First of all, start by considering the saddle you have that does NOT fit your horse. For example, if you have a saddle that is marked either 34 cm., or W, or perhaps #4....and if this saddle is too small (see our page on Saddle Fitting)....then you know that you need to look for a saddle with a wider tree, such as a 36 cm. Remember, a saddle that's too narrow will tilt backward (making you feel off balance as you ride) or will pinch the horse's shoulders.
When you contact us, let us know what you have been riding in, the brand, age, width, and what the symptoms are of poor fit. If you can make and send a tracing, that will be a big help. It not a guarantee, since your weight will definitely make a difference, but it will be a big help to us in determining what your horse needs. Sometimes we'll send you a couple of tree widths to try out.
If it's determined that sending a tracing will be the next step, follow these directions:
Make sure your horse is standing level and square.
Use a FLEXIBLE CURVE (a draftsman's tool used by architects which is available in many art stores and office supply stores like Staples), or a similar easy-to-bend wire that holds its shape. Put it over the horse RIGHT WHERE THE FRONT OF THE SADDLE WILL SIT. Remember, many people place saddles too far forward. The saddle should sit with the deepest part of its seat over the center of gravity of the horse...only then will it be in proper balance. It will help you if you put a saddle on the horse first and make a chalk mark at the front. The sides of the flexible curve should be just behind the horse's shoulders.
Mould the curve on the back and get the exact shape of the withers (if there are any) and the sides of the back.
Carefully remove the flexible curve and place it on a large piece of stiff poster paper or cardboard. Draw around the curve with a marker, noting the left side and the right side of the horse on the drawing.