"Proven Products for Horse and Rider"
  By: Cathy Sheets Tauer - B.S. Animal Science, E.S.M.T

One Saddle

 The advanced technology of the System X,  EVOLUTIONARY SADDLES is the only Flex-panel saddle in the world designed to fit multiple shaped horses!
(All you have to do is pick the right size girth)

Has anyone else been able to truthfully say that even if you purchase a saddle for a specific breed that it will fit every horse in that breed?  No, they havenít. Sometimes even FULL SISTERS within the same breed have very different shapes.

Look for yourself and see how two mares of the SAME BREED,  with SAME parents can produce two completely different body shapes.
(Even their way of going and their personalities are just as different.)

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To see more on back shapes and How to shim

Solana and Colina (Peruvian Paso's)

FULL SISTERS - Different body shapes



Top Line - Solana in the front has a dip and more prominent withers with a rise to the loins whereas Colina is more flat in the back.





Back View - Notice the point of hip.



Notice the Spring of rib cage.



Notice the Spring of rib cage.


Notice the narrower shoulders on Solana.


Close up of Colina's back - notice the shoulder broadness.





Close up of Solana's back - and her back as it rises up to her her croup.





Close up of Colina's back - notice the back broadness and little rise to the croup.

TWO completely different shapes between SISTERS!!!!

I RIDE both with ONE saddle - one using a 28 inch girth and the other a 34

Take a closer look at horses all around:  you might be surprised to find that 10% of all horses are asymmetrical.  Yep.  They are crooked, with one side, hip or shoulder larger or higher than the other. 

BY ASKING QUESTIONS, you can be  a better informed consumer and you can share what you learn with others.

Do this for the sake of your horse! 

More horses

High withers (or thoroughbred type-razor withers) a narrow back, slap-sided, prominent backbone and narrow shoulders. 

Breed: Peruvian (one of our horses)


Wide shoulders and back with mutton withers.

Breed: Peruvian (one of our horses)

Asymmetrical-shoulder on the near side is lower than the other.  Nice wither and croup as viewed from the side.

Breed: Quarter Horse (one of our horses)

High narrow withers, with narrow asymmetrical shoulders and back and with even hips.

Breed: Peruvian

Sway backed, croup high - short back, pot bellied and slightly rump high.
Breed: Paint

Wide withers and wide tubular back

Breed: Peruvian (one of our horses)

Below is Colina age 3 at the start of the riding season.
 Then below that, is Colina again after five months of riding and maturing. Look how her top line and withers have changed.
I NEVER had to change or adjust my saddle.
 It did it all on itís own.

* Young horses will continue to change and grow until the age of approximately 5 years, after that they will change but more slowly as they mature and age, gaining and loosing weight.

You must - as a responsible horse owner make sure your saddle fits your horse as he changes throughout the year and through the years of his life.

Breed: Peruvian (one of our horses) The upper photo is mirror image- flipped so you can see better the shape.  It is the same horse.

Wide with broad shoulders, tubular in shape, well sprung in the rib cage and has a straight top line or what is called a mule back and mutton withers (no withers to speak of).

Breed: Peruvian (one of our horses)

Balanced narrow shoulders, very short back, slightly rump high and roached backed. One hip lower than the other. (We simulated this by having horse stand with hind leg cocked - this is what you would see if you had a horse standing square in the rear - that had one hip lower than the other).

Breed: Peruvian (one of our horses)

Wide broad shoulders and well sprung (rib cage).

Breed: Peruvian (one of our horses)

Well balanced, with adequate withers in both width and height. body somewhat narrow.

Breed: Peruvian (one of our horses)

Rump low.

Breed: Apendex-warmblood -Thoroughbred/Trekainer Cross

 Flat backed / "Mule backed" - (Donkey actually). Narrow.

Breed: Donkey - some of my customers ride their Donkeys and LOVE them.  This is Annabelle.

Horse is standing crooked.  Make sure horse stands square.  A well-balanced horse.

Breed: Fox trotter (one of our horses)

  Elite and his high withers
For more photo on how the panels fit on Elite Click Here

Prince has a sway back.  One of Sue's veterinarians said that this horse should be put down as he would never be able to be ridden.  We and other professionals proved wrong!


Prince has a 5 inch dip



We fit the saddle bare with no pad, Sue mounted up and we looked for clearance between the tree and the panels.  Perfect.  So we put the pad on.


Remember you need TWO people to check fit.  One who is in the saddle and the other on the ground LOOKING. 


Here Prince, an Arabian who is 19 years old, that Sue adopted from a rescue, is perfectly fitted.  However we discovered later we could have used a crupper too.

Sue is very happy, took the photo of her right before the big smile as she was really amazed at the results of our testing ride in the hilly country of Southeastern MN.



Just because a horse has a different confirmation DOES NOT mean that they can not be useful and happy.  With the right equipment and a devoted owner.  Prince can now enjoy trail riding as much as Sue does. 


An even sweat pattern tells it all.  We did some serious hill climbing and the saddle did not move back as we had a breast collar, but the saddle did move forward, so next time a crupper will be used.  This saddle was a Perfect fit, with dry down the center offering all the clearance needed for fit. 


With horses that have an Asymmetrical shape (10% do) such as, (one rear hip higher than the other, one shoulder larger than the other one side of the back lower than the other,) or those that have a severe sway back, extreme rise to the croup, low in the rear or hollows behind the shoulder,
 shims maybe or will be needed to achieve a proper fit and or to balance the saddle for the rider.

Remember when using shims: Always shim AWAY from pressure (that means - that when you are sliding your hand under the saddle - with a person in the saddle - the area that has the least amount of pressure is where you will need to add shims.) and check fit monthly. 

Your horse WILL change shape under a panel saddle when he is allowed to move freely with his back and shoulders.

If not properly done shims WILL cause more harm than good - showing up as dry spots, roaning hair, heat damage (that causes the skin to fall off). You can determine if shims have caused this by palpating the muscles - if the muscles are not sore then your damage most likely is from improper shimming.

For more on shimming click here and for a on line Video Click here.


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Call now to place an order: 507-723-5937  or  Toll Free in US: 866-723-5937

Saddles System description Saddling Basics Saddling videos The Journey Saddle History Return to index

Web Master - Cathy Sheets Tauer