The gullet size of a saddle is important because gullet size plays a large part in determining how well the saddle will fit your horse. Measuring the gullet on a saddle is an essential part of making sure a new saddle will fit your horse if you cannot actually try the saddle on the horse.
Gullet Measurement Basics
The gullet is the channel between the bars of the saddle. It keeps the weight of the saddle and rider from sitting directly on your horse's spine. A gullet that is too narrow or too wide can cause significant discomfort and pain for your horse.
The gullet on an Australian saddle is not measured any differently than that on an English or Western saddle. The basic design of the underlying saddle tree is not significantly different between saddle styles.
To measure the gullet size of a saddle, you will need a measuring tape or ruler.
- Set the saddle on a saddle stand with the front facing you.
- Visually locate the narrowest part of the gullet. Use your ruler to locate the point of the saddle that is 2 inches below the narrowest section.
- Use your ruler to measure from left to right across this section of the saddle. Make sure to measure below the bars of the saddle rather than in front of it so you'll get the most accurate measurement. This measurement, in inches, is your gullet measurement.
The fit of a saddle is determined by a combination of the size of the gullet and the angle of the bars of the saddle tree. If you are unsure as to whether a saddle's gullet is going to fit your horse properly or what size saddle your horse needs, have a professional saddle fitter help you measure your horse and help you find the perfect saddle fit for him.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.