What is a high shoulder saddle?         

Colin Hilton-Ash
London, United Kingdom, England

Noted saddlemaker Carson Thomas, of Wickenburg, Arizona, explains: “I believe that refers to a horse with a very high shoulder blade that comes up higher than normal and just below the wither. It can make the front of the saddle tree bar directly under the gullet not sit down properly, causing it to ride high on his shoulder, wither and back, causing pinching or sores. But in most cases, a saddle can be designed to alleviate about 90-plus percent of the issue.”

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. . His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write:  Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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