HOW TO MEASURE FOR A SADDLE
Before you start you'll need:
A flexicurve (pictured opposite)
A Piece of chalk
An A3 piece of paper
Take the flexicurve out of the packet and carefully fold in half making sure you find the middle of the flexicurve. Mark the middle with either a sticker or a marker pen. Ensure the flexicurve you use is very stiff and holds it shape. On the paper mark clearly the offside and the nearside as well as drawing a faint line down the middle.
Start by placing your existing saddle on your horses back and using the chalk draw around the outline of the saddle, this will give you a rough guide to work to. After doing this carefully remove the saddle ensuring you do not rub of the chalk.
Place the flexicurve across the horses back ensuring the middle of the flexicurve is in the centre of the horse’s spine. Then move the flexicurve so it sits just behind the horses shoulder (the chalk mark from you saddle should act as a bit of a guide for the starting point) then mould the flexicurve to this shape. Carefully remove the flexicurve, mark with chalk and making sure you do not alter the shape or turn it around, place the centre of your flexicurve on to the middle of the paper. Trace the shape underneath the flexicurve. Mark as measurement 1
Repeat as above but measure three inches from the chalk mark you just made, transfer the measurement to the paper in the same way and mark as 3 inches and in brackets put number 2.
Keep working in the same way completing the measurements every 3 inches until you get to 12 inches. You should have 5 measurements’ at this point.
For the last measurement across the spine feel for the horses last rib and allow your hand to follow this guide up to the spine, the rib will travel in an up and forwards direction. When you have located this point take the measurement with your flexicurve in the same way you have taken the other measurements and mark with chalk. This is the measurement that we call T18. You can then also measure the distance from measurement 1 to measurement 7 with your tape measure which will give you an idea which size tree your horse will require, for example a 17 inch tree.
Now using your flexicurve take the profile of the spine measurement (where you just measured with the tape measure) from the first chalk mark to the last chalk mark, moulding the flexicurve gently to follow the contours of the horse’s spine. Trace this on to the bottom of the paper and mark as profile of the spine.
You should finish up with a diagram like the one pictured below.