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Wither Tracing

Sam Withers Tracing Please do your withers tracing behind the scapula where the points of the tree will set.  If you scan or fax your withers tracing please be sure to do this on a 1" grid just on the chance that the fax or scan distorts in transmission.  If you do your withers tracing on two pieces of paper please mark on both pieces where to join the tracing.  We would like a nice side shot of your horse so that we can see the curve from front to back of saddle. 
witherstracing copy A is a tracing done just behind the scapula, B is the tracing done at the lowest part of the back and C is the back of the saddle.  The blue line is the tracing from withers to croup showing the curve needed on the tree to fit the horses back correctly.
The following is going to be an on going instructional forum about fitting a saddle and will be added to as time permits or customers questions arise.
Fiona Side Shot scapula This is Funny Girl (aka Fiona).  She is a 16.3hh, 7yo, 1/2 TB, 1/4 QH, 1/4 Draft sport horse.  Saddle fit issues, x-wide tree width, well set back shoulder, forward set front leg, medium short moderately curvy back (saving grace, she's a big girl) and slightly croup high.  All saddles ride forward onto her shoulder.  Prior to the Toulouse Diana dressage saddle with it's elastic point billet she was using both a Gibaud (Eric LeTixerant) girth and a Success saddle pad to keep her saddle back off her huge shoulder.
Fiona w Diana  no pads This is Fiona with her Toulouse Diana dressage saddle and a Gibaud girth properly girthed back behind her scapula and under the saddle (all saddles will end up over the girth).  A "normal" girth will slide forward in use because the girth in its proper position is now on a wider part of the rib cage (and like water seeking its own level will slip to the narrower channel just behind the elbow).  A girth that will not slide forward but will stick to the girthed area is necessary.  Contoured leather girths do not work to keep the girth in its proper position.  Depending on the severity of the scapula to elbow distance girths that we have found that work are the Gibaud girth and the Toulouse Flex Rider Comfort Flo contoured girth with breathable soft but sticky neoprene.  This picture also shows the correct contact (or lack of) with the rear panel with no rider weight.
Chip side shot This is Chip, a 5 yo 16hh TB mare.  Saddle fit issues, well defined set back wither and short back.  She has a moderately set back shoulder and a moderately forward front leg and wears a medium/medium/narrow tree width at this time. 
Chip w Diana Here is Chip wearing the same Diana saddle as Fiona with the use of a 3/8" Diamond Wool felt half pad.  The tree width has not been changed from Fiona who is wearing an x-wide tree width even though this Diana does have the Genesis system deliberately to demonstrate that it is better to err on the side of too wide and pad than too narrow and pinch.  Chip also uses the Gibaud girth but because she doesn't carry the (extra) weight that Fiona does the need for this girth is not necessary but she does need a "sticky" girth to keep the saddle back off her scapula.  Some saddle fitters will tell you that this 17" Diana saddle is too long for this short backed mare but because the panel system rises slightly even with rider weight there will not be pressure on her 18th rib.
Fiona Diana Pommel cut out This picture has been deliberately lightened (Fiona) to show the cut back at the top of the panel system of the Toulouse Diana saddle.  This cut back allows for additional shoulder rotation and freedom of movement necessary on the bigger shouldered horses.
Fiona Diana Bearing surface This picture (Fiona) shows the correct bearing surface behind the flap.  Note that the panel makes excellent contact ahead of and under the riders seat.
Gibaud underside This is a picture of the underside of the Gibaud girth.  The wide rubber aveolar center section of this girth is both extremely comfortable on the horses sternum and effective against slipping forward. 
gibauddressage-girth This is the topside of the Gibaud girth showing the elastic center section.  Soft French leather covers the stainless steel roller buckles.


Your purchases from Classic Saddlery, Ltd ., are 100% guaranteed. If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with your unused purchase, you may return it within 10 days for a full credit, exchange or refund of purchase price. Shipping charges are the responsibility of the customer. Special orders, custom items,  e-Bay and Pay-Pal  merchandise,  non-stock and clearance items will be clearly stated and are not refundable - store credit or exchange (when possible) only.