How to Choose your Gullet Width

Narrow to Wide gullet widths will generally fit Thoroughbred's, Stock Horses, some Arab derivatives, Riding Ponies, and Gaited horses.
(NB: All riding horses must have a reasonably good body score condition: 4 - 6 is ideal).

The XWide to XXXWide Equi-Fit Flex Tree Gullets will be a better choice for Clydie crosses, Quarter Horses, and Draft crosses. However, this is also a good width for horses that measure narrower and are still in the process of 'muscling-up' or are needing to muscle-up.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of horse breeds however the breeds listed will give you an idea of 'type' and general back conformation usually specific to the breeds listed. We also acknowledge that not all horses of the same breed have the same back conformation.

Some horses will only measure 4 or 5 inches on their Wither Tracing. This is quite normal for a horse with a prominent wither. The Medium Gullet will still work wonderfully well with a 3/4" to a 1" Felt or a Shimmable Saddle Pad.

In moderate cases of muscle atrophy, use of a shimable saddle pad with good quality inserts and cleverly placed tapered edge (!!) shims, can aid saddle fit until the horse has been re-conditioned and some topline has been restored from correct riding/ground work and a proper fitting saddle. We can most certainly guide you here. Shimming is also recommended in instances where the horse require additional shoulder clearance due to conformation issues, or is built 'downhill'. A shoulder shim will balance the saddle for the rider. More info on shimming further down this page.

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Gullet Widths Available

6.0" Gullet No Additional Cost Medium
6.5" Gullet No Additional Cost Medium to Wide
7.0" Gullet No Additional Cost XWide
7.5" Gullet $220 Extra Charge XXWide
8.0" Gullet $220 Extra Charge XXXW

There are 2 flex tree styles to choose from: the most commonly ordered flex tree style is the D fit, or Quarther Horse fit. Then there is the LT fit which suits high withered horses with a more pronounced curve to their backs. Ideal for Thoroughbred and Stock horse types.

Here is Equi-Fits description of these fits:

D - Approximate 92 degree front rafter angle. Good front flare, bow and upturned tails to avoid bridging and bar edge pressure points.

LT - Steeper rear rafter angle, additional front flare and more bow relative to the 'D' fit. (Longer wait times apply for this tree style)

All of the gullet widths listed above are available in both styles of flex trees. Please note that longer wait times apply if Kuda do not have the tree style that you need in the model, seat size and gullet width required. There are so many possible combinations that it is impossible for Kuda to have every single tree, ready to go. If the tree needs to be special ordered from Equi-Fit, then additional wait times will apply.

Please click on pictures to enlarge.

What if my horse has muscle atrophy? ("Wither Pockets")

We often come across horses that have muscle atrophy in behind the shoulder blade - just in behind the withers. It is a very common issue unfortunately. It can be caused by a number of factors, most of which are related to tight fitting saddles.

Because of this lack of muscle, a 'dip' or 'pocket' forms in behind the top of the shoulder blade which causes the front of saddle (depending on the length of the bars) to either fall down into this pocket or to sit down firmly on top of the shoulder blade. The first scenario will jam the shoulder blade from behind with every step the horse takes, and the second scenario results in the full weight of the front of the saddle placing too much pressure on the shoulders. This causes pinching or worse, long term damage to the cartilage of the shoulder blade. The saddle is forced to sit on the top of shoulder blade (the cartilage) because there is no longer any muscle underneath to support and therefore, lift, the front of the saddle.

Shims are a fantastic way to make your horse much more comfortable, immediately! The shim acts like the muscle that should be there, by effectively filling in the hollow pocket. This then allows the shoulder blade to pass freely underneath the front of the saddle (see photos: note the gap created by the shim underneath the saddle). Once you have a well fitted Kuda Flex saddle, and with good riding, the muscle will re-build itself and the need for shims will be lessened. Some horses however, may always require a shim if there has been previous extensive damage to the muscles.

It is very important to only ever use a shim that has a tapered edge so as not to create any pressure points. It is also extremely important that the front of the saddle not be lifted so much that the rear of the saddle is tipped downwards into the horses sensitive loin region.

Shims are also a great way to balance the saddle for the rider. If the horse they are riding, is built somewhat downhill, a strategically placed tapered edge shim will lift the saddle at the front, ever so slightly, which then allows the rider to find a balanced position in the saddle. It's really quite amazing!

Kuda Saddles Australia

Kuda Saddles Australia is a subsidiary of Holistic Equine Saddlery & Tack ABN 97 255 778 955

All prices quoted, are in Australian Dollars, are GST inclusive and are subject to change without notice.
No Returns possible on ANY Custom Ordered Items.