Best to use a 24" flexible ruler (order here) or you can pick one up at your local office supply store. The photo on the right shows the drawings of the areas that you will be measuring. The first line is over the widest part of the shoulder. The second curved line is the shoulder blade (no tracing) and the next line is two fingers behind the shoulder blade which you will take a tracing of with your flexible ruler. The last line is the last thoracic rib, this is the length of your saddle support area.
Find the widest part of your horse's shoulder, find the 12" mark on your 24" ruler and put this at the base of the hairline on the wither draping the ruler on each side. Smooth the ruler around the contours of your horse's shoulder, carefully lift off of the horse and trace it on your paper.
Follow the same instructions for the shoulder tracings but this time align your flexible ruler two fingers back from the shoulder blade.
To find the last thoracic rib look at the flank area of the horse and find where the hair converges from two different directions and follow this line straight up. The photo example shows where these converging lines are.
Lay your ruler along your horse's topline starting at the end of the mane on top of the withers. Lay it along your horse's spine and when you reach the end of the saddle support area bend ruler upwards and trace topline shape until you reach this point.
Length of saddle support area
Measure with your flexible ruler from behind the shoulder to the last thoracic rib and record the length of the saddle support area. Do not trace this measurements but please write it down on your sheet of paper.
The photo example shows what your tracings should look like once you are finished. I do need to receive these tracings in original size and your best option is to mail your tracings to me at:
Art2Ride Saddlery 28735 Twin Oaks Valley Rd, Vista CA 92084
Second best option is to scan one half of the page at a time and email the tracings to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A video example of you riding your horse can be very helpful with the dynamic fit of your saddle. Ride your horse on a twenty meter circle at the walk, trot and canter both directions. If possible ride with NO PAD - only if you feel that it is safe to do so - young or sensitive horse's may object to the feel of the saddle with no pad and if in doubt use a pad. After your ride carefully remove the saddle without disturbing the dust pattern created by the saddle. Video this dust pattern from behind (over the back), left and right side of the horse or take photos.
Click here to upload your video and/or photos
You've done it! Thanks for your attention to detail. Saddle fit is such an important aspect of riding for you and your horse and the effort you have put into the process will be worth it.