V-shaped girth - oh, and hello.

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Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 1:37 am
Last Name: Karasulas

Hello all.
I am a new member to this forum, and it is my pleasure to take the opportunity to intoduce myself, and to start a thread on a topic I hope some of you can add light to.
I have a replica of the UP saddle (1902, I think) which I am using for regularly riding my horse. I like this saddle a lot, and prefer it to the western, English and stock saddles I have tried on this horse. However, my horse has extremely high withers, and I need to get the front arch up as high as I can to avoid saddle and wither contact. I am not entirely sure how the v-shaped thingy is meant to work. If anyone can advise me further on how best to fit this saddle I would really appreciate it.
Thanks, and bye for now.

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Posts: 183
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 8:54 pm
Last Name: Puckey
Location: United Kingdom

Donation 2nd

About halfway down this page of posts I ahve psoted the UP Saddle Fitting Instructions from the manual, this should help.

I presume that you are using a good thick blanket and have felts on the saddle?

Adding extra numnah felt to the panels will lift the saddle. If you don't have any try foam camping mat taped to the bars under the felts.

A channel folded blanket should also give extra lift.

Your horse must have a very high wither to touch a UP (but as you say it's a copy so it could have a lower arch). If it's still a problem then you could have it stripped and the arch extended by welding new bits in, or upgrade to a real UP.

Never have the saddle forwards up on the wither, it will pinch the shoulder blade as it moves, restricting his movement and coudl even casue him to fall.

The V girth adjsutment is just to move the girth forwards and back to allow for conformation of different horses and stop the saddle riding forwards or back.
David Puckey
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 1:37 am
Last Name: Karasulas

Thanks a lot for that info! That is very helpful.
Chester (the horse) is a Clydesdale cross (with thoroughbread), and one of the features he ended up with are withers you could sail a small boat with. The UP is the best fit saddle I have found for him, and I tried a few. A western floats all over the place, as Chester isn't flat enough for it, an Aussie stock felt too much like it was mounted on a rocking horse. English saddles with a narrow gullet can work fine, but I don't particulary like English saddles. The UP is great all-round and they certainly had that worked out right. Although a replica the UP I have is reasonably good. One advantage to the UP is the ease of working on them oneself, i.e. taking a planer to the bars etc, and with a replica there is far less inhibition to make drastic changes.
Still looking for an original in riding order that I can afford...
Thanks again.
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:04 pm
Location: Australia


The original UP you describe was made in 3 sizes. L=Large, M=medium and S=Small. This is marked on the centre front steel arch. I have never seen a small.

I use the L and M on a very high withered throughbred. The reason I say very high is because this animal is one of the highest withered horses I've ridden. The reason I have used both saddles on this animal is because I smashed a timber panel on the L when this animal reared over backwards on me. My other option was then using the M.

Both arches on the L and M I used just clear the withers, although the problem I have is that the canvas will touch the spine. I've done big days in both these saddles and never hurt the back. I also use new industrial grade 1" felt and a woolen saddle cloth as described by David. This will raise the saddle off the withers. It also depends on width of timber panels at the base of the arches which will either clear or touch withers.

I have assembles UP trees under Charlie Reddy's tutledge. The L and M are identical in size when matched together on the bench. However the difference between the L and M is the width between the bottom of the arches. Hence when placed on the withers will either sit higher or lower depending on L or M tree. Does this make sense? Liekwise with your stock saddle the felts raised higher or lower widen or shorten the height against the withers. This is how saddles are fitted.

You will need to check if the UP tree is true. All new UP's were tested for trueness after assembling. However after work they can get out of shape.

Place the stripped down UP tree (ie down to timber and arches only), on a flat surface. It should not rock. If it rocks then the tree is not true and needs adjusting. It will need adjusting via the steel arches. Place the steel arch in a solid vice and use a pinch bar to twist it back into shape. You will need to take care that the rivets hold true and observe these when twisting. If they are lose tap them on the anvil to re-tighten.

It is a simple matter to replace rivets but it is a 2 man job.


"A horse, A horse, My kingdon for a horse," from Richard 111 by W Shakespeare 1592.
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