Friday, January 18, 2008

Saddle Fitting your Horse - From PFI's Saddle Experts

Your Saddle Fit is the most criticle part of any equine endeavor. Follow These six simple steps to get an expertrecommendation on the saddle size you need!!

Saddle Fitting Your Horse

Obtain a device called a flexible curve. This measuring tool can easily be found at an office or art supply store. It should be at least 18” long. You may also use a piece of copper wire, found at most hardware stores. (A coat hanger or other stiff wire is not suitable.) You will use it to take a shape of your horse’s back in four places, and then trace that shape onto a sturdy paper or poster board. Use a separate piece of paper for each tracing. Your horse should have his head up in a natural position for the following steps:

1. Bend the flexible curve in half and place it over the horse’s withers where the fork of the tree would sit. Conform the flexible curve on the withers and shoulders by pressing it to follow the shape of your horse, as shown in the A photo above.

2. Carefully take the flexible curve off your horse and lay it on the paper, taking care not to change the shape that you have obtained. Trace the underside edge of the curve, making a line that is your horse’s shape, as shown in C. Mark the pattern to show the left and right side of your horse.

3. Repeat #1 and #2 steps above 7” back from the first measurement.

4. Repeat #1 and #2 steps above at 15” back behind where the first measurement was taken.

5. After taking the three shapes above, straighten out the curve and place it length ways on your
horse’s back, from the wither to the croup, as shown in B. Then follow step #2 above.

6. Include photos of your horse, with his head up in a natural position, and from both sides. For the majority of horses, saddle fit is easily accomplished. However, there are a small percentage of horses that may be hard to fit due to asymmetry or conformation issues. For these horses, we recommend taking the following measurements for our evaluation. Send the four drawings and photos to our Saddle Experts at PFI for evaluation (address below). We will have one of our saddle technicians contact you as soon as possible. Be sure to include your name, address, and daytime phone number.

PFI Western Store
Attn:Saddle City
3401 E. Ridgeview
Springfield, MO 65804

Visit our
Saddles Department now to find the perfect saddle!

What is the secret of a well fitting saddle?

The answer is a properly fitting tree. The tree is the key.

What is required for this to be successful?

• A saddle tree with bars that have enough twist and bend to contact the horse along the middle
section. Our trees are designed with years of combined experience and study. The trees are carved out of an extra large piece of wood, so the twist and bend are adequate to provide continual surface contact through the middle section of the horse.

• A tree with enough flare to free the horse to move in the front and rear. With our saddle trees we accomplish both of these objectives. Tucker saddles are designed with a bar flare to accommodate the motion of a horse’s shoulders. Many gaited horses need this accommodation and other breeds will appreciate this freedom of movement as well.

• The tree width must be wide enough to accommodate the conformation of the horse’s wither’s and back. Most Tucker saddles, with the exception of the Trooper style saddles, come in two tree widths: a medium tree that fits most horses with a defined set of withers, and a wide tree that will fit broader and flatter withered horses. Select models are available in an extra wide tree which fits draft and draft crosses, and especially wide foundation type of horses in other breeds. And, now Tucker has a specific mule fit tree.

• Tucker Trail Saddles have designed its saddle tree to fit a broad range of breeds and types of horses. Sometimes fitting your horse properly is only a matter of choosing the correct tree width. With other horses, some other fit accommodations will be needed. For those we suggest you send us a set of patterns and photos.

Shop now for Tucker Saddles and Tucker Trail Saddles at
PFI Western Store

PFI Western Store
Western Wear, Cowboy Boots, Western Boots, Tucker Trail Saddles and Western Clothing at PFI Western Store

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