Best Saddle for High Withered Quarter Horse: Top Picks & Guide

Looking for the best saddle for your high withered quarter horse? Look no further! In this guide, we’ll be sharing our top picks and expert tips to help you find the best saddle for your horse’s unique needs. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just starting out, we’ve got you covered. So saddle up and let’s get started!

Understanding High Withers

chestnut quarter horse with bridle and saddle standing next to cattle

Characteristics of High-Withered Horses

High withers are a common feature in some horse breeds, particularly Thoroughbreds, saddlebreds, and warmbloods. High-withered horses have withers that are particularly long and angle backward, creating a steep ridge towards their back. The bump where their shoulder blades meet between the neck and back is taller than average, resulting in a sharp angle from the tip of their withers to their shoulders. This unique anatomical structure can make finding the best saddle for a high-withered Quarter horse a critical task.

Importance of Wither Clearance

Proper wither clearance is essential for the horse’s comfort and optimal performance. A saddle fitting high-withered horses should have 2-3 fingers clearance over the wither and visible daylight along the gusset. If the saddle is more snug than this, it may rub on the horse’s withers, pinch their shoulders, or cause pain along their spine.

To find the best saddle for a high-withered Quarter horse, consider the following recommendations:

  • Look for a saddle with a cutback design or one specially designed for high withers, such as the Thorowgood T4 or T8 Wintec. These saddles offer a more spacious seat, deep rear gussets, and a small curvature in the tree, which can accommodate the high withers and provide the required clearance.
  • Use a cutback saddle pad or a numnah half pad with extra padding to ensure maximum wither clearance and prevent pressure on the horse’s spine.
  • Have a saddle fitter assess your horse’s unique anatomy to determine the best saddle for their specific needs. This will ensure that the saddle provides proper wither clearance and support without causing discomfort or pain to the horse.

By considering these factors and taking the time to find the right saddle, you will ensure the comfort and well-being of your high-withered Quarter horse, allowing them to perform at their best.

Selecting the Right Saddle

Saddle on Horse

When choosing the best saddle for a high-withered Quarter Horse, there are a few key factors to consider. These factors will help ensure proper fit, comfort, and functionality for both the horse and rider. This section will discuss the different saddle types and styles, key features to consider, and how to fit a saddle for high-withered horses.

Saddle Types and Styles

There are various types of horse saddles available, each suited for different riding disciplines and horse conformation. Some common saddle styles include:

  • Western saddles: Known for their functionality and decorative designs, these saddles are commonly used for roping, barrel racing, and trail riding. Western saddles typically offer deep and secure seats, making them suitable for long rides.
  • English saddles: These saddles are lightweight, allowing for closer contact between the rider and the horse. Common English saddle types include dressage, jumping, and all-purpose saddles.
  • Synthetic saddles: Made from synthetic materials like synthetic leather or suede, these are lightweight and easy to maintain. They can be a versatile and budget-friendly choice.
  • Treeless saddles: Designed to provide more freedom of movement for the horse, these saddles are a good option for horses with unique body shapes or those that are hard to fit.

Key Features to Consider

When selecting a saddle specifically for a high-withered Quarter Horse, consider the following features:

  • Saddle tree: Choose a saddle with a narrow tree or an adjustable gullet system, allowing for a better fit on high-withered horses.
  • Gullet width and shape: High-withered horses require a saddle with a gullet that is wider and has a steeper angle, ensuring clearance of their prominent withers.
  • Seat size: This should be comfortable and appropriate for the rider, as seat sizes can vary across different saddle types.
  • Lightweight and durable materials: Opt for a saddle made from durable, high-quality leather or synthetic materials to ensure longevity and ease of cleaning.

Fitting a Saddle for High-Withered Horses

A proper saddle fit is crucial for the comfort and performance of both the horse and the rider. When fitting a saddle for a high-withered horse:

  1. Consult with an experienced saddle fitter to ensure the correct fit.
  2. Assess the overall shape of the horse’s back and withers, taking note of any unique features or asymmetries.
  3. Try different saddles on the horse, looking for a suitable gullet width, tree size, and overall shape.
  4. Consider using a saddle pad with a wither cut-out to provide additional clearance and distribute weight more evenly.

There are saddles specifically designed for high-withered horses, such as the Billy Cook barrel saddle 1524, which offers a higher gullet and horn than most saddles, making it ideal for high-withered horses. Another option is the Thorowgood T4 High Wither GP saddle, known for its spacious seat and deep rear gussets, providing a comfortable and secure fit for both the horse and rider.

In conclusion, taking the time to research and carefully select a saddle for a high-withered Quarter Horse can positively impact the horse’s comfort, performance, and overall enjoyment during riding. By considering various saddle types and styles, key features, and proper fitting techniques, horse owners can confidently choose the best saddle for their high-withered companion.

Saddle Fit and Comfort

Saddled quarter horse at a ranch

Saddle Pads for High-Withered Horses

Saddle pads play a crucial role in providing comfort and protection to high-withered Quarter Horses. A well-fitted saddle pad can offer additional wither relief and distribute pressure evenly across the horse’s back. It’s essential to select an appropriate pad, such as one with adequate padding or specially designed for high withers, to ensure your horse’s comfort during riding.

Dealing with Pressure Points

Pressure points created by an ill-fitting saddle can result in pain, discomfort, and even back problems for your horse. Identifying and addressing these pressure points is necessary to ensure your horse’s overall well-being. An experienced saddle fitter can help identify any pressure points and recommend proper adjustments or the appropriate saddle to alleviate any discomfort.

Importance of Proper Fitting and Adjustment

Proper saddle fit is essential for high-withered Quarter Horses to prevent pain, discomfort, and long-term injury. An improperly fitting saddle can lead to uneven pressure distribution or pressure points on your horse’s back. Ensure your horse’s comfort by fitting a saddle suitable for your horse’s gullet size and shape, particularly considering the unique features of high-withered horses.

Proper saddle fit also involves considering the length of the horse’s spine and the addition of saddle pads or half pads. Saddlebreds and similar high-withered horses might require specialized cutback saddle pads to guarantee optimal fit, built-in wither relief features, and added cushioning where necessary.

It’s important to note that saddle fit is often inconsistent across brands. So, your horse may not need the same saddle size in every manufacturer. Additionally, assess the quality of the billets and gussets to ensure the durability of the saddle and prevent any further discomfort for your horse.

Some of the best saddles for high-withered horses include the Thorowgood T4 and the Billy Cook barrel saddle 1524, which offer deep seats and suitable gullet sizes. These saddles adapt to the unique needs of high-withered horses and provide the necessary support and stability throughout various riding activities.

When selecting a saddle, ensure that you consult a professional saddle fitter to recommend the adjustments needed for your horse’s specific needs. By prioritizing proper fit and making necessary adjustments, you contribute to your high-withered Quarter Horse’s comfort and overall well-being during rides.

Top Saddle Recommendations

Selecting the best saddle for high-withered Quarter Horses requires considering several factors such as comfort, fit, and material. In this section, you’ll find the top recommendations for saddles that cater specifically to high-withered horses.

Wintec 2000 HART

The Wintec 2000 HART is an all-purpose synthetic saddle, making it a versatile and lightweight choice. It’s designed for high-withered horses with a cut-back pommel, providing ample space for the withers. Its HART (Horse and Rider Technology) system allows for adjustments in gullet width, making it customizable for a better fit. Additionally, this saddle features knee blocks for added rider security and comfort.

Henri de Rivel Memor-X

The Henri de Rivel Memor-X Close Contact Saddle is crafted from premium leather, ensuring durability and style. This saddle provides a better fit for high-withered horses, thanks to its deep seat and contoured panels. It also offers excellent support and balance for the rider, making it a suitable choice for various disciplines.

Cashel G2 Soft Saddle

For those looking for a more comfortable and lightweight option, the Cashel G2 Soft Saddle is an ideal choice. This unique saddle features a cushioned seat and is made from durable, breathable materials. It’s designed specifically for high-withered horses, providing a comfortable fit and ensuring their freedom of movement. The Cashel G2 Soft Saddle is an excellent option for trail rides, offering exceptional comfort for both horse and rider.

Acerugs Comfortable Western Saddle

The Acerugs Comfortable Western Saddle offers excellent support and comfort for high-withered Quarter Horses. It is crafted from durable synthetic materials, ensuring its longevity and easy maintenance. This saddle’s design provides ample clearance for high withers, ensuring a perfect fit. It is suitable for various riding styles, making it a versatile option for equestrians with high-withered horses.

In conclusion, the top saddle recommendations for high-withered Quarter Horses include the Wintec 2000 HART, Henri de Rivel Memor-X, Cashel G2 Soft Saddle, and Acerugs Comfortable Western Saddle. Each of these saddles cater to the unique needs of high-withered horses, providing optimal comfort, support, and fit. It’s essential to select a saddle that is specifically designed for high-withered horses to ensure their well-being and performance during rides.

Caring for Your Horse’s Back and Withers

white gray quarter horse western saddle

When dealing with high withered horses, such as quarter horses or warmbloods, it’s essential to not only find the best saddle but also ensure you’re providing proper care for your horse’s back and withers.

Preventing Back Problems

Ensuring your high withered horse is in prime condition will benefit leisure riding and provide comfort to even beginner riders. Consider saddles designed with ergonomic features, such as Thorowgood T4 or Wintec 2000 HART High Wither Horse AP Saddle, which provide optimal shock absorption, natural motion, and even airflow. This helps prevent dry spots, maintains consistent contact, and reduces the stress on your horse’s back.

A well-designed English saddle pad can further improve the saddle’s performance. Pick one that:

  • Is machine washable and available in multiple colors.
  • Withstands wear and tear, ensuring the pad remains in good shape.
  • Has easy-to-use D-rings to secure the pad to the saddle.
  • Offers an adjustable fit to suit various horse sizes and body shapes.
  • Features a fleece bottom for additional comfort and improved shock absorption.

Proper fitting of saddles on young horses is crucial as their bodies continue developing. A poorly fitting saddle can lead to long-term back problems.

Maintaining the Saddle

Saddles for high withered horses require some adjustments to achieve optimal performance. Since horses’ backs change shape throughout the year, it’s essential to ensure a well-fitted saddle for your horse’s comfort. Have your saddle checked and adjusted by a professional at least twice a year.

Ensure that the saddle sits 2-3 inches from your horse’s withers. If it appears too high or low, consult a saddle fitter for adjustments.

Proper Saddle Care and Cleaning

Regular saddle cleaning is essential for maintaining the saddle’s quality, appearance, and lifespan. Follow these cleaning tips to keep your saddle in top shape:

  1. Remove any dirt or hair before cleaning. Use a soft brush or a damp cloth for this task.
  2. Choose the right cleaning products, preferably specialized saddle soaps or leather cleaners, for the saddle’s material.
  3. Use a damp sponge or cloth to apply the cleaner, ensuring it doesn’t react with your horse’s skin.
  4. Rinse the saddle with clean water and let it air-dry.

In addition to cleaning, store your saddle in a well-ventilated and dry area to prevent mold, mildew, warping, or other damages.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure optimal performance from your saddle, maintain your horse’s back and withers, and provide an enjoyable riding experience for both the horse and the rider.

Best Saddle for High Withered Quarter Horse

Man saddling a horse

High withered quarter horses require a well-fitting saddle that provides comfort and prevents any potential injuries or discomfort. When selecting a saddle for this specific horse breed, there are certain features to consider to ensure a proper fit and enhanced performance.

One of the top saddles for high withered horses is the Thorowgood T4. This saddle offers a spacious seat, deep rear gussets, and a small curvature in the tree, making it a suitable option for high-withered quarter horses. Additionally, the T8 Wintec and Kent and Masters are other recommended options, as they cater to horses with higher withers.

When fitting a saddle for a high-withered quarter horse, it is essential to ensure there is 2-3 fingers clearance over the wither and visible daylight along the gusset. Avoiding treeless saddles would be a wise decision, as they often put pressure points on the horse’s spine and wither, causing discomfort and potential injuries.

Moreover, the use of a saddle pad can be beneficial for high-withered horses to offer additional support and comfort. A well-fitting saddle pad should sit at 2-3 inches from the horse’s wither. If it sits too high, the saddle may be too narrow for the horse’s back, while a saddle riding down the average point could indicate a too broad saddle tree.


In summary, finding the perfect saddle for a high-withered quarter horse is a vital aspect of ensuring the horse’s comfort, performance, and well-being. Some well-regarded options include the Thorowgood T4, T8 Wintec, and Kent and Masters. Key factors to consider are the proper clearance above the wither and the appropriate use of a saddle pad. By following these guidelines and choosing a high-quality saddle, both the horse and rider can enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling riding experience.