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MacPherson Custom Leather -  PO Box 6909 - Burbank, CA 91510 - (818) 260-0091  
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Some Information on Basic Saddle Fit

To check the fit of your western saddle place it on your horse's back. Now look at the saddle from the side. Does it look level on your horse's back? If it tips too far up in the front that indicates that it is too narrow for your horse or if it tips too far up in the rear, that indicates that it is too wide for your horse. Does it look to long on your horse's back? If you notice the saddle not looking level then it is probably not a good fit for your horse. Check the gullet to be sure it's not resting on or touching the horse's withers and, remember that your weight in the saddle can settle it down up to another 1/2 inch. The panels, which are the fleece-covered portion underneath, should smoothly match the angle of your horse's shoulder. If you try to slip your hand under the bars of the saddle from the front, you should feel a uniform snugness from the top, near the gullet, to the points of the tree which are about halfway down the saddle. If the top feels tight but there is room for your hand to slide in an inch or two down, the tree is probably too wide for your horse. On the other hand, if there is space showing on the panels above your horse's withers and it feels like a tight squeeze a few inches down, the tree is probably too narrow.

There are many misconceptions regarding saddle fit many of which relate to the lack of understanding of the type of tree that a saddle is built on. There are basically 5 types of trees as follows:

Full Quarter Horse: This is a tree designed to fit what is commonly referred to as the "Bulldog" style quarter horse with a back like a table top. If we were to equate it to a person, think Mike Tyson. Short, Broad Shoulders and flat wide back and therefore the bars are flatter to better fit these round-barreled horses.

Quarter Horse: This is a tree which probably fits 70%-80% of the horses out there with the exception of the narrower Thoroughbred with high withers

Semi-Quarter Horse: This is a tree which is ideal for the slimmer Thoroughbred with high withers. A horse that is built more for running (longer back, narrower chest, ribs not quite as widely sprung.

Arabian: This is a tree much like a Full Quarter Horse tree. Sometimes the only difference between the two is that the Arabian tree will accommodate a shorter back than Quarter Horses. Sometimes an Arabian tree will be even wider - more space between the bars - than a Full Quarter Horse tree. Sometimes it won't depending on the manufacturer.

"A" Fork: This tree is high in the gullet, high in the cantle and deeper in the panels and is commonly seen it what are called "Hard Seat High Back". A Wade Saddle is one of this type of saddle.

It is Important to note that the same "type" or "size" tree from different manufacturers will each fit differently. This comes about because of variations from the tree makers, the application of the woolskin and the application of the leather in the production of the Saddle which all affect the fit slightly. All horses are different and the trees are built to fit the "standard" or "average" of each breed but will not fit them all and therefore the only sure fire way to judge the fit is that each saddle must be placed on your horse's back for evaluation.

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Photographs. We make every effort to accurately represent the colors of our products, however, due to the variations in computer monitors, cameras and settings, and other factors, we cannot be responsible for slight variation in product colors. Please call or email us if you have any questions.

Typographical Errors. In the event a product is listed incorrectly due to typographical, description and/or errors in pricing, we shall have the right to refuse or cancel any such orders whether or not the order has been confirmed and your credit card charged. If your credit card has already been charged for the purchase and your order is canceled, we shall immediately issue a full refund.

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