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Jolie_
Oct. 14, 2009, 01:23 PM
So I will start by saying that I feel absolutely lost in the jungle of saddle codes/terms. I have just started looking for a used saddle, budget of max $2K

I am currently riding in an Stubben edelweiss c.s (all purpose) it has the codes 5820399 31 and one other panel a 181. But it does not fit my horse, me I think it fits fine but don't really have any comparison with others.

Here are two pics of my horse as I don't even really know how to measure her, or how to describe her...she seems narrow compared to the big warmbloods at our barn but my saddle currently is definitly to narrow in behind the shoulders (clearance is fine on withers):

side: http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a253/Tonto9/Meadford%20Meadows/IMG_0380-1.jpg
front: http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a253/Tonto9/Meadford%20Meadows/joliefront.jpg

I have been putting off getting a new saddle as was debating selling her, but the guilt of knowing it is not fitting correctly is weighing heavily so would like to get something in the new year.

So I am hoping people can direct me to types of saddles that they think would fit or instructions if there are any one how to measure? I know this is just the beginning of a long journey but any tips suggestions would be helpful.

SkipChange
Oct. 14, 2009, 01:29 PM
Well I barely have a clue about saddle fit either, I'm sure there will be plenty of COTHers offering their wisdom. I would highly recommend having a saddle fitter come out and take a look at your horse and check a potential saddle, often times saddle fitters have a selection of saddles (new or used) for you to choose from.

jn4jenny
Oct. 14, 2009, 01:53 PM
Hey, don't feel bad...we all started in your shoes.

Start here. Click through every link in their left hand column marked "Saddle Fitting" or "fitting info". You'll learn a lot. Then come back and ask follow-up questions.
http://www.trumbullmtn.com/

Mimi La Rue
Oct. 14, 2009, 01:56 PM
I too am clueless about saddle fit. :( I used to think saddle shopping was exciting but now I dread it. I finally found a great saddle (Amerigo Close Contact) I love and my horse seems to like (fingers crossed) so far too, but we tried plenty of saddles before this one.

I really just came in here to comment on how cute your mare is! ;)

KateKat
Oct. 14, 2009, 03:55 PM
no help here either, although there really are some super saddle experts on here who can provide you with a lot of help.

I love you mare too, shes adorable!

SprinklerBandit
Oct. 14, 2009, 06:33 PM
I'd definitely try a professional (non brand-affiliated) fitter. If there's one in your area, that's an excellent investment.

If you're like me and there isn't one, then Trumbull Mountain is the next best thing. I didn't end up using them, but they were polite, professional, and helpful. I was impressed.

Good luck! Your horse is adorable.

Bogie
Oct. 14, 2009, 08:13 PM
It would help to see photos of your Stubben on your horse. Your saddle has a 31 cm tree, which is about a medium for that brand. If we can see how the panel shape works on your horse and whether your current saddle is too narrow/too wide/just right it will help. You said you think your saddle is too narrow. Does it sit pommel high?

Of course the best thing would be to have a saddle fitter come out and show you how to evaluate saddle fit and to recommend different brands. It's best to work with someone who is not repping a specific brand. It may well be that a good saddle fitter can fix your current saddle by adjusting the flocking . . . no new saddle needed if that's the case. That generally costs me about $100.

However, we all like to play the saddle fit game :D.

For photos:
No saddle pad.
True side view.
View from the front to see how much clearance you have over the withers and how the panel fits over her shoulder.
View from the back to see the way the gullet clears the spine.

Jolie_
Oct. 14, 2009, 09:15 PM
Thanks everyone - I love that website, will have to read all the links again because kinda information overload :)

Yeah, I think my saddle is too narrow but after just reading about the fit maybe it is just the angle?? The reason I think it is to narrow is because she doesn't sweat evenly,so I think it is pinching her. There has always had a dry patch where the front panel(?) rests behind her shoulder, about the place where I am going to have to chalk the first line in the fitting template. The patch has gotten worse in the last year, before was about the size of a quarter now would say almost the size of a closed fist. As well the back of the saddle doesn't sit down correctly, which I noticed last week when lunging it does bounce a little if that makes any sense.

Thankfully my coach is great so will get her input as well. Unfortunately I am in a smaller town in a smaller province of Canada, but will ask about saddle fitter (I am kicking myself in the arse cause there was an antares rep out for a big show...). If it is something as simple as reflocking(term?) then comes at a good time as I give Jolie January and February off (gotta love Canada winters).

Oh gosh I am going to take pictures tomorrow and will upload them, should I take pictures with girth on? Interested to hear what you all think when it is on her, although I may have to edit the pictures to hide some of my hideous clipping job, lol.

SEPowell
Oct. 14, 2009, 09:44 PM
Can't comment on saddle fit, but like Mimi La Rue, I have to tell you your mare is way too cute. I want those spotted legs!

Jolie_
Oct. 16, 2009, 08:36 AM
Thanks those spotted legs are a favorite with kids at shows :)

Here is an album of pics with current saddle:
http://s13.photobucket.com/albums/a253/Tonto9/current%20saddle/

I tried to find the bender thing to make a template yesterday but none of the small town stores have it but will try staples this week-end. Now that I am looking it is very addictive stuff.

jn4jenny
Oct. 16, 2009, 09:38 AM
Yep, looks like the saddle is too narrow. It actually looks *almost* okay in the pictures--maybe placed just a smide too far forward, but otherwise fine--but the minute you add any padding, it's going to be too tight. The panel shape also looks not quite right for your mare's topline--look at the photos from the back. The panels don't sit flush with the horse's back, and the upswept back of the saddle comes up and off the horse's back (hence why you're seeing the rocking on the lunge line).

I'm not convinced that it's beyond saving, though. If you could find someone to widen the tree by one size (about $300) and change some flocking around, it might actually work for this mare. It wouldn't be a custom fit, but I think you could have it altered enough to make it comfortable for her. I'm picturing that if the saddle was widened and a saddler took out a little bit of flocking from the middle of the panel, the panel might sit more correctly on her back.

Bogie
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:03 AM
I agree that the saddle doesn't fit but it looks close. I'd have someone try removing some flocking before getting the tree widened. It all depends on how fully flocked the panels are now. Are they squishy (not stuffed all the way) or hard?

I think you also need to slide the saddle back about 2". It looks like it's sitting too far up on her shoulder. That might help too.

forestergirl99
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:58 AM
I don't think the saddle is too bad. It needs a few adjustments, but it's not too bad. I think it is too far forward though. When you put the saddle on her next time, slowly slide it back until if feels like it doesn't want to move back anymore. Almost as if it has fallen into a little groove, and got stuck. That is where your saddle should sit.

Renn/aissance
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:10 AM
Yep, looks like the saddle is too narrow. It actually looks *almost* okay in the pictures--maybe placed just a smide too far forward, but otherwise fine--but the minute you add any padding, it's going to be too tight. The panel shape also looks not quite right for your mare's topline--look at the photos from the back. The panels don't sit flush with the horse's back, and the upswept back of the saddle comes up and off the horse's back (hence why you're seeing the rocking on the lunge line).

I'm not convinced that it's beyond saving, though. If you could find someone to widen the tree by one size (about $300) and change some flocking around, it might actually work for this mare. It wouldn't be a custom fit, but I think you could have it altered enough to make it comfortable for her. I'm picturing that if the saddle was widened and a saddler took out a little bit of flocking from the middle of the panel, the panel might sit more correctly on her back.

I'm not sure I agree that it is necessarily worth saving. To me the saddle looks not only too tight, but also close to the wither. If you open up the shoulder panels to give that big shoulder more room, I think the saddle will sit down closer to the wither. The panels in the rear also sit on top of her back, rather than around her back; the bottom edges are straight, not angled.

OP, can you tell us more about your preferences for how saddles fit you, and what you and your mare do? That will help us give suggestions that will suit you, not just your mare.

Jolie_
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the replies. I agree it is to far forward, problem is that when I put it back to where I think it should rest (yup ~2" back) the girth looks like it is to far back but maybe I am just not use to seeing the girth that far back.

I would like to save my saddle and $ but I am not sure there is anyone around my area that can widen a saddle correctly and or change flocking, so that might be out of the running. Although the flocking is more hard, not squishy.

As for some background - I rode english when I was younger but in teens switched to western, and then when I got back into riding ~3yrs ago went back into english. So my saddle was the first that I have really ridden in and was picked mostly because I wanted a deeper seat (as the ones with flatter seats and little leather was to much of a change at that point) and it felt good, and seemed to fit Jolie. I am not sure what my preference is now as I haven't tried many other saddles, but I don't have any problems with my saddle (or nothing that I can blame my saddle on), so would like to stay within a similar types (i.e. nothing flat, knee rolls).

We do low level jumpers (~3') and go to some hunter shows to get out and around.

jn4jenny
Oct. 16, 2009, 12:17 PM
Thanks for the replies. I agree it is to far forward, problem is that when I put it back to where I think it should rest (yup ~2" back) the girth looks like it is to far back but maybe I am just not use to seeing the girth that far back.

Two words: anatomic girth. Google it. You can get them as cheaply as $70. You can also girth your saddle up on the front two billets rather than the back two, provided that does not throw the balance off on the seat. That will buy you back a quick and easy inch.
http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=VTO&Product_Code=CCGTE&Category_Code=G


I would like to save my saddle and $ but I am not sure there is anyone around my area that can widen a saddle correctly and or change flocking, so that might be out of the running. Although the flocking is more hard, not squishy.

So tell us where you are and we'll give you your options. In some areas, there really isn't anyone. In other areas, there is someone who may be hiding under the woodwork (example: some County saddle fitters will adjust other kinds of saddle if you ask nicely and smile big, or a saddle fitter who passes through that area on the way to certain big shows, etc.). It really would be best to have a professional make this call; us armchair saddlers on COTH are, by and large, not professionals.

You can also send the saddle off via mail for adjustment. Yes in a perfect world it could be done in the barn with your horse present, but you can get a reasonable job done with good wither tracings. If you are really anal, you can even take tracings every inch or two along the horse's entire back, which gives the saddler a REALLY good idea of how to adjust it. Colin Kimball-Davis does it for the bargain price of $125 (additional cost if you want the flocking adjusted too).


I am not sure what my preference is now as I haven't tried many other saddles, but I don't have any problems with my saddle (or nothing that I can blame my saddle on), so would like to stay within a similar types (i.e. nothing flat, knee rolls).

FWIW, if you do decide to just get something else, your horse doesn't look like a difficult fit to me. Yes she's probably a medium wide, which is a little bit of a hassle, but her topline is quite straightforward and there's nothing funky going on with her shoulder. You shouldn't have too much trouble (not like some of us, like Renn and myself, who went to hell and back to find a saddle and ended up paying $3000+.)

If your horse was a definite lifer, I would advise you to talk to Trumbull Mountain about a Black Country saddle. They are fully custom at $2500, every option you can imagine offered at that price + fitted directly to tracings by master saddlers in England. But really, seriously, your horse is a pretty straightforward fit. You can get the job done for $1000 or less.

MILOUTE55
Oct. 16, 2009, 12:21 PM
I'm not sure I agree that it is necessarily worth saving. To me the saddle looks not only too tight, but also close to the wither.

I really don't think this saddle sits too close to the wither....
I don't believe there is enough stuffing towards the front of the panels to have some removed.


Have a nice day!

Amandine

Jolie_
Oct. 16, 2009, 01:30 PM
Two words: anatomic girth. Google it. You can get them as cheaply as $70. You can also girth your saddle up on the front two billets rather than the back two, provided that does not throw the balance off on the seat. That will buy you back a quick and easy inch.
http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=VTO&Product_Code=CCGTE&Category_Code=G

So tell us where you are and we'll give you your options. In some areas, there really isn't anyone.

I saw anatomic girths but thought they were for saddles that slipped forward as they are still back at the elbow just go forward under the barrel? Or am I looking at the wrong ones. Right now I do up my girth on the first two straps.

I am in annapolis valley, Nova Scotia, Canada.

jn4jenny
Oct. 16, 2009, 01:39 PM
I saw anatomic girths but thought they were for saddles that slipped forward as they are still back at the elbow just go forward under the barrel? Or am I looking at the wrong ones. Right now I do up my girth on the first two straps.

I am in annapolis valley, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Your saddle probably WOULD slip forward if it weren't too narrow for your horse (which makes it pinch instead of moving forward).

Anatomic girths are for anyone who's got a forward girth groove and needs to have the saddle billets behind that girth groove. Regardless of whether the saddle scoots forward.

But again, not something you should run out and buy until you've had a pro evaluate the saddle. If the saddle is a lost cause, then there's no need to run out and get a girth!