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View Full Version : Saddle suggestions for a flat back? (The horse, not me!)



Mara
Mar. 31, 2009, 12:06 PM
I'm a rerider and have the opportunity to take a half-lease on a nice little Anglo-Arab (3/4 TB, 1/4 Arab). She's a neat mare and the owner and I really seem to click - we are in agreement on most issues concerning horse care (and ain't THAT a rarity!)
I will have to provide my own saddle since the owner is somewhat larger than I. Not a problem. But the mare has that coffee-table Arabian back, and I am looking for suggestions on which saddles might suit her best. She's not overly wide or anything, just very flat. Her withers are well-defined, but not shark-fin.
I spent my entire junior "era" in a Crosby PDN Sovereign, and loved it. It's been long gone, though. . .and I understand it's considered "obsolete" now, LOL!

All input welcome! I'm excited, and my first priority is to do right by the horse and make sure the saddle fits well.

meupatdoes
Mar. 31, 2009, 12:42 PM
See if there are any brand independent saddle fitters near you.

My fitter (based out of Port Jervis, NY) shows up with a saddle fitting van full of used saddles in every imaginable brand, which she can fit and custom-flock on site. For a brand new saddle, she has everything from $500 Thorowgoods to $4,500 private label saddles that can be made from scratch and custom fitted to horse and rider.

For a brand new saddle, she orders it according to the measurements of horse and rider, and then personally delivers the saddle when it comes in so the flocking can be adjusted just so to fit the horse.

All available in a price range spanning $500 to $4,500.



If someone like that is not near you, I have heard good things about Trumbull Mtn. You can send in your horse's measurements and they will help you.
The Thorowgood website also has a measurement section of their website that will help you determine what to order if you go that route; you can print it out, measure your horse, and then order from Dover.

JB
Mar. 31, 2009, 01:00 PM
Flat which way - laterally or longitudinally? A horse can be very table-topped out from the spine but still be curvy front to back.

Mara
Mar. 31, 2009, 01:12 PM
Longitudinal. Almost a straight line from low end of withers to point of croup. At first glance, you'd think she has a long back - it's that flat. On closer inspection this really isn't the case. She's probably on the margin between narrow and medium.

This is gonna be a bit tricky, isn't it?

mjmvet
Mar. 31, 2009, 05:03 PM
How about a duett, or one of the black country saddles made for that shape? I've heard really nice things about Black Country in particular, and they cater to the tabletop horses specifically. Trumbull Mtn. was noted. I think there's on in NJ called Ocean Heights as well. Good luck,
M

JB
Mar. 31, 2009, 06:12 PM
I second trying a Duett IF the horse is wide enough laterally, or shaped in a upside down U shape as opposed to an A shape. I couldn't use a Duett for my horse because it was not curvy enough.

I don't know if BC has a tree that is flatter - I went with BC because they are curvy. But, for sure I wouldn't hesitate to get in touch with Trumbull Mountain - SO very helpful up there! They carry quite a few brands, not all of which are curvy.

Camp Girl
Apr. 2, 2009, 06:20 PM
I second trying a Duett IF the horse is wide enough laterally, or shaped in a upside down U shape as opposed to an A shape. I couldn't use a Duett for my horse because it was not curvy enough.

I don't know if BC has a tree that is flatter - I went with BC because they are curvy. But, for sure I wouldn't hesitate to get in touch with Trumbull Mountain - SO very helpful up there! They carry quite a few brands, not all of which are curvy.

Agree on Trumbull and the Duett. I worked with Trumbull on mine. They are knowledgeable folks, very kind, and have a generous trial policy.

The Duett is worth a try. Some don't like the wider twist but they are built on a hoop tree to fit wider horses. The gusseted panels tend to work well with flatter backs. My 36cm Encore works very well for my round Welsh/Morgan —*and also fits my barn owners' lanky but flat/broad backed Saddlebred well too. Just trying a few will give you the best feel without tying up a ton of money in saddles that will have to be resold. Good luck in your search.

hollyhorse2000
Apr. 3, 2009, 10:16 AM
My mare has high withers and a long flat back. I went with Black Country via Trumbull Mt and am extremely pleased. I not only needed a tree that didn't curve, but extra gussetting under the cantle. after trying a zillion saddles this was the last step before a full custom job. Virtually nothing off-the-rack or without an extra gusset feature (and wool) was even close . . .

Mara
Apr. 3, 2009, 11:13 PM
My mare has high withers and a long flat back. I went with Black Country via Trumbull Mt and am extremely pleased. I not only needed a tree that didn't curve, but extra gussetting under the cantle. after trying a zillion saddles this was the last step before a full custom job. Virtually nothing off-the-rack or without an extra gusset feature (and wool) was even close . . .

That's extremely helpful - thanks! I can't quite go for a full custom saddle right now. The owner rides with an "off-the-rack" Stubben and pads the daylights out of it. I can't help but think this doesn't quite do the trick.

JB
Apr. 4, 2009, 11:14 AM
Mara, what is your budget? I wasn't sure if by "can't go full custom" you meant you got the feeling that the BC that Hollyhorse mentioned was "full custom" or not. The great thing about BC is that there are SO many options, most of which don't cost a dime extra, from gusseted or upswept panels, to trapezius panels, to serge panels, to quite a few others.

AmandaandTuff
Apr. 4, 2009, 11:54 AM
I might want to suggest Schneider Saddlery, they carry a lot of arabian items. I'm not sure if they have a try before you buy policy.

Here is what I find from searching:
http://www.arabiansaddle.com/saddles.htm#hunter

hollyhorse2000
Apr. 6, 2009, 02:51 PM
Sorry if I wasn't clear. I consider the Black Country to have many customized options but not "full custom," a term I reserve for Stackhouse, etc. My point beingthat I "got away" with spending $3K rather than $5K. I could have saved more if I hadn't decided I absolutely, positively needed the calfskin! :-)