How Do You Fit a Western Saddle?


Quick Answer

To fit a western saddle, first put the saddle on the back of the horse with a one inch thick saddle pad underneath it. Tighten the cinch to the point where it is snug, yet still comfortable. Next, sit in the saddle with your feet in the stirrups. Lastly, examine the width of the saddletree and compare it to the shape of the horse's back.

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Full Answer

As you tighten the cinch, if you find the cinch is too short for the horse's barrel, it does not necessarily mean that you must reject the saddle. If you like the saddle and it fits otherwise, keep in mind that you can buy a longer, replacement cinch. Borrow a longer cinch to finish fitting the saddle.

At least three fingers should fit between the arch of the pommel and the horse's withers. The tree must be wide on a horse with lower withers and a wide back. For a horse with a narrow back and higher withers, the tree should not be too wide. To determine the tree's width, flatten your hand, and place your fingers sideways between the top of the horse's shoulder and the saddle. If you can't squeeze your fingers into this space, the tree is too wide for the horse. Alternatively, if you are able to fit your whole hand in this space, the tree is too narrow.

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