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Full & Semi QH Bars on Western Saddle?

Horse Management Thread, Full & Semi QH Bars on Western Saddle? in Horses and Ponies; How do I tell by measuring if a western saddle has full or semi QH bars? Where do I measure ...
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default Full & Semi QH Bars on Western Saddle?

How do I tell by measuring if a western saddle has full or semi QH bars?

Where do I measure from?
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:41 PM   #2
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Good question!! I love western riding, but I find western saddles are the hardest & most confusing saddles to buy for your horse & fitting them. What is the differance with full & semi? How do you know which one you need? I'm interested in info on this topic as well, so come on you westerners out there help us understand so more people can get into this discipline, we need more threads. Sorry not hyjacking just bumping.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:48 PM   #3
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Ditto, I'm interested in knowing this too! Im wanting to buy a western saddle, but im holding off untill I know a little more about them
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:19 AM   #4
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Ok, basically as long as your horse is a pretty regular shape any size will fit, as long as it has good clearance above the wither (2 -4 fingers width) Doesn't sit on the top of the shoulder & restrict movement & sits well on the back, meaning it doesn't look too short or too long & also that it 'fits' to the horse & doesn't just seem to be plonked there (sits too high). As this will result in uneven weight distribution
You can't really get a correct measurement once the saddle is made, but as a basic figure, Semi bars will measure around the 5.5" mark, under that & it will most likely have regular bars, above that full bars. If the measurement is over the 7" mark then it is an extra wide make. For a bare tree you would take .5 to 1” of those measurements, sometimes more, sometimes less.
But really it's the height and the width combined that determines the best fit, if the gullet is too short it will sit on the wither & rub, while if it’s to wide it will sit too low on the shoulder & also rub on the wither.

Below is a pic I took of where to measure, A to B is the bar width & determines if it is regular, semi, full or extra. & C to D is height.
The angle of the bars & the rise of the pommel determines these measurements, but as I said if the saddle is already finished, your measurements won’t be exact.



Another thing to remember is that the bars don’t only determine the width, but also how the saddle sits, this all comes down to the rocker (or the curve), twist & flare of the bars.

Also good to remember that the name of the saddle in no way determines what bars are used, it only represents the fork on the tree.

Most of our saddles are have semi bars, we find that these fit the majority of our horses well. From our heavy set QH’s, to my daughters finer set Q pony & even our Standy mare. Just make sure you buy a well made, quality saddle. As most good saddle makers aim for a general fit, rather than an exact fit, unless it is custom ordered.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:37 AM   #5
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Great info there, Boo, thanks!

We have five stock saddles and one western saddle, the semi quarter horse bars fit all our horses. We have only one full QH bar which only fits my OHs big wide quarter horse, and two regulars which only fit the narrower horses (stock horses and TBs and youngsters). We find the semi QH bars to be the most adaptable.
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies I've just had a friend bring over a couple for one of my horses to try on, and I think she must be one of the small percentage who doesn't fit in the semi QH bars. She's really wide and flat in the withers and shoulder area, so looks like I'll have to keep trying to find full QH bars and nice wide gullet.

**sigh** Back to the treeless, which I hate
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:54 PM   #7
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Hi Horseslave....Yes I've seen your Zoe, and I'd be very surprised if she'd be any less than a full Quarterhorse Bars...shes a chunky monkey!

My half breed is full QH bars and your welcome to try it on her next time we meet up, that would give you an indication of the sizing.....be warned thought, I'll only throw it on once for you, after that your on your own....it's heavy!
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:54 AM   #8
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Yes western saddles are so hard to fit.

Three quarter bars tend to fit well covered Tbs, QHXs, Stock Horses, X-breds etc. Full bars fit round fat horses or real QH types.

Get someone that knows about western saddles, NOT Europa or Horseland folk, to fit your saddle professionally.

Horseslave, ask around town for Harold Pitcher. Harold is a lovely quiet guy that makes western and halfbreed saddles. He is a legend and lives in Toodyay!! He can help you. I can get his number if you want it. Just PM me.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy the Piggy View Post
Hi Horseslave....Yes I've seen your Zoe, and I'd be very surprised if she'd be any less than a full Quarterhorse Bars...shes a chunky monkey!

My half breed is full QH bars and your welcome to try it on her next time we meet up, that would give you an indication of the sizing.....be warned thought, I'll only throw it on once for you, after that your on your own....it's heavy!
Thanks for that Deb

The saddle is actually for my other horse - surprisingly Zoe is an easy fit horse as far as saddles go - that's why she's such a pleasant and comfortable ride (even with the occasional leap thrown in .

So is your half breed wide in the gullet? My half breed only has a medium chamber. (And it's synthetic so doesn't weigh a tonne - which I LOVE! )
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
Yes western saddles are so hard to fit.

Three quarter bars tend to fit well covered Tbs, QHXs, Stock Horses, X-breds etc. Full bars fit round fat horses or real QH types.
Mine is an interesting mix - Arab X some sort of Draught Horse... and rather rotund

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
Horseslave, ask around town for Harold Pitcher. Harold is a lovely quiet guy that makes western and halfbreed saddles. He is a legend and lives in Toodyay!! He can help you. I can get his number if you want it. Just PM me.
Thanks for that Caroline - I know Harold (he lives a stone's throw from me) and have had him make me stuff in the past. I don't want to spend a heap of $$$ on a saddle for this horse, as we only really do pleasure riding. I'd love a synthetic too, because of the weight factor - just can't seem to find one in the right size
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