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Arabian Saddle
    2006 Cherry Hill

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Dear Cherry:

I have a three year old Arab gelding.  I am going to by a new Cordura type western saddle for him (don't know which brand yet). He is Polish bred, pretty small, I'm not really sure how many hands but he's not big. He is not the refined Egyptian type but of course he's not big either, I don't think he'd go over 900 lbs.. He's pretty short backed, I don't have any other horses to judge him against but I think he's more of a low, wide withered horse. My question is should I go for a Quarter Horse Bar or a Semi Quarter Horse Bar? I have not found any Arab bar saddles that I like and I also feel they ask to much $ for them. Thanks for any help.   L

Hi L:

    It sounds like a Quarter Horse bar might be appropriate for your horse because most semi-Quarter horse bars fit the TB/QH type horses with prominent withers.

    The best way to find out is to try a saddle on your horse. Many tack shops allow this if you put a thin sheet over your horse to protect the saddle. If you are buying through a catalog, you should have return privileges with similar terms.

    My biggest piece of cautionary advice is that you should be sure the saddle is not too long for your horse. If the bars or skirts are too long, they could put undue pressure on his loin or even poke into his hip bones. Many regular western saddles with 15" seat are too long for Arabian horses. You will need to watch this carefully.

    And remember, you can place a saddle in a particular position on a horse's back but it won't necessarily stay in that position with the weight of a rider and when the horse is moving - it could slide back depending on the horse's wither and topline configuration.

    Don't rule out the Arab tree saddles - you may have to choose one of those to properly fit your horse - they are specifically designed to fit the low withers and short backs of Arabian horses.

Cherry Hill


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