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mvp
Apr. 4, 2009, 10:26 PM
Please COTHers, I'm begging you....

Here's my deal: I'm 5'2" with reasonable proportions...for a child! I want a close contact saddle with a fairly straight flap or really, a modest distance between the deepest point of the seat and the pocket your knee should reach.

16.5 PdN-type saddles are fine. 16.5-ers with padded knee rolls (usually with deeper seats, forward flaps) not so much. My knee always behind the pocket. My favorite saddle of all time, however, is a 16 Crosby AGA Grand Prix. Won't fit the current beast, or any that's not pretty narrow. Can't believe I really ought to ride in a 16, as either my a$$ truly is big or I have spent my whole life thinking it is! The horse is not tough to fit, though he needs a wide-waisted saddle and some padding behind his scapulae.

The only options I see currently are a County Stabilizer. I'm going to look into Black Countries, but I don't know if they'll make a true kiddie saddle for a check-writing grown-up. I'm both paranoid and cheap: I'd really like not to have to spend $3000 on a saddle when it's geometry seems so unusual that it's likely that I won't be able to ride in a demo of the exact saddle I'd actually buy.

Any recommendations for off-the-rack options?

Thanks so much! I'm sick of paying $100 in shipping each time I try.

ImJumpin
Apr. 4, 2009, 10:31 PM
I had a trainer who was SHORT-- not even sure she was 5'. She had a Luc Childeric M. Worked well. I've also seen shorter folks in Beval saddles-- Butet and Devons. So while all off the rack options, I think the Devon is the only one not near 3k.

JB
Apr. 4, 2009, 10:32 PM
Please do give Trumbull Mountain a call :yes:

If you're paying $100 each shipping, you're getting ripped off, unless you're regularly shipping all the way across the country LOL It cost me $35 to ship my trial BC back to Trumbull.

damecheval
Apr. 4, 2009, 11:06 PM
Please COTHers, I'm begging you....

Here's my deal: I'm 5'2" with reasonable proportions...for a child! I want a close contact saddle with a fairly straight flap or really, a modest distance between the deepest point of the seat and the pocket your knee should reach.

16.5 PdN-type saddles are fine. 16.5-ers with padded knee rolls (usually with deeper seats, forward flaps) not so much. My knee always behind the pocket. My favorite saddle of all time, however, is a 16 Crosby AGA Grand Prix. Won't fit the current beast, or any that's not pretty narrow. Can't believe I really ought to ride in a 16, as either my a$$ truly is big or I have spent my whole life thinking it is! The horse is not tough to fit, though he needs a wide-waisted saddle and some padding behind his scapulae.

I have the exact same problem. I've tried 3 or so saddles recently that have padded knee rolls, and they just don't fit right. So right now, I'm riding in an ancient saddle that belongs to the barn and is in need of some serious repair. But atleast it is foundationally good (kind of like those 'fixer-upper' houses). I'll make sure to report back to this thread with any developments in my search that might help you. :)



Okay, so I just when and looked at the Dover Saddlery website and here is a saddles that doesn't look like it's cut all that far forward:

http://www.doversaddlery.com/hermes-steinkraus-hunter-jumper-saddle/p/X1-15254/cn/92/

saitou_amaya
Apr. 4, 2009, 11:15 PM
I'm 5' and if I buy an adult size, I'm less than a 16" size. Seriously, I just buy childrens saddles. I used to have a pessoa childs size 15 3/4 and now I ride in the same size Crossby. Buying children's saddles is also cheaper! :D

Pirateer
Apr. 4, 2009, 11:45 PM
I'd go with a Butet or the Beval Salem- seen them in wee sizes and they are oh so cute. And nice.

Ready2Ride
Apr. 5, 2009, 12:10 AM
haha, I ride in a pessoa 15 3/4 I love it

mvp
Apr. 5, 2009, 12:28 AM
Thanks for your suggestions so far.

I think an Hermes will be too narrow for this horse or most modern ones. I'm buying for a grown man of a WB (16.1 1300#) but he's probably not the last horse I'll own.

I have not sat in a Butet, but been skeered off by their fragile seats, price, curvy french trees, narrow gullets, foam panels, general hype. I'll pry open my little mind.

Any of you tried a Crosby Centennial? I sat in a 16.5 wide tree, regular flap (I think) and I still felt like my knee was behind the pocket. I was surprised because this saddle looked like a good bet. It's foam panels were also too shallow for my horse and it rocked when I posted. Do these saddles really come flocked with wool as rumored? If so, how are the foam- and wool-flocked saddles named so we can tell them apart?

Finally, are you Pessoa peeps happy with your 16 inchers? My trainer's 17" GenX doesn't hurt my horse. I'm not a Pessoa fan, but they do seem to fit many horses. Do I need to re-open my mind to these saddles too? In which case, which models do y'all like?

If you have saddlers you especially like, I'm open to those ideas, too. Anyone had good luck with Kate Athanas?

Thanks so much!

saitou_amaya
Apr. 5, 2009, 12:33 AM
haha, I ride in a pessoa 15 3/4 I love it

Yeah, second best saddle I have! Besides my Crosby 15 3/4 saddle, that pessoa is my favorite. Perfect for the vertically challenged! :lol:

Vero
Apr. 5, 2009, 01:41 AM
I tried an Antares Spooner and I quite liked it. It's reasonably priced, and you can order any seat/flap configuration - sounds like you could use a 17 seat and a 0 flap. I have also seen a lot of used Antares customs with a 16.5/0 combination.

damecheval
Apr. 5, 2009, 06:02 AM
Any of you tried a Crosby Centennial? I sat in a 16.5 wide tree, regular flap (I think) and I still felt like my knee was behind the pocket.

I rode my horse in one a few times. It wasn't nearly as bad as the other saddles, but my knee was still a little bit behind the pocket, too.

I did a little more looking around after what some other people said about riding in child's saddles and I found one made for children and petite riders. Not sure if it'll be wide enough for your horse, though. But if you're near a good tack shop, I'd give them a call and see if they have a saddle fitter that works with them.

http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-15611&ids=930467407

mvp
Apr. 5, 2009, 08:23 AM
Thanks for all your suggestions so far. I live in the Boonies and I have just about exhausted the supply of saddles near me. The issues just pile up, don't they?

One more question: I know that a wide tree ought to be a wide tree in any seat size. But do you guys riding in 16-inchers find that to be true? The saddle still needs to fit a horse-size horse. Also, do you worry about having a smaller total surface area for the panels that come from a smaller seat size? I'd like to spread my weight out as much as I can over my horse's back.

I know I'm getting a bit technical here. But I'd like to get this saddle so right that I don't have to go shopping again any time soon.

Anyone else have some off the beaten path suggestions or a favorite saddle company they work with?

I will call Trumball Mountain for sure.

SarahandSam
Apr. 5, 2009, 08:57 AM
I have a short friend who rides in a Crosby Centennial and loves it.

I'm 4'10 1/2" and I have a child's saddle--a Stubben Rex. Since it's made for small children on fat ponies, it works well for me and my wide QH. I use it for some lessons as well; it fits the wider horses but I can't usually use it for a narrower horse. (Which is one of the many reasons I prefer ponies.) When I can't use my own saddle, I borrow an old Lancers from the barn, which I also actually like a lot. I'm not sure what size it is but it fits me very well and feels like my old Crosby PDN.

LoriW
Apr. 5, 2009, 09:15 AM
I'm short - 5'2" as well although I needed a bigger seat than you. After trying MANY saddles - I wound up with the new Bates Next Generation Elevation - FABULOUS saddle - can't say enough good things about it!!

pwrply
Apr. 5, 2009, 10:01 AM
I am 5'2" on a good day. My horse is 16.3h. I currently ride in a 16" Beval Devon and like it a lot. It fits my horse just fine. It is also significantly less expensive than the Butet. The 5'8" eq riders still giggle (in good humor) at my "pony saddle" Good luck in your search

JB
Apr. 5, 2009, 10:05 AM
One more question: I know that a wide tree ought to be a wide tree in any seat size.
Well, you have to understand that "wide" in Brand A can be a medium in Brand B and an XW in Brand C. It all depends on where they take their measurement on the raw tree, how long the points are, and how much padding/flocking ends up on the underside.


But do you guys riding in 16-inchers find that to be true? The saddle still needs to fit a horse-size horse.
This may be a problem. However, I've seen many pony saddles that are made for the tub-a-lubs so *seem* to be wider than you'd think.


Also, do you worry about having a smaller total surface area for the panels that come from a smaller seat size? I'd like to spread my weight out as much as I can over my horse's back.
Good for you :D Yes, you would need to worry about surface area. No matter if a pony is wide, he's still got less back than many horses.


I know I'm getting a bit technical here. But I'd like to get this saddle so right that I don't have to go shopping again any time soon.
IMHO, it's hard to get too too technical ;) Your horse will thank you 1000 times for taking the time now :)


I will call Trumball Mountain for sure.
Yay! Stupendous people. I see no reason why a Black Country can't be made in a 16 :D

monami
Apr. 5, 2009, 10:14 AM
I am a little taller but have VERY short legs (have to have custom leathers!) My PJ fits me great.

Lucassb
Apr. 5, 2009, 10:16 AM
Another vote of encouragement for you to try the Beval saddles. If you don't want to spend a fortune, I'd try the Devon or the Salem first, although I have to admit that my Butet is the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden in.

I am 5'3" and relatively short from hip to knee (and to make things more challenging, I am *long* from knee to ankle, *sigh*...) I bought an Antares for my (big) horse's sake and it's lovely, but every once in a while I ride in the old Butet just to indulge myself. My leg just naturally wraps around the horse, I can *feel* the horse underneath me... it's fabulous :) Happy shopping!

mvp
Apr. 5, 2009, 10:22 AM
I know I'm bordering on high maintenance here, but...

To fit this horse or any legitimately horse-sized animal, the gullet needs to be wide enough. The panels also need to be the right shape and material, hence my paranoia about foam flocked Pessoas, Bevals, and even Bates saddles.

But I will look into kiddie-sized Butets and Devons. For the latter, I think I'll have to get some callouses going in the nether regions. Sorry for the TMI, but you Devons fans might have to reassure me. While I love flat, pig-skin covered seats in theory, they aren't as comfy as modern calf-skin (and often wider) seats.

This horse needs a wide-waisted saddle-- one where the narrowest part of the "hour glass" in the panels isn't too narrow. He's losing some muscle on his top line.

For those of you riding in French-treed saddles, do you find that wides tend to roll from front to back? Also can you shorties riding in Anteres or CWDs actually get out of the seat. I bump into the pommel when I post or two-point in almost any saddle modeled after the Delgrange.

I think part of my problem is that my heels drop like a mother, my horse is a Wide Load so I ride with longer stirrups and my thigh is pretty vertical when I'm "up" in even a soft two point or modest post.

Thanks for listening at least. If anyone can make sense of all these requirements, I'm all ears.

kookicat
Apr. 5, 2009, 10:30 AM
Take a look on http://www.saddlesource.com/cc.asp

You might find something that will work or at least get some more ideas :)

JB
Apr. 5, 2009, 10:32 AM
I know I'm bordering on high maintenance here, but...

Not at all - if more people would be this concerned about the right fit, there would be a whoooooole bunch fewer ticked off and sore horses ;)


To fit this horse or any legitimately horse-sized animal, the gullet needs to be wide enough. The panels also need to be the right shape and material, hence my paranoia about foam flocked Pessoas, Bevals, and even Bates saddles.
Don't worry too much about foam vs wool, as long as it's the higher quality foam. Good foam isn't the crap that it used to be, which packed down and never recovered and couldn't be replaced. Good memory foam lasts quite a long, long while. You're right to be concerned about the gullet - a true pony saddle may not be wide enough. But, there may be a brand or two out there that is really suited for the cob-type ponies who are different from, say, a Farnley-type pony.


This horse needs a wide-waisted saddle-- one where the narrowest part of the "hour glass" in the panels isn't too narrow. He's losing some muscle on his top line.
There are lots of saddles where the channel narrows as it goes back, so just stay away from those altogether. Prestige, County, Black Country, Vega/Amerigo, the Heythrop Prix D'or, and CWD are a few that I know of that have wide channels ( some wider than others, but all nicely wide) that do not narrow. At least one model of PJ is pretty wide too - not as wide as a BC, but wide enough to have considered it for my horse.


For those of you riding in French-treed saddles, do you find that wides tend to roll from front to back?
I think this is something you cannot pin on French or any other generality like that. Any make or model can rock from front to back if it's too curvy for the horse's back.


Also can you shorties riding in Anteres or CWDs actually get out of the seat. I bump into the pommel when I post or two-point in almost any saddle modeled after the Delgrange.
I can tell you the CWD has a honkin' pommel :eek:


I think part of my problem is that my heels drop like a mother, my horse is a Wide Load so I ride with longer stirrups and my thigh is pretty vertical when I'm "up" in even a soft two point or modest post.
About the heels - if you use a flexible stirrup, try a regular one and see if that helps.

Lucassb
Apr. 5, 2009, 10:33 AM
I have no problem at all getting out of my Antares - I have a half-deep seat (compared to the deep seat on my Butet) which eliminates the problem of hitting the pommel. The saddle was custom fitted to my horse so there is zero roll in the panels; it is perfectly stable.

My horse has a big shoulder and a moderate wither and we had to play around a bit to find the configuration that worked for him. IIRC, we ended up with M20 RAG+5, DTA50. M20 means the base of the panels is 20 mm thick; the RAG+5 means we added 5 mm of thickness to the front area of the panels (by the withers) and the DTA50 is code to make the panels with a gusset.

The trick with the french saddlers is to find a rep who *really* knows how to measure. It really has nothing to do with the brand; getting a saddle that works requires someone who knows their stuff.

lesson junkie
Apr. 5, 2009, 11:40 AM
I worked at a tack store several years ago. We went to a few seminars about saddle fitting. The folks at Stubben told us that in most cases, seat size and tree/gullet size can be independent-one doesn't really limit the other. The exception to that is when a small person rides a very large, wide horse. Then, the panels must have gussets, so they will be wide enough to fit the horse and distribute the rider's weight evenly across the horse's back.

I think Lucassb is right-you need a really good fitter to help you. It would be best if you could find one who carried several different lines. Sometimes these people are more concerned with making the sale than getting the right fit.

Look into Smith Worthington. They have lots of choice in saddles, and they have the ability to fit your horse. They will also fit other brands. Good luck-I'm 5'2", and ride a 16.2 tank of a Dutch horse.

superpony123
Apr. 5, 2009, 12:50 PM
I am 5' and 100 lbs, and i ride in a Devoucoux Socoa. it fits me perfectly. i think it's a normal flap too. (i bought it used) best saddle ive ever sat in! however i reccommend you buy one used and not from the devoucoux people, because ive heard horror stories. i bought mine used at a vendor at a horse show.

WorthTheWait95
Apr. 5, 2009, 02:12 PM
Cori McGraw usually has a few kiddie sized saddles in stock including several 15.5" antares:
http://www.highendusedsaddles.com/saddlesavailable.htm

I would also suggest a Devon 2000 though. That was my first saddle as a kid and it fit my 4'11 self wonderfully as well as a wide variety of horses (in a wide tree). I loved the close contact feel and after many years of riding in antares and butet's I recently went back to that feel in my Tad Coffin b/c I really just can't stand all the fluff and padding. I ride 10x better in the minimal saddles.

But like you said panel shape and other factors go into fit so it's hard to say for sure what WILL fit without a trial of some sort.

splash2009
Apr. 5, 2009, 05:24 PM
Hi
I am 5'2" and petite. I bought a Black Country Saddle after trying aobut 8 different saddles that just wouldn't fit.
However I jsut sold my horse and now need to sell my saddle. If you'd like to try it and see it please let me know and I can send it to you on trial. Its a 16.5 MW Quantum, in demo condition as I hardly have used it and when I did I always cleaned it after:cool:
Helene

Ty2003
Apr. 5, 2009, 06:25 PM
I just went through this myself! I am barely 5 ft tall and when I originally started looking I weighed about 30 lbs more than I do now (ugh!). Anyway, I started looking for 17" saddles with 0 flaps and had a really hard time finding one (I wanted used). I finally found a 17"/0 flap Butet a few months ago but when I sat in it it was HUGE. I didn't realize how much my butt had shrunk :-) Anyway, I ended up finding a beautiful Butet on ebay (of all places). It's a 16" flat seat with a 0 flap and I absolutely love it. It's like it was made for me! The best part was that I only paid $2000 for it - and it's in amazing shape. I think it was fate because it was exactly my size and not one other person bid on it. Anyway, that's what I recommend. Although I did try the Antares in a 0 flap and also liked it. I just couldn't find a used one in the right seat size.

HunterObsession
Apr. 5, 2009, 07:12 PM
My entire barn is made up of shorites except for 2 giants haha. All of us shorties have a Beval saddle and they work great for us. I am 5 ft. 2 in. on a good day and the Beval Natural works great for me. The other shorties at my barn also have Naturals, Butets, or Devon's. I love my saddle and def. think that you should contact Beval to see about trying some of their saddles! Good luck with your search and if you have questions about the Beval Natural I would be glad to answer them.

Little Indian
Apr. 5, 2009, 07:25 PM
I'm 5' and the ONLY saddle I have ever had fit me correctly (and my horse) is the Tad Coffin I just got. It is totally flat. No blocks at all, anywhere. It's the only way I can get my leg around my horses!

AHC
Apr. 5, 2009, 07:33 PM
I'm with Little Indian. 5'1" on a tall day, and I love my Tad Coffin. Mine has a small knee block, but not much other padding. Fits me, fits my 16.3, big shouldered, round wb mare.

Got it used, so didn't have to pay full price.

Lori
Apr. 5, 2009, 10:37 PM
I am 4'9" and I have a 15" County Stabilizer XTR with the flap custom cut for my leg. I am short from hip to knee, so custom was the only way to go.

Kirsten
Apr. 5, 2009, 10:40 PM
I'm about 5'2" and change, and I ride very comfortably in a 16" Bates Caprilli. I used to ride in a 16.5" PDN (flat flaps, no rolls).

lintesia
Apr. 7, 2009, 12:51 AM
I'm 5' 2" and am very happy with my CWD (16 1/2" seat). I bought one a while back and couldn't do two point comfortably and was able to return it to CWD. They have since come out with an alternate pommel design and for me it works just fine! The rep had the knee rolls padded up so that they would take up the space between my knee and the flap. Also, I had always had a 17" seat, but the 16" 1/2 really puts me a good balance. Previously I had an Antares and found it challenging to get my leg under me (it always felt a wee bit forward). I don't have this problem at all with the CWD.

Equilibrium
Apr. 7, 2009, 01:18 AM
This thread couldn't come at a better time as I'm shopping for a new saddle, I'm only 5'1", but am worried if I buy a smaller saddle it's not going to fit my warmblood properly. And to be honest, I have to ride 3 in this saddle. I don't have the choice of getting a special saddle for all 3. And one only hacks around to keep him fit.

I'm looking at 16.5 inches. Judging from the comments here, it doesn't seem as if the size matters for bigger horses or what should I look for?

Thanks
Terri

HARROLDhasmyheart
Apr. 7, 2009, 01:27 AM
This thread couldn't come at a better time as I'm shopping for a new saddle, I'm only 5'1", but am worried if I buy a smaller saddle it's not going to fit my warmblood properly. And to be honest, I have to ride 3 in this saddle. I don't have the choice of getting a special saddle for all 3. And one only hacks around to keep him fit.

I'm looking at 16.5 inches. Judging from the comments here, it doesn't seem as if the size matters for bigger horses or what should I look for?

Thanks
Terri

Look for what fits YOU. It has to fit the horse, of course (oh stupid rhymes), but it also needs to fit you. If you have 3, you'll be spending a lot of time in the saddle and it is miserable riding in one that doesn't fit well.

As I'm sure has been mentioned, consider going custom if your budget allows. I'm VERY short (5'0" and at 19 not getting any taller), and was lucky enough to get a custom Antares a few years back. The flap size is "0," and anyone else who rides in my saddle looks absolutely ridiculous! I love it though, because there's not a whole lot of extra leather under my peanut legs; it's very comfortable while providing excellent contact.

Shortstroke
Apr. 7, 2009, 11:20 AM
I'm 5'1". Had a Tad Coffin and did not care for it. Try the Steubben Edelweiss NT Deluxe in a 16.5. It has a half-deep seat, short points, wool flocking. It fits me to a T and I can really get my leg down and around. I bet you'll like it.

JB
Apr. 7, 2009, 11:56 AM
This thread couldn't come at a better time as I'm shopping for a new saddle, I'm only 5'1", but am worried if I buy a smaller saddle it's not going to fit my warmblood properly. And to be honest, I have to ride 3 in this saddle. I don't have the choice of getting a special saddle for all 3. And one only hacks around to keep him fit.
You'll need to fit the widest horse first, as you can always use a little extra padding for the ones less wide. Hopefully there is not a HUGE disparity in widths between the widest and the narrowest. Also, the front-back shape should be for the curvier horse (who may or may not be the widest horse). It's really difficult to fit a too-straight saddle for a curvy horse, much easier to fit a curvier tree to a straighter horse. Not ideal *for sure*, but the alternatives are worse.


I'm looking at 16.5 inches. Judging from the comments here, it doesn't seem as if the size matters for bigger horses or what should I look for?

Thanks
Terri
You can get into trouble if you start looking at pony saddles, as things are just typically smaller - smaller panels, narrower channel - and those can be problematic for a bigger horse. But 16.5" seats are common for horse-size saddles, so as long as you make sure it fits both you and the horse(s), you're unlikely to run into serious issues in that regard. Trying to put pony saddles on big horses though doesn't usually work well from the horse's point of view.

Equilibrium
Apr. 7, 2009, 12:41 PM
What has gotten me confused is, over in Ireland, basically if it's under 17 inches they classify it as a pony saddle.

I plan on having a saddle fitter come and see what works best for the 3. Two of the horses are definitely the same body type with the same withers as they are half sisters - a help. Then I have my ex-chaser Frank who stays in shape mentally and physically by going on little hacks and small flat work 4 or 5 days a week. He had a very bad hock injury during his racing days.

Thanks so much for all your help guys as I very rarely post on the H/J section.

Oh and I am looking at the Stubben Edelweiss as well so nice to hear good comments about that particular saddle.

Terri

mvp
Apr. 7, 2009, 01:16 PM
Thanks to the peeps of all sizes who have rushed in to help! Your ideas and experiences is invaluable to me.

So here's my broad technical question-- Does a saddle built for a longer femur encourage all of you guys to kick your lower leg out behind you and pivot on your knee?

This happens to me all the time, but less when I'm really, really fit. I assumed it was my bad, so I stayed deeply ashamed in a closet with only 17 inch saddles for company. But I often knew that I was trying to get my thigh up against the knee pads and choosing a "toilet seat" or sorts or putting my upper body too far forward at the two-point was an effort to reach the pockets.

And a spin-off question related to buying a 16 incher. I'm not sure that I'll have that desired hand between the back of my butt and the edge of the cantle in a saddle this small. But, when I look at pictures of BNTs in, say _Practical Horseman_ I'll be damned if it doesn't look like they are usually riding in saddles that look too small by my old-school standards. They benefit from the long-femur no-a$$ conformation that George wants, but their knees and buns look closer to the borders of their saddles than do mine.

Have I been riding in saddles too big for years and years? If so, I'm so done. I want all the help that others get from their padded, "too small" saddles.

Odds and ends-- Thanks so much for the warnings about pony-sized saddles on horse-sized backs. I'd love to get out of the adult-priced saddle if that were a bonus waiting for me. Has anyone out there tried something like a Wide 16 Pessoa on a legitimate horse? These saddles tend to fit lots of them reasonably well and one would be great for my wallet if it worked for me and my gelding. I have a nice narrow saddle, so I'm really in the market for one that will fit a large to down-right chunky horse.

Also, I sometimes imagine myself at a huge but common fork in the road. One path leads toward a lovely but quite custom and expensive saddle. I'd buy that if I could really keep the promise that This Is The Last One. That promise has been made and broken for saddles at all prices in the past.....my word is dirt.

The other path is buy a relatively cheap and/or used (Under 1K) one that fits me and at least doesn't hurt my current horse. I don't mind being a disloyal-- a "player"?-- with respect to my saddle partners when they are relatively inexpensive to begin with. Nice attitude, huh?

I wish these options didn't seem mutually exclusive or to lead me in different research directions.

I had not thought of Stubben as a candidate close contact saddle; I will open my mind. I think I'd like a Taddie, but I'm not sure these are a good investment new or used. They don't fit all and their leather is just so soft and fragile. The Bates is a good idea, but the hour-glassy panels don't work for the horse. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

The score as of today: I have called Trumball Mountain about a Black Country, and CWD after a very helpful PM from a helpful Short Chick. I'd also like to find the perfect County Stabilizer.

Before I absolutely buy, however, I'm going to try to find some opportunities to sit in off-the-rack, cheaper kiddie saddles. I at least need to investigate that side of the fork in the road with equal vigor.

Thanks for reading!

kookicat
Apr. 7, 2009, 01:38 PM
Don't all gasp at once :lol: but would a synthetic saddle be an option for you, OP? :)

http://www.wintec.net.au/products/jumpCrossCountry/closeContact.html

This one sounds like you can change the fittings around a bit to make it more of a custom fit. Might be worth a try, and I think they're pretty cheap, so it won't break the bank! ;)

JB
Apr. 7, 2009, 02:11 PM
And a spin-off question related to buying a 16 incher. I'm not sure that I'll have that desired hand between the back of my butt and the edge of the cantle in a saddle this small. But, when I look at pictures of BNTs in, say _Practical Horseman_ I'll be damned if it doesn't look like they are usually riding in saddles that look too small by my old-school standards. They benefit from the long-femur no-a$$ conformation that George wants, but their knees and buns look closer to the borders of their saddles than do mine.

Have I been riding in saddles too big for years and years? If so, I'm so done. I want all the help that others get from their padded, "too small" saddles.
IMVHO, many people ride in a saddle that's too small. Pros included. I know the look you're talking about, and it's tooo small.


Also, I sometimes imagine myself at a huge but common fork in the road. One path leads toward a lovely but quite custom and expensive saddle. I'd buy that if I could really keep the promise that This Is The Last One. That promise has been made and broken for saddles at all prices in the past.....my word is dirt.
Anyone who thinks they can keep that promise is nearly always deluding themselves :lol: The only way it can work is if you get it substantially wide enough, know how to pad appropriately when the horse is out of shape, you don't grow, and you don't sell that horse :winkgrin: So yes, it *can* be done, but you have to look to the future of that horse, and any promises go out the window with a new horse. If if you get really fat. Or really skinny. Or grow 3" over a Summer :lol:


The other path is buy a relatively cheap and/or used (Under 1K) one that fits me and at least doesn't hurt my current horse. I don't mind being a disloyal-- a "player"?-- with respect to my saddle partners when they are relatively inexpensive to begin with. Nice attitude, huh?
It's a GREAT attitude actually!! I seriously eyeball the Dover brand saddles, HDRs, and Collegiates, as they are fine quality, a great price, and because they don't cost much to begin with, even selling them for 1/2 their new price still doesn't leave you hugely in the hole. If they fit you and the horse, there's *absolutely* nothing wrong with sub-$1000k saddles. Duett saddles fit this category too (at least the Hunter models, dressage is a bit over $1k).


I wish these options didn't seem mutually exclusive or to lead me in different research directions.
They aren't mutually exclusive :) Someone on this forum started a thread a while ago about falling in love with a "cheap" saddle (that was the subject line, something like that), and it was, iirc, a Collegiate. Great read actually, if you can find it.


I had not thought of Stubben as a candidate close contact saddle; I will open my mind.
The Edleweiss is a pretty nice saddle. I've considered it several times, but my horses have been far too wide for it.


The score as of today: I have called Trumball Mountain about a Black Country,
I would love to know what you hear from TM. I loved doing business with them so much, it will be nice to know their thoughts on fitting someone of your stature :)


Before I absolutely buy, however, I'm going to try to find some opportunities to sit in off-the-rack, cheaper kiddie saddles. I at least need to investigate that side of the fork in the road with equal vigor.
Heck yeah! Sit in anything and everything you can get your hands on, on your horse. You never know where Prince Charming is hiding :cool:

mvp
Apr. 7, 2009, 02:36 PM
I need to say this out loud as part of my "recovery." I want a pretty saddle!

The rationalization: You Don't Understand. I grew up po' folks, riding the bad ones and being "effective" rather than "pretty." Now that I'm all grown up and good at my expensive hobby, I want to have this small corner of my life look nice and feel nice. You should see what I drive versus what my horse drives, for example.

This does not mean that I want a Butet or other Saddle du Jour. I'm so uppity that I find myself holding contempt for those who lose the same 50% or so on an expensive saddle rather than a cheap one. Oh, wait, that's me at least once.... nice example of projection, eh?

Those of you helping me with the cheap saddle option, thanks for the reality check. I will pursue that path with effort. Along these lines: Anyone have a source that will ship many saddles for little money? I don't mind putting lots of dough on my credit card temporarily, but I'd like to assemble a set to compare. At least one 16 incher will have to be ridden in enough to make my horse sweat. Is Dover the obvious place to try or are there others?

Thanks again!

JB
Apr. 7, 2009, 02:59 PM
I need to say this out loud as part of my "recovery." I want a pretty saddle!

The rationalization: You Don't Understand. I grew up po' folks, riding the bad ones and being "effective" rather than "pretty." Now that I'm all grown up and good at my expensive hobby, I want to have this small corner of my life look nice and feel nice. You should see what I drive versus what my horse drives, for example.
Hey, my truck is a '88 F250, and my car is a '91 Corolla. Trailer = 2002 Trail-et :lol:


This does not mean that I want a Butet or other Saddle du Jour. I'm so uppity that I find myself holding contempt for those who lose the same 50% or so on an expensive saddle rather than a cheap one. Oh, wait, that's me at least once.... nice example of projection, eh?
*giggle*


Those of you helping me with the cheap saddle option, thanks for the reality check. I will pursue that path with effort.
I forgot also - Toulouse as a lesser $$ model, either the Padjette or the Premia. Unless someone is a REAL Saddle Snob, I bet 99.9999 Ivory Pure of people out there cannot tell if you have a County or an HDR or a Toulouse or a BdH or a Collegiate or a Dover Circuit if they cannot see some tell-tale signature mark (like the Toulouse Padjette has an extra piece of leather down where the stirrup leather runs across the bottom of the flap).


Along these lines: Anyone have a source that will ship many saddles for little money? I don't mind putting lots of dough on my credit card temporarily, but I'd like to assemble a set to compare. At least one 16 incher will have to be ridden in enough to make my horse sweat. Is Dover the obvious place to try or are there others?
[/quote]
Is your "little money" referring to the shipping fees? If so, you really will be hardpressed to find anything less than $35/saddle or, best I saw, was $45/2 saddles (Duett). I'm sure some companies will send out more saddles at a time, but the pure fact remains that saddles are bulky items. It DOES help to lower the cost of shipping per saddle to have multiples shipped, as it doesn't take twice the size of the box to ship 2 as to ship 1. Trumbull and Duett of course are 2 others that will ship multiples.

Be careful in looking at some places when trying. For example, www.allsaddles.com has a trial policy that does not refund money back, they only offer store credit.

Also, Rick's Heritage (www.saddlesource.com) only lets you ride in the saddle for 10 minutes :rolleyes: and you have to wrap the leathers. Trumbull lets you REALLY ride in the saddle, unwrapped leathers and all. Duett had a policy more similar to Rick's - had to put the leathers under the top flap, which really just felt wrong. But at least you are allowed to actually ride in it.

So, keep those things in mind too when looking for places that will ship trials saddles to you :)