on horse forums, and one we were asked a few months ago by a customer’s customer. (Not with this picture - just to be clear!) As with anything to do with saddles and horses, there isn’t one simple answer. But this one is comparatively  simple. We have come up with five reasons why it may be happening, and are open to learning about more…

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The five for five challenge

Posted by RodandDenise on February 23, 2015

There’s been a 5 for 5 challenge going around Facebook lately asking people to post five pictures of their work a day for five days in a row. We were asked to participate, and here’s what we posted. Then I did an extra day, just for fun…

First day of five for five. Thought I would start off with swell forks for the first day.

2015 Feb 23 1 Arizona Roper 14 4 ST 1205076 fork angled.jpg

This one is an Arizona Roper. A shot from this angle shows the backsweep on this style of fork.

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Strength testing - or - Why we use yellow poplar for our bars

Posted by RodandDenise on February 11, 2015

2015 Feb 10 1 testing a saddle tree bar for strength.jpg

It isn’t often that pieces of a tree get to the finished stage before they get rejected by Rod, the final quality control supervisor. If something isn’t going to make the cut, he usually rejects it earlier in the process that this. But this time he was finished the bar before he decided he wasn’t happy with how the back of it turned out. So after he experimented with and destroyed the whole back end of the bar figuring out how to make things better the next time, we decided to do some testing with what was left. It’s been a while since we did this, and thought it might be fun. Besides, it was too long to fit into the wood stove…

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Behind closed door...

Posted by RodandDenise on January 31, 2015

2015 Jan 31 1 closed door to the dirty room.jpg

You may have noticed that, while in the summer I post pictures of Rod grinding away on trees, in the winter you mainly get pictures of him rawhiding, or sometimes cutting something out on the bandsaw. That is because in the winter, he is hidden away for much of the time behind this closed door…

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It's been a rawhide kind of week around here...

Posted by RodandDenise on January 24, 2015

2015 Jan 24 1 fresh hides.jpg

Last Friday, I came back from Grande Prairie with 5 hides which Rod dutifully split, trimmed, and put into barrels...

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