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Working Out What Gullet You Need 

When selecting a suitable saddle the first thing to consider is the gullet size.  

The gullet needs to match the profile of your horse 5cm behind the back of the scapula as this is the position of the gullet plate in your saddle. 

Some saddles have a fixed gullet plate that can't be removed and some have gullet plates that come out and can be swapped for a different size, these are usually referred to as easy change gullets. If the saddle you choose has an easy change gullet once you know which gullet plate your horse needs you can easily select the correct gullet and we can fit it for you so your saddle is ready to try.  

Saddles with a fixed gullet can usually be altered by a saddler but by how much depends on the tree type, some brands eg Prestige can be altered multiple times from N - 2XW while others such as most brands made on wooden trees should only be adjusted by one size either way and are not designed to be altered multiple times. In order to be able to trial a saddle with a fixed gullet/adjustable by a saddler it needs to be the correct size or at most one size wider and use a thick pad just whilst trialing it. We can check your horses template to the front of your chosen saddle to check that the gullet angle, width and wither clearance are a good match.

The adjustability of each saddle is detailed in our product descriptions and product info sections. 

Gullet Angle & Gullet Width 

Gullet angle is the measurement in degrees of the gullet bars eg wide 90 degrees,  X-wide 95 degrees, it would be much easier to understand and compare saddles if saddle makers listed the gullet sizes as degrees but instead they give them a measurement  m, mw, w, xw, 2xw, 3xw etc.. and not all brands measure the same.  Eg a Pessoa series 2 xw gullet is 90 degrees, a series 1 is 96 degrees and a Wintec xw is 105 degrees!

Gullet width is the distance across between the bars, some horses require more width than average, a saddle too narrow in width can cause the same problems as a gullet thats too narrow in angle. 

We see too often horses with severe muscle atrophy because owners go for a narrower gullet to achieve clearance over a high wither. A narrower gullet is not the answer! At the other end of the scale the chunky build horse owner goes wider and wider in gullet angle not realising they don't need more angle they need more width. 


These wide gullets are all approximatley the same angle but look at the different shapes and widths, the bottom one is a Wintec/Bates, the bars are slightly concave, it suits narrow/average horses well but on a broad horse this can cause a pinch point. The middle one is a Cavaletti gullet, it looks much wider in width but its fooling you! The top is chopped off so it does not sit flush against the saddle tree, its actually the same width as the top one! 

Comparing Different Brands  Easy Change Gullets

If you currently use a saddle with an easy change gullet and you are sure its a good fit, you can use this chart to work out what size you should use in another brand. 

If your horse is not an average width or has muscle atrophy then we recommend doing a template to check more carefully which will suit.


watermarked gullet chart no2_edited.jpg
gullet gauge_edited.jpg

Using a Gullet Gauge 

A gullet gauge can be used to work out the angle gullet you need


A gullet gauge meausures angle only, it gives no indication to the gullet  width required or height of the wither.  


Using a gullet gauge directly on the horse that has any muscle atrophy  may give an inaccurate reading as its sinks into the hollows. It is better to draw the template to paper as then the atrophy is clearly seen and can be ignored when selecting the correct gullet. This atrophy should be filled with flock or pads not a narrower gullet. 


Measuring Your Horse

Measuring your horse with a flexible curve will give the most accurate measurement. From this one template we can tell what gullet width and angle you need and the height of the wither. (very high withers often benefit from longer gullet bars and deeper panels)


We can recommend which easy change gullets may suit or if you are interested in trying a saddle with a fixed gullet we can check if its a good match for you. This is a free service for customers wanting to buy a saddle from Saddle Central, we only request that all the information we need is submitted correctly via our gullet measurement form.

We have a step by step printable guide & video showing how to do a template. 

Watch the video and print the pdf guide below or save it on your phone for a quick reference when you are with your horse.

Collect your supplies, all you need is:

a flexible drawing curve or piece of wire,

some chalk or tape,

A4 paper and a pen,

a helper

the horse of course.

TIP 1: Make sure the horse is standing square on level firm ground with head in normal position. 

TIP2: Do your template form both sides and do it several times until you are happy you are getting a consistently accurate measurement.

What to do with your template:

Scan your templates.

If you have an A3 template you'll need to scan it as 2 A4 pages. DO NOT shrink an A3 to A4.

Save as PDF format with no margins.  

Print a copy yourself, is it an exact match to your original? If not try again.

Only send it to us when you are happy its an accurate copy.


Don't send the template as a photo - we can't use it in this format.

If using a phone scanning app the only one we have found to be accurate is Adobe Scan so please do not use any other apps. if using the app be sure to have the phone directly above the page, not at an angle.

Upload the template via the

gullet measurment form

We usually reply within 2 working days, if you don't see a reply check your junk/spam folders.

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