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How to change your gullet bar in 5 simple steps - Saddles Direct

How to change your gullet bar in 5 simple steps

Ever felt a twinge of anxiety at the thought of changing your saddle's gullet bar? Fear not, because we're here to turn that daunting task into a breeze with our 5 simple steps to replacing your gullet bar. 

When it comes to saddles with adjustable gullets, understanding the right gullet bar size for your horse is key. if you're not sure, we've put together a helpful guide on measuring your horse to determine the most suitable gullet bar, highlighting why this size matters and how it impacts your horse's comfort. 

At Saddles Direct, we understand the importance of keeping up with your horse's changing shape throughout the year. So let's kick on and walk you through how to change your gullet bar.

Step 1 – Unscrew the Panel to access the Gullet Bar

You need to locate the outer screws these can be different depending on the brand of saddle for example Kent and Masters, Thorowgood and Fairfax saddles the outer screws are always located between the panels at the front of the gullet. Older model Bates and Wintec are also located here.

Gullet Bar Change Step 1

Newer brand Bates and wintec saddles and also new brand Arena saddles the screws are located attached to the d-rings under the seat skirts.

Gullet Bar Change Step 2

Step 2 – Unscrew the Gullet Bar

Once you have removed the outer screws and pulled the front of the panel out of the point pocket you need to unscrew the inner screws and remove the gullet bar entirely. Again dependant on brand these can vary for example Kent and Masters, Thorowgood and Fairfax saddles have 4 inner screws to take out.

Gullet Bar Change Step 3 Gullet Bar Change Step 3b

Whereas Bates, Wintec & Arena only have 2, one at each end. Remember to keep the inner and outer screws separate so not to mix them up.


Step 3 – Swap the Gullet Bar

If you are simply swapping from one size to the next up or down this will be a fairly pain free task, the issue comes when you need to take the size from N to XW that you may need an extra pair of hands to hold the tree points wide while you get the bar in place. Equally if the saddle has been super wide and needs to go down to N/NM/M this can sometimes be easier to get the saddle nose down between your knees and push the points in and hold while you get the bar in place.

Step 3a

Remember to take not of which way round the bar came out, most only sit in one way so make sure to replace the bar in the right way.

Step 3b Step 3c

Step 4 – Screw in the Gullet Bar

Once you have the bar successfully in place replace the screws and tighten back up the inner screws. Once these are back in place and secure you need to put the points back in the points pockets of the panel, once they are in place you should be able to see them sat back in place to replace the outer screws.

Step 4

Step 5 – Re-attach the Panel

When you have the panel in place the final task to so is replace the outer screws and re-screw them tightly so they are securely in place and the job is done!

Step 5 - re-attach the panel

That's it, you're ready to assess the fit. Make sure your saddle still looks balanced and you have the correct clearance, follow our 5-stage saddle fit check.

If you have any worries or concerns regarding the fit of your saddle be sure to have to have it checked by your saddle fitter, or give us a call at Saddles Direct on 01282 471 911

Ready to put your skills into action? Shop our range of gullet bars.

Replacing the Bates, Wintec & Arena EASY-CHANGE® Gullets

Before you get started, check you have the right tools. We recommend a long handled Philips Head number 3 screwdriver, your EASY-CHANGE® Locating Tool, and your EASY-CHANGE® Gullet and Riser Packs.

When making adjustments to your saddle, it is important that the weight of the saddle is fully supported, so that you have both hands free and a clear view of what you are doing. If you prefer to stand whilst making adjustments on your saddle, you will need a covered table to protect the saddle.

Secure the back (cantle area) of the saddle between your knees and a table, with the saddle panel facing away from you (against the table), the saddle is now held secure and you have both hands free.

If you prefer to sit down to make adjustments to your saddle. Grip the back of the saddle securely with your knees with the panels facing towards you, again so you have both hands free.

Remember, the interchangeable gullet plates don't impact the width of the rest of the gullet. A professional saddle fitter will always ensure that the gullet of your saddle fits your horse's unique conformation perfectly.

At Saddles Direct, we are always here to offer free advice and guidance, ensuring that you find the right adjustable saddle for your unique needs. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is just a phone call or email away, ready to assist you in any way we can. 

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