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Old 09-27-2007, 08:51 PM  
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Confused.... How do I measure the gullet on my western saddle??

Okay, I have my Circle Y saddle for sale on Ebay... I've had this saddle for years and have never known the width of the bars.
So..... Can someone tell me EXACTLY where to measure the gullet so I can tell if it's semi-QH or full QH bars??? Do I place my tape measure at the level of the conchos? And then do I read the measurement on the inside- or outside edge of the leather? (does that make sense?)
Thanks! Everyone is always so helpful here!

ETA: this is kind of related to the previous post re: saddle measurement, but I was still confused after reading that post, so I posted this question to get myself more clarification!
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:04 AM  
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What is generally accepted is measuring where the rolled leather of the gullet joins the skirts. That's about as close as you will get. Place your measure on the inside edge to inside edge. Usually it is 6" for qh, 6,1/2 for semi and 7 for wide.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:19 AM  
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Which is your saddle?
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:25 AM  
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A saddle maker told me the gullet is measured from "concho to concho" on the tree. The problem is, by the time the maker pulls the fleece lining up into the gullet, that measurement changes. (He also said the way the material is pulled into the gullet can have a tremendous affect on the saddle fit -- that's why fitting bare trees may not guarantee a good fit when the saddle is finished).

He also said that the gullet does not a semi-QH or full QH bars saddle make. It's the angle of the bars that determine that. Put your hands together, palms facing, fingers straight up. Then pull your palms away, leaving your fingers together. You can change the angle of your palms without pulling your fingers apart. Your fingers are like the gullet (in this case, the gullet is 0" but you get the idea). It's very often the angle of the bars that make or break the fit of a saddle, not the gullet.

There are no standard measurements for gullets for saddles. It used to be that 6 was QH, 6 1/2" was semi QH, etc., but with more manufacturers making more and more saddles every day, those numbers don't mean much anymore.

There's a nice article at:
http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/howshoulifit.html

You could give the buyers the finished measurement from concho to concho unless you want to remove the underskirting... Adding the leather/skirt underneath can subtract 1/2" to 1" from the actual tree gullet width. If you measure from concho to concho (squishing down the fleece well) and add a half inch, you'll be close to the gullet width of the tree. As far as the bar angles, I think QH bars are about 90 degrees, but full QH bars are more.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:49 AM  
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The measurement of the gullet is taken on the bare tree, right at the point where the fork meets the bar. Of course it's pretty dang hard for you to take that when the saddle is assembled. Especially since the differences are only in quarter inches. One thing you might do is just take a pic of the saddle with a ruler across the front and let the buyer make their own conclusion. And there is no standard in tree sizes across the industry. Another option,call circle Y and ask them, There should be a serial # and I would think they could give you that info. Good Luck!
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:05 PM  
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Altho the skirted meas is different from the bare tree, that is why I stated "the accepted way". Trees differ from maker to maker, type of tree, etc. Thickness of leather and quality of fleece all make the spacing narrower but the angles remain the same, which vary from maker to maker. Enough to drive us all nuts! lol

Last edited by Slim Pikkens : 09-29-2007 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:58 PM  
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I have a saddle for sale on Ebay and was asked the gullet measurement. I measured according to this: http://www.western-saddle-guide.com/saddle-gullet.html and got a measurement of 7" , but my saddle has regular bars, which doesn't fit my paint. She's not too bulldoggy at 15.1H & 1050#, but it didn't fit her shoulders.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:19 PM  
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Good heavens, I hope you weren't putting the saddle on her shoulders. It should be just behind them. If you dig your fingers in and find the edge of the shoulder blade your saddle should sit there. But rock it side to side a bit and it should "lock on". Can you post a pic with the saddle on her, no pad.
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Old 09-30-2007, 09:31 AM  
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Oh no....it wasn't on her shoulders, but because they are wide and she needs full QH bars, my regular bars don't fit. I was told it's more for a "thoroughbredy" kind of horse.
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