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2Jakes
Dec. 21, 2009, 06:05 PM
OK, I am among the many who are having, or have had, saddle fit issues.

I have a fit, 10 year old Foxtrotter gelding. He is 15.2 and has a narrow to medium frame. We ride 10-15 hours a week, all gaits, on the trail.

I really prefer to ride bareback but apparently I have pointy seatbones and can't find padding enough to protect Jake's back from pressure points under my seat. Treeless was comfy for my seat but still wore out his back.

So I have to find a treed saddle that is close contact and that has a forgiving enough seat to keep me from being in agony. I've read that the Specialized saddles are infinitely adjustable for horse and can be changed as horse's condition changes etc...that much soulds great...but how are the rider seats?

Any input on models would be apprecaited too. Good, bad, or ugly...all input welcomed. I just ordered another brand saddle that I had really high hopes for...waited 4 weeks for it...finally got it...leather and workmanship was great but it was way too wide (I sent in tracings but there is no way they used them), Jake HATED it (I'm lucky he didn't just buck me off, it was that bad) and now I am stuck selling it. This time I intend to get more opinions, referrals and try a demo!

KonaPony
Dec. 21, 2009, 07:35 PM
I rode a Specialized Trailmaster for a while. It was for a Foxtrotter mare (not my horse) who was very, very wide. The owner was very happy with the way it fit her horse and the way she could change the shims as needed (the horse tended to lose/gain weight dramatically if the owner wasn't very careful). The mare was real picky about saddle fit due to issues in the past, and she always seemed happy with it, too.

The owner and I both felt the seat was very hard, and we always used a seat saver. It was better that way, but I never felt that it was very comfortable for me. I think that now you can order extra padding in the seat, but I have no experience with that.

The owner and I both felt very secure in the saddle (the horse was a nutter, so that was an important factor in saddle choice...)

It might a good idea to order from a rep rather than directly from the manufacturer. The first saddle the owner received felt very different to both of us than the demo saddle had, and not in a good way. The manufacturer insisted there was nothing different or wrong (maybe we're just princess and the pea types, but even so!). The rep the owner had actually ordered through was flexible enough to work with the owner so she could get a replacement without losing too much money. The second saddle was an improvement.

Raleigh's Mom
Dec. 21, 2009, 08:39 PM
I bought a Specialized Trailmaster last December for my Arab. I rode in it for about 6 months, including completing two LD endurance rides with all A's on the back. My horse seemed very comfortable in the saddle, although I never quite was able to feel really balanced in the western seat. I ended up selling the saddle and am now in a dressage saddle.

I do think the saddles are very well made, and I love the pad/shimming concept. I had my saddle fitted my a Specialized dealer and I felt that it was a very good fit. In hindsight, I probably would have been happy in the International model.

I highly recommend contacting Julie Capaldi. She fit my saddle for me (I bought directly from the manufacturer) and usually has several demos available. She is knowledgeable and super nice.

http://www.mysaddlefits.com/

certifiedgirl
Dec. 22, 2009, 12:18 AM
I've had mine about 10 months, its a Trailmaster model with the endurance seat (flatter seat) and I love it. I had it fitted to my gelding and then I ordered shims and tried to fit them for my mare. I later had the fitters check her shims and they only had to adjust one. Its great being able to adjust and tweak the fit as needed.l
My horses go really well in this saddle and my mare has completed two LD endurance rides last season with no back soreness or rubs.

I have heard from others they think the seat is too hard, but I find the saddle to be quite comfortable (I am used to riding in a flat jump saddle however).

The eurolight model can be ordered with a fleece seat that I've heard is really comfy!

Painted Horse
Dec. 22, 2009, 01:43 AM
I've had mine for 10+ years. It has held up well. they are a lightweight saddle. Mine is only about 20-23 lbs. My daughter use it mostly. I prefer my custom built western saddle. My daughters use a wool seat cushion.

My specialized saddle is a western saddle with a horn. It has the smaller cut back skirt. We use it mostly on a Arab/Saddlebred gelding. But we have used it on some of my foxtrotter mares. I've completed several 50 mile endurance rides in it.

Yes you can adjust the panels. I adjusted them once when I first got the saddle and have never touched them since. Regardless of which horse I throw it on. I don't seem to be having any fit problems.

Prices have almost tripled since I bought mine. Wow, I had not realized thay have gotten that expensive. Maybe I'll take better care of it.

2Jakes
Dec. 22, 2009, 08:23 PM
Thanks everyone for the input! Good information from all. Anyone tried the gel seat option? I am also wondering that since the Eurolight seat is interchangeable would there be a way to supplement padding in strategic places?

Raleigh...thanks for the link to the rep! A friend from another board recommended a rep here in FL so I am going to try her first since she lives in the same town as a good friend of mine, but your rep will definitely be a most excellent back up.

Any more info or ideas are much appreciated! Thanks to all and Happy Holidays!!

psidio
Dec. 22, 2009, 11:44 PM
Hi,

I have two Specialized Saddles.Both are International models. The seats run a bit smaller than other brands. Their 16 inch feels more like a 15 or 15 1/2.

The key to them is change the fitting about every three months or so to make sure it is as close as possible. Also do try the different settings for the stirrups. There are three different setting from forward to rearward for this. It makes a big difference in being balanced.

I find the cushioned seat to be very comfortable. We have the tuck and roll type of cushion.

When you have this saddle fitted correctly, there is nothing like it. We did The Old Dominion 100,( on the old trail ) and Tevis with no breast collar or crupper, and riding with a moderately loose girth. The saddle stayed put.

I got a second one for my younger horse, as I wanted to keep the settings perfect for each horse. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to get it right where I want it.

Yours

Paul N. Sidio
Spokane MO

Halcyon Days
Dec. 26, 2009, 08:34 PM
Bought one last spring, a Trailmaster with the deeper seat--trail option, and HATED it! Rode it in a 50 miler and was almost in tears--rubbed raw, no amount of desitin or anti-monkey butt powder was improving the situation. I managed to complete the ride only to have my horse trot out crooked and get pulled. He now has white hairs both sides of his back. Yes, you could make an argument that that is user error, but the reps who had originally said they'd be in my area in weeks and would fit it for me totally dropped the ball. I don't like "tinkering" with things, had to beg someone else who had a specialized to help, and he still went backsore and lame. :( I thought it looked like something someone cut out in a garage with a box knife, not the quality of saddle I'm used to riding, and the seat is HARD! Even a wool sheepskin didn't make it comfortable. I wanted to have a party when I sold the blasted thing and shipped it out. UGH

Jingo-ace
Dec. 26, 2009, 10:48 PM
There is also a Specialized saddle group on Yahoo groups if you go look for it. You probably can meet lots of other Specialized Saddle owners on there, & ask tons of questions from people who currently own & ride this exact saddle.

http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=specialized+saddles

I own one endurance model that is my absolute FAVORITE saddle, and I've sold it once (regretted selling it) & then bought it back again later. I would purchase another if I had the moolah, as they are easy to fit to different horses & easy to ride for long distances... just imho.

:) J

Just thought of another site for you to check - endurance net or ride camp -
there are several riders on there that use specialized saddles too - you may find more info there from current users. As well as the company's website is easy to locate rfom the ride-camp site...
http://www.endurance.net/

2Jakes
Dec. 28, 2009, 04:27 PM
Bought one last spring, a Trailmaster with the deeper seat--trail option, and HATED it! Rode it in a 50 miler and was almost in tears--rubbed raw, no amount of desitin or anti-monkey butt powder was improving the situation. I managed to complete the ride only to have my horse trot out crooked and get pulled. He now has white hairs both sides of his back. Yes, you could make an argument that that is user error, but the reps who had originally said they'd be in my area in weeks and would fit it for me totally dropped the ball. I don't like "tinkering" with things, had to beg someone else who had a specialized to help, and he still went backsore and lame. :( I thought it looked like something someone cut out in a garage with a box knife, not the quality of saddle I'm used to riding, and the seat is HARD! Even a wool sheepskin didn't make it comfortable. I wanted to have a party when I sold the blasted thing and shipped it out. UGH

Halcyon,
Thanks for the input...your luck sounds like mine lately...I can't make up my mind at all on what saddle to try next...I am riding in a Wintec english for now...horse seems fine in it but I am not loving it. Sheepskin helped a little but not much. I got a recommendation for a Supracor seat saver and I ordered one but it'll be 10 days to get here :(.

2Jakes
Dec. 28, 2009, 04:31 PM
There is also a Specialized saddle group on Yahoo groups if you go look for it.

I own one endurance model that is my absolute FAVORITE saddle, and I've sold it once (regretted selling it) & then bought it back again later. I would purchase another if I had the moolah,

Thanks Jingo! I joined the yahoo group and have seen the endurance.net sites. I am conflicted on the Specializeds...some good reports, others not so good...I will try a demo and meet with rep...I need to see one in person and put my hands on it.

Bank of Dad
Dec. 28, 2009, 05:15 PM
Maybe a lot has to do with how you are built and how your horse goes. My barn mate got one, the endurance model, for her big long legged 1/2 arab. She loves it. She spent days shimming it to fit him as good as possible. She uses a sheepskin pad on the seat. She loves how it holds her legs in place.

So I got on it, right before my hip surgery. I hated it. Now, I don't ride her horse, he's too big and too fast, so I'm not used to how he goes. But I felt like I couldn't get my calves on him, and I couldn't move my legs. I am used to an old Stubben Siegfried. I'll try again in the spring.

certifiedgirl
Dec. 28, 2009, 09:11 PM
The fitters I bought my saddle thru let me test ride one for a week before purchase. I knew as soon as I got on it was the right saddle for me. I think they will send a demo saddle to you with a deposit- you might want to talk to someone in your area and see if they do this as well.

2Jakes
Dec. 29, 2009, 10:14 AM
The fitters I bought my saddle thru let me test ride one for a week before purchase. I knew as soon as I got on it was the right saddle for me. I think they will send a demo saddle to you with a deposit- you might want to talk to someone in your area and see if they do this as well.

Yup, I saw on their website that they would send a demo saddle but several people have advised me to go through a rep (here and elsewhere) and someone (here) said that the demo was way different that the saddle that arrived from their order. There is a rep about two hours away from me and I am waiting to hear from her, she has been away for the holidays. Hurry up and wait have been the operatives since I decided to quit using the treeless saddle, I so want this problem solved...sooner rather than later...

Bank of Dad,
I agree it *is* definitely a lot related to rider conformation as well as horse's size, shape and way of going. Plus, what you are used to riding in. I still hope I'll find a saddle that I like and that works for Jake too, when I find it I"ll keep it forever.

jlrcoats
Dec. 29, 2009, 06:03 PM
Do go through a rep. I ordered directly and regretted it. Julie (rep) had to help me out and she came and fitted the saddle. I think if it wasn't for her i would still be waiting for my saddle.
I do LOVE my saddle, a trailmaster. Have ridden several endurance rides with it, the latest one a 50 miler, comfortable saddle for me and my horse. Highly recommend the saddles.