What do high withers mean on a horse?

Horses

How should a saddle fit a horse with high withers?

But proper saddle fit does not only depend on the withers—it also takes into consideration the width of the back and shoulders. If your high-withered horse has narrow shoulders and a wide back (or in other words, your horse is pear-shaped), you may wish to try a gaited saddle.

What does it mean when a horse has Withers?

Their withers may also be set well behind the point of the shoulder, so the top line of the horse’s neck is about twice as long as the underline. The shoulders then run forward from the withers at an angle that allows a full range of motion. Horses with normal withers are much easier to fit a saddle and saddle pad on.

What is considered a high withered horse?

High-Withered Horse. High Withers can be an obstacle to getting a good saddle fit. A horse with a “standard” conformation will have defined withers, but some horses’ withers are especially long and angle backward to create a steep ridge descending to the back.

Do Spotted Saddle Horses have high withers?

If your horse is truly a spotted saddle horse, he is gaited, or has the ability to gait. You will need (or should seriously consider) a gaited saddle to free up his shoulders. From the photos, I would not consider his withers to be high.

What is a high withered horse?

‘High withered’ is a term we saddle fitters hear all the time, and it can represent a massive variety of horses in all different shapes and sizes. Whether your horse has a shark fin of a wither, a long wither that runs into the saddle area, or just has a bit of shape to its back.

How high should a saddle sit on a high withers?

Just because your horse has high withers does not mean your saddle can be resting on them. The saddle should still clear your horse’s withers almost an inch (2-3 fingers). If the saddle is sitting too high on your horse (more than an inch off the withers), the saddle is too narrow.

Why do some horses have high withers?

High Withers can be an obstacle to getting a good saddle fit. A horse with a “standard” conformation will have defined withers, but some horses’ withers are especially long and angle backward to create a steep ridge descending to the back.

What is a high-withered horse?

A high-withered horse also has a slightly narrower back compared to a horse with normal withers. While these features can make it difficult to find the perfect saddle and pad fit for your horse, high withers can improve their performance.

What kind of horse has Withers on back?

A horse with a “standard” conformation will have defined withers, but some horses’ withers are especially long and angle backward to create a steep ridge descending to the back. High withers are more prominent in thoroughbreds, saddlebreds, and warmbloods, but can show up in other breeds as well.

Is this saddle too narrow for a Spotted Horse?

It would be too narrow at the top of the bar. If your horse is truly a spotted saddle horse, he is gaited, or has the ability to gait. You will need (or should seriously consider) a gaited saddle to free up his shoulders. From the photos, I would not consider his withers to be high.

How to fit a saddle to a high withered horse?

In fitting a saddle to a high-withered horse, you will need to lift the saddle away from the withers. This can be accomplished by using a saddle whose panels or bars match the slope of the horse’s back muscles, then raising the saddle up off of the withers using pads or a saddle with thick panels.

How wide should a saddle be on a horse?

The saddle should still clear your horse’s withers almost an inch (2-3 fingers). If the saddle is sitting too high on your horse (more than an inch off the withers), the saddle is too narrow. If the saddle is riding down less than an inch or touching the withers, the saddle tree is too wide.

What does it mean when your withers are too high?

Withers that are too high make it difficult to fit a saddle and are often associated with a narrow chest. Withers that are too broad (called “mutton withers”) do not provide enough ridge to keep the saddle in place on the horse’s back.

Are high withers bad for a horse?

High withers are more prominent in thoroughbreds, saddlebreds, and warmbloods, but can show up in other breeds as well. Abnormally high withers can actually improve your horse’s performance because of its increased ability to lengthen its stride. This means that once you get the right saddle fit,…

What is a mutton-withered horse?

We utilize cutting-edge technology to provide all horses of various wither shapes the best protection. Also known as mutton-withered horses, this kind of horse has a gradual slope towards its rear and lacks shoulder definition. It may also have a rounder and/or flatter back. Sometimes, a horse may have no withers at all.

What kind of horse has no Withers?

Also known as mutton-withered horses, this kind of horse has a gradual slope towards its rear and lacks shoulder definition. It may also have a rounder and/or flatter back. Sometimes, a horse may have no withers at all.

What is a broad wither on a horse?

Withers that are too broad (called “mutton withers”) do not provide enough ridge to keep the saddle in place on the horse’s back. When mounting (especially for the rider who “pulls” himself up by dragging on the saddle), the saddle has a tendency to slip to the side and under.

What happens if a saddle is too wide or too narrow?

An angle that is too narrow (acute) will cause the bottoms of the bars to dig into the horse. An angle that is too wide (flat) may cause excess pressure along the top of the bar. This is often seen most severely in the wither pocket and bar tip areas.

Why don’t saddles fit all horses?

Some horses have backs so broad they can be used as a table, or some so narrow that most of today’s common saddles won’t fit. Bar angle and width are important here. Some horses have excessive rock in their back and some have very limited rock, both of which need to be compensated for.

What does it mean when a horse has a high back?

The bump where its shoulder blades meet between the neck and the back is taller than average, causing a sharp angle from the tip of its withers to its shoulders. A high-withered horse also has a slightly narrower back compared to a horse with normal withers.

What does it mean when a horse has long Withers?

If the vertebrae of the withers are long, the shoulders have more room to rotate and the stride of the horse is long. This is very important for speed or jumping horses. Withers that are too high make it difficult to fit a saddle and are often associated with a narrow chest.

What kind of horse has mutton withers?

This is most common in American Quarter horses, ponies, and Arabians. Your horse will probably have less of a range of motion because of the mutton withers but will perform as well as other horses.

How do I know if my horse is mutton withered?

The side view of your horse should have a small ridge where the withers are. If your horse just has a gradual slope toward the rear without any shoulder definition, you have a mutton-withered horse. The thocratic vertebrae which usually create extra shoulder definition are shorter than normal.

Why don’t saddles fit mutton withers?

The problem that mutton withers create in saddle fitting is that most saddles are built with normal withers in mind. The withers help keep the saddle in place, creating a ridge. The first thing we’d recommend for a mutton-withered horse is a saddle specially designed for your horse’s conformation.

Is it normal for a horse to have no Withers?

Sometimes, a horse may have no withers at all. Low withers are common among American Quarter horses, ponies, and Arabians. Due to its conformation, your horse may have a decreased range of motion compared to those with normal or higher withers. The horse may also have choppy strides, but it can still perform just as well.

How to choose a saddle for a low-withered horse?

The horse may also have choppy strides, but it can still perform just as well. You may want a saddle designed for haflingers for your low-withered horse, as these have flat top-lines and shorter backs, accommodating the shape of your horse’s withers.