Measure Twice, Buy Once!

HOW TO DETERMINE WESTERN CINCH SIZE

First off, you will need to find out your horses heart girth.  To measure your horses heart girth, measure from the base of your horses withers, down to a couple inches behind your horses front legs, under the belly, and up to the withers where you stated measuring from.  Your tape will run at a slight angle.  This will give you your horses heart girth.
Next, we need to determine cinch size.  Take your horses heart girth (in inches) / 2 - 3 inches = cinch size.

Just remember this is an estimate.  It may not always be accurate.  There are many differences in saddles and horse body types.

DO YOU HAVE TROUBLE FINDING THE RIGHT BIT FOR THE JOB?

MEASURING FOR SADDLE SIZE FOR RIDER

Sit with your back flat against a wall or chair with your legs at right angles.  Measure from the wall to the back of your knees.  Your saddle size will need to be at least 1" bigger than your measurement.
Just remember this is an estimate.  As there are different rider body types and different saddle types along with disciplines.  For a taller rider, you may need a larger seat size so your legs don't hang off the front of the fenders.  A slightly larger seat is better than one that is too small.  When sitting in the saddle, your thighs should not touch the back of the swell as that may be uncomfortable for the rider.

Generally you should have 4" between you and the swell of the saddle.  Your backside should not be pressing on the base of the cantle but resting on it instead.

MEASURING FOR WESTERN SADDLE SIZE FOR THE HORSE

Bar Angle and Gullet Widths

  • Quarter Horse Bars - Fit narrower western horses.  Gullet width of 5 3/4" - 6".
  • Semi-Quarter Horse Bars - Fit most of today's western horses.  Gullet width of 6" - 6 1/2".
  • Full Quarter Horse Bars - Fit wider western bodied horses.  Gullet width of 6 3/4" - 7".

The gullet width should be about the same width of the wither's, approximately 2" below the top of the withers. Just remember, the main thing you need to know is, is your horse narrow, wide or in-between!

Skirt Length

With your horse standing square on level ground, feel and find the back of your horses shoulder blade.  Next, feel and find the point of the hip.  Then measure the distance between the two spots.  Your skirt should not go over this number.

WHAT SIZE SADDLE PAD DO I NEED?

Add 2" - 3" to the length of your saddle.  Any less and you will risk the pad getting out of place.  

Keep in mind: Don't over pad your horse.  The more pads you use will make your horse wider and sit higher and you may not be able to feel your horses movements.

If you are riding for extended periods of time, you will want a pad that will absorb sweat and dissipate heat.  Natural fiber blankets and pads will be more comfortable for your horse and will allow for more breathability. 

Wool is a great example of moisture wicking and absorbing shock.

Neoprene is great for absorbing shock and great for performance horses that won't have their pad on all day as neoprene doesn't absorb moisture or breathe.  Don't use on a long trail ride.

HOW TO MEASURE FOR A BLANKET OR FLY SHEET

Measure from the center of the horses chest to the center of his tail.  This is a good starting point but remember that sizes vary between manufacturers just like jean sizes vary between manufactures so make sure you read the return policy before you buy.

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