I cannot find a Western Saddle to fit my Quarter Horse. He is very high withered and wide, has a long back and cannot find a saddle to clear his withers and fit the rest of him unless it is a barrel racing saddle? Use pads to no avail, any suggestions?
Try an “A” fork saddle, they usually have a higher gullet so more room for withers. Also called a “slick fork.” I used one on my morgan who had very high withers and it fit him quite nicely.
I hear that Tucker saddles are often a good fit for this type of conformation. I was looking for my high withered broad backed TB, and they were mentioned several times.
We did eventually manage to fit him and my Reinsman together comfortably, all it cost was a 5 Star Pad and another $300 pad with it!
Check out Shiloh Saddlery, formerly Cecil Phillips Saddlery, @ shilohsaddlery.net
Check out Allegany Mountain Trail Saddles. They send out a package of tree forms, have you try them on your horse and take pictures and video of your horse with each different form.
I do have a shark withered QH, and he has developed the shark withers as he has aged. I use a Diamond Wool saddle pad with shims to make one of my current saddles work.
Thank you to everyone for your help. Will try everything…
Buying used, I lucked into a Running P, rodeo trophy saddle. Not sure what tree it has, but it is both wide and high, fitting my large Sporthorses types very well. Not binding in their muscular shoulders, not close to touching the good withers.
Maybe they have their own design of tree, adapted to fit more modern type rodeo horses that rope. The old no-withers, bulldog QH types are not as common these days. Modern breeding has a lot of TB for speed, adds withers, sleeker body.
I do like this saddle, horses go well in it. And with the tooling announcing All-Around Champion Cowboy, it gets lots of jokes going while riding! I meet a lot of new friends on trail rides. They can’t resist asking if my 17h horse really is that fast and ropes well! Ha ha In his other careers, he jumps well, does Combined Driving, very handy for a large horse.
You also might look at Crestridge Saddlery, who specializes in gaited horses and mules. Mules can be both shark finned and wide at the same time. I have a round, mutton-withered mare who was super hard to fit. Crestridge had me take a bunch of specific photos and tracings and talked with me about which would work best. It took about four weeks to get my saddle - made in America! - and it’s still handsome and usable all these years later.
This may not be helpful, but since it’s so difficult finding a fitting saddle for certain horses id check around your barn (if boarding, if not, friends) and see if they have saddles you can test and try out your horse in. Sometimes you just need to try them on in person to figure out what to order. My mare is short backed, BIG shouldered, but high withered so I struggled to find a saddle that fit both her withers and tank like shoulders, when most really just fit one or the other. I ended up finding the right tree/gullet size because my friend lent me her barrel saddle, which I could measure myself and test out on my horse. I do know some consignment shops also offer try outs/refunds if your saddle doesn’t fit so I’d highly recommend that, if only to figure out what fits best!
(Also, your horse kind of sounds like mine, so for reference I bought my horse a full bars fabtron gaited saddle with a 7” gullet. It’s part synthetic material so it’s easy for me to lift it, and comes in a square skirt as well as round. It’s been a wonderful saddle.)
Hi there, have you found anything? If not, what have you tried? Knowing what didn’t work is a place to start thinking about what might…