Real life adventures in saddle fitting at Panther Run Saddlery
Monday, June 7, 2010
From the Tree Up - Further Panel Modifications
Sometimes, a small change in the front of the panel can make a huge difference in saddle fit. Two handy modifications are the full front gusset and the wither gusset.
The wither gusset a great help when dealing with horses that have that dip below the wither, like so:
It's often used in conjunction with a dropped / trapezius or K panel, since those dips are often seen on the withery, rangy horses. It can fill in the gaps quite nicely. (Pardon the PhotoShopped saddle. Believe it or not, in the hundreds of photos that inhabit my computer, I can't seem to find one of a horse wearing a saddle with wither gussets. Of course, I'll find one about 20 minutes after I publish this ...)
You can see how the gusset settles into that dip, and helps keep the saddle up off the wither.
The full front gusset runs further down the front of the panel and sweat flap:
Apologies for the sideways shot - I tried several times to correct it. It looks fine in PhotoShop, but appears here sideways. No clue why.
The full front gusset can be helpful in keeping the saddle up off the wither on a lean, rangy horse when the wither gusset isn't quite the ticket. It can also help keep the saddle back on a horse who's rump-high, or who has a big barrel and a short, forward girth spot. A fitter can add flock and "square up" the gusset, which acts as a stop to help keep the saddle back.