What Is A Gullet On A Saddle?


The saddle that you put on your horse isn’t as simple as it might first seem. A saddle is by no means simple, in fact it is actually pretty complex. There are lots of different components that make up a horse’s saddle, and the gullet is just one of these. 

If you regularly ride a horse, then you will probably be aware of the different components which make up a horse’s saddle. But, if you are new to horse riding, and saddling a horse up, then you probably will not be that familiar with these different parts. That is why you might be confused as to what the gullet on your horse’s saddle is. 

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at what a gullet is, what it does, how big it should be, and how it sits on your horse. So if you want to find out more about the gullet on your horse’s saddle, keep on reading. 

What Is A Gullet On A Saddle?

First things first, let’s take a look at what a gullet on your horse’s saddle is. In short, the gullet is the tunnel in the bottom of the saddle. It is located underneath the fork, and it is this component that sits on top of the horse’s withers.

While you might not hear the gullet spoken about all that often, it is actually one of the most important parts of the saddle, and that is because it holds the different bars on the saddle together. Additionally, the gullet is responsible for ensuring that the saddle fits your horse. 

The gullet plays a huge part in ensuring that the saddle is comfortable for your horse, and that it won’t cause your horse any harm.

If the gullet is too short, then the saddle will rest on your horse’s withers, if it is too tall then it will rest on your horse’s shoulders, pinching them with every single movement.

In order for your horse to be happy to be ridden, their gullet will have to fit perfectly, and this is why it is such an important part of the saddle. 

Unfortunately, finding the perfect gullet size for your horse isn’t always the easiest task, and this is because there are not standardized measurements for this.

But, once you find the perfect gullet size for your horse, you will notice that they are much happier when you ride them. But how should the gullet sit on a horse? Let’s find out. 

How Should A Gullet Sit On A Horse?

In order for the gullet of the saddle to fit your horse properly, it is very important that you place it in the correct position.

To find the perfect position for your horse’s gullet, you need to feel your horse’s back. This will allow you to identify all the soft tissue on your horse’s neck and back, meaning that you will not accidentally place the gullet onto a sensitive area of your horse’s back. 

When you run your hand down your horse’s spine, you will feel a lot of soft tissue toward the top area of the back. You should avoid these areas completely, and instead aim to place the gullet onto the long back muscle of your horse.

You will be able to identify this area as it will be strong and solid, in comparison to the soft tissue around your horse’s neck, and your horse’s spine.

It is very important that you place the saddle onto the strong muscle on your horse’s back, as this means the muscle will bear your weight, not your horse’s spine. You will know that the gullet is resting in the correct place once you can see light coming through it. 

How Wide Should A Saddle Gullet Be?

There is no single correct measurement for how wide a saddle gullet should be, this is because it will all depend on your specific horse.

That being said, the ideal width for a saddle gullet is usually between 2.5 and 4 inches, depending on the size of your horse. A lot of the time, identifying the perfect gullet measurement for your horse will take a lot of trial and error. 

If the gullet on your horse’s saddle does not fit, then you will easily be able to see this. Should the gullet be too small, then the pommel of the saddle will be too high at the front, and this will make the saddle uneven and unstable for the rider.

This will often cause your weight to fall backwards on the saddle, and this puts a lot of pressure on your horse’s loin, making it very painful for them.

Alternatively, if the gullet is too big, then it will not settle on your horse’s back, and this will lead to the saddle shaking from side to side. 

Thankfully, the range of gullet sizes isn’t that great, and so it doesn’t take too long for you to find the perfect measurement for your horse. When you do find the perfect gullet measurement, you will know because light will shine through the gullet, and it will fit comfortably for both you and your horse. 

Summary

In short, the gullet on your horse’s saddle is the tunnel at the bottom of the saddle which is located beneath the fork of the saddle.

The gullet is the component of the saddle that rests upon your horse, and so it is very important that this fits your horse perfectly. Otherwise, it can quickly become uncomfortable, and even painful, for your horse. 

Generally speaking, saddle gullets measure anywhere between 2.5 and 4 inches, so finding the perfect size for your horse shouldn’t be too difficult.

To make it even easier, you should take a tape measure and measure your horse from concho to concho. This allows you to calculate the perfect measurement, and ensure that you purchase the perfect gullet size for your horse.

You will know that the size is perfect when you can see light shine directly through the gullet once the saddle is placed upon your horse’s back. 

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