View Full Version : Growing Pains! Saddle fit thread!
Dec. 6, 2009, 09:05 PM
So, my boy has decided to grow again :eek: he has developed more muscle, gained weight and is beginning to mature. So, now my saddle is not fitting right. :no: Currently he is riding in a Harry Dabbs A/O 17 1/2" medium tree. Check out the pics http://s132.photobucket.com/albums/q2/cowgirlnclemson/Saddle/ so you think it is too narrow? I do. :yes: Suggestions on looking for a new saddle for him? FYI I do not live anywhere close to a good English tack shop or a saddle fitter, so it is not like I can just run him somewhere to try on saddles. Would love some thoughts on brands, sizes, etc. that you may feel would fit him. I would love to find a used saddle of the same or better quality as the Harry Dabbs. TIA
Dec. 6, 2009, 11:05 PM
I went through a couple of saddles w/ my horse - got him as a 3 y/o - started off w/ an Ashland - which didn't really fit me or horse, then moved on to a Pessoa GenX - fit both of us great for awhile, then horse matured/muscled up. Tried a slew of saddles - fortunately I was close to a tack shop which would allow us to take several saddles out to "try". Funny I had originally had my heart set on a Bates CC but didn't fit so got the Pessoa; low and behold the next saddle was a Bates - fit him perfectly - we just had to swap out the gullet (which was one of the bonuses to the Bates) Long and short of it - I have a Bates w/a medium wide tree. You might want to see if you can get a hold of one of those Bates measures or another type of measuring tool to start with - then go from there. Several people at my barn have the Bevel Stamford - including the trainer - and her saddle seems to fit most of the horses she rides very well. They are nice saddles + fairly budget friendly.
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:08 AM
Unfortunately you're right. The left side, especially, is pinching those big shoulders of his, and the saddle isn't sitting levelly on his back, which will cause back problems. Based on what I'm seeing--and you really want JB or MVP for this more than you want me, they're better at it--you will want more padding in the back than in the front, because it seems that your saddle is going to want to sit right up against those withers and you want it to sit levelly. You can get a pad with shims for that type of arrangement. That may also mean you need a little more wither and shoulder room in front to fit the pad in. (Honestly, if you're not showing, I'm inclined to tell you to fold a no-bow wrap and use it as a lifter in back, which is also something you could do now to fill in that space between the padding and his back.) His big shoulder may pose a problem for a lot of the saddles you try. What is your price range for saddles?
Gottagrey pointed out the Beval Stamford which may work because it's built for a horse that's reasonably flat. I have only encountered the Stamford in pony size, so can't speak to its width. Beval offers demos they will send to you and all their saddles are on sale this month. If it is in your price range, the World Cup Gold may also work for you. The regular World Cup is my favorite saddle in the world, but I think it will be too tight on your guy's shoulders. It's been awhile since I saw an Ashland in the flesh, but if I remember right, they are fairly flat as well. You want something without a lot of padding in the shoulder area. You can use shims on a saddle pad to fill in wither hollows, but you can't arrange shims to make a saddle not pinch.
Dec. 7, 2009, 11:39 AM
Thank you so much for your help. I sent the pics to a friend of mine that works at The Tack Room in Camden, SC and she has also looked at them to see what they have that may work. He is not sore in his back yet, but like I said he has just hit another growth spurt (wide). He is only 5 and is a quarter horse, so I expect him to get wider within the next year or two. I just want to get a saddle that fits since he has just started over fenced in teh last 5 months and I don't want to cause any easily avoided behavior/training problems if I can avoid it.