Withers Tracing

How to make a withers tracing

What you'll need:

  • Flexible curve (14-16 inches)
  • Kraft paper or manila folder
  • Pencil or pen


STEP 1: Find the rearward end of your horse's shoulder. It's usually about 2.5" or 3 fingers width behind the shoulder.

STEP 2: Dip your finger in water and make a line on your horse's coat. This is the point where the saddle tree fits over your horse's withers.

STEP 3: Mold the flexible curve across the withers, making sure it's snug on both sides. You can test it by picking the curve up and putting it back down across the horse's back. Once you're sure it's accurate, gently lift the curve up and lay it on the tracing paper. Now trace your pen or pencil along the underside of the curve onto the paper.

STEP 4: The last step is the spine/top trace. IMPORTANT: Start at the same point where you took the wither tracing in Step 1. Straighten out the flexible curve and lay it on the horse's spine, molding it to conform to the shape of the spine. Carefully remove the curve and place it onto the same paper and trace the underside of the curve onto the paper as shown, making sure to include as much as possible. This step determines the size of the saddle's gusset, which allows proper balance on your horse.