Bar Angle vs. Gullet Width

Show your horse how much you care, take a moment to read this.

When you read our listings or catalog pages and compare them to what other sellers show for the same saddle, you might have noticed our measurements may be a little different.  When you see a difference, it is because we took the measurements ourselves, instead of using the manufacturer catalog measurements. The saddles we carry are handmade, that means the measurements can vary slightly. We’d rather take measurements ourselves and verify them when we can, instead of just coping and pasting a description.

We try to provide buyers with both a gullet width and bar angle whenever possible.  Maybe you are among those who have never heard someone speak of bar angle as it relates to a saddle tree.  There's a lot of information available out there, but here’s the short answer if you find your time is as budgeted as your wallet.

First you need to understand that saddles are often listed or sold as having a cetain size tree or bars.  For example, you may see or hear terms such as “FQH bars”, a “Wide Tree”, or “Arab Tree”.  For those of you who are not buying a custom fitted saddle made by a custom saddle maker, determining that fairly critical tree and bar information becomes a little bit of guess and estimation work.

Measuring the gullet width is one of the most common methods used by folks to determine a saddle's bars.  Horse folks say something like, “the gullet measures about 6.5 inches, so it’s got Full Quarter Horse Bars (FQH bars).”  That can be a fairly good way to guess-timate what bars a saddle has, but talk to any saddle maker and they'll tell you saddle bars are determined by bar angle more than by gullet width.  The two are often closely related, but two separate measurements.  Bar angle isn't really too difficult to take, but not everyone has the means to measure the angle.  Now you know why we give you BOTH the gullet width and the gullet angle in our listings and on our SADDLE SIZING CHART.

If you find yourself stuck inside on a rainy day take the time to do a little bit of research on saddle trees and the bars of a saddle. There’s so much more to them than just angle. There’s twist, flare, length and more. If you’ve had a horse that seems hard to fit when it comes to a saddle and you didn’t know why, maybe you’ll find the answer in knowing a little more about the foundation of your saddle.

Hopefully all this doesn't leave you more confused, but rather helps you determine if you found the right saddle for you and more importantly, your horse.

Michelle (and Tuco)
Calvary Farm and Tack

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