What are Horse Withers?

Horse withers refer to the highest point of a horse’s shoulder blades, located at the base of the horse’s neck where the neck and back meet. The withers are an important anatomical feature for a horse, as they provide an anchor point for the muscles and ligaments that support the horse’s neck and back, and they also serve as a point of attachment for the horse’s mane.

The withers are an important reference point for riders and saddle fitters, as the height and shape of the withers can affect the fit and comfort of a saddle. A poorly fitting saddle that sits too low on the withers can cause discomfort and pain for the horse, while a properly fitting saddle that rests evenly on the withers and distributes weight evenly across the horse’s back can improve the horse’s comfort and performance.

The height of a horse is often measured from the ground to the highest point of the withers, and this measurement is used to describe the size and breed of the horse. Horses with tall withers are often described as having a “withered” or “high-withered” conformation, while horses with shorter withers are said to have a “low-withered” conformation.