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Western Saddles

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Western saddles are known for their comfort and are perfect for trail rides. If you are buying a western saddle over the Internet you should measure your horse and take its conformation into account to determine which tree will be best for your horse. Your goal in fitting a western saddle on your horse is to make as much saddle-bar to horse-back contact as you possibly can.

Western Saddle Fitting and Tree Sizes

  • Quarter Horse (also known as regular bars, or medium),
  • Full Quarter (FQHB or wide tree),
  • Arab
  • Gaited Horse
  • Haflinger
  • Draft Horse(very wide)

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Amount of  Contact for a Western Saddle

There are two things that determine this:

1.  How much the rider weighs.

A heavier rider needs more contact. A lighter rider can get by with less contact. The idea is to distribute pounds per inch.

2.  How much bar surface is available to evenly distribute weight.

If you have a western saddle with small bars, then it is more important that all of that tree touches the horse for distribution. If you have a very large tree then not as much of it needs to touch the horse for weight distribution. Regardless of a small or large tree, a certain amount has to contact the horse for distribution.