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MelanieC
Sep. 27, 2010, 01:55 PM
To those of you who were kind enough to advise me throughout my horse search, I would like to say thank you -- both to those of you who encouraged me, and those who tried to save me from myself. :)

For those who didn't see my previous threads, here's the latest:

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=273419

And the one previous to that:

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=268529

After talking to the PPE vet and getting a second opinion on the radiographs from a surgeon at Oregon State, and doing a LOT of research on OCD, I decided to buy him (for a greatly reduced price).

The surgeon's opinion was that he had a very good chance of never having any soundness issues due to the OCD lesion, which he believes was probably much larger when my horse was young and has healed very well over time on its own, and there was no indication to rush to surgery. The lesion is not on a weight-bearing surface and there does not appear to be any other significant damage to the joint. I will probably have ultrasounds and/or exploratory arthroscopy done at some point in the near future to get a better idea of how it looks in there. If he does need surgery in the future, he's a good candidate for it and I am comfortable with the idea of having it performed and rehabbing him. If he does need to be retired early, he has a fairy godmother who would love to be his retirement home. I know that people's circumstances can change and that there is no guarantee that she would be able to take him 10 years from now even if she still wanted to, but if she can't then I am comfortable knowing that I may need to provide for him throughout his retirement. I would have to be comfortable with that idea with any horse, anyway, since there's no guarantee that any currently sound horse will stay sound. I am a scientist, so I try to be a realist, but I am also an optimist, and I have been known to be sentimental.

I saw a few very nice horses in my search and I knew that if I kept looking I would likely see many more. But I couldn't stop thinking about this one -- I knew the first time I saw him that he was my horse. I figure, I've wanted a horse for over 30 years, so I should get the horse that I really want. I'll post photo links when he comes home this week.

Thanks again everyone! I'll have plenty more questions in the months to come.

inca
Sep. 27, 2010, 01:59 PM
Congratulations and good luck with your new horse!

MEP
Sep. 27, 2010, 02:00 PM
Congratulations! I think it's great that you got 2nd opinions and good information on which to base your decision. Can't wait to see pics and updates! :D

esdressage
Sep. 27, 2010, 02:06 PM
Congratulations!

The second opinion sounds like it was very helpful as you made your decision. I was one who erred on the side of caution in my response previously, but had suggested the second opinion as a way to potentially find some hope for this horse who you had obviously become smitten with :) I'm glad to hear that the second opinion was much more encouraging!

I'm sure that I'm not alone when I say that I am very much looking forward to PHOTOS of your new horse!!!!!

leilatigress
Sep. 27, 2010, 02:12 PM
Grats!! Can't wait to see the pics.

Sheila
Sep. 27, 2010, 02:15 PM
Congrats- photos please!!
Love your thread title- heart 1, head 0...sniff. Love this!

Hampton Bay
Sep. 27, 2010, 03:32 PM
Congrats! I was wondering what you had decided!

We expect lots of pics too, and not JUST when he first gets home :)

princessfluffybritches
Sep. 27, 2010, 03:33 PM
Congrats! I think that you are looking for a partnership with a horse, and a horse you are going to give more patience and understanding to because you like him. You sound like you thought out your decision well. Good luck!

BetterOffRed
Sep. 27, 2010, 03:40 PM
Congratulations Melanie. I didn't want to weigh in on your last few posts, because it felt like your decision was nearly made and your 'heart' was already involved.

Good luck, enjoy your journey with your new horse, and- take the money you saved and put it in a money market account NOT new tack! LOL!

Hampton Bay
Sep. 27, 2010, 05:01 PM
... take the money you saved and put it in a money market account NOT new tack! LOL!

So NOT fun! Wise, but not fun...

But you will need a saddle and bridle and such. And some fun pads. And a pretty halter, and blankets, and brushes, and extra breeches for all that extra riding you will do, and a first aid kit, and shampoo and conditioner...

Welcome to being perpetually broke!

Trevelyan96
Sep. 27, 2010, 05:09 PM
So glad you got the 2nd opinion and decided to give this guy a chance.

Eagerly awaiting the pics!

tollertwins
Sep. 27, 2010, 06:13 PM
:D :D :D

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Sep. 27, 2010, 06:24 PM
I wish you much joy!

horsetales
Sep. 27, 2010, 06:45 PM
Glad you got the second opinion, you really seemed taken with the horse. Hope you two have a great partnership

JGHIRETIRE
Sep. 27, 2010, 06:55 PM
Congrats on your new boy!!
Love the title - heart 1, head 0!!
Pictures please!!

JMurray
Sep. 27, 2010, 07:05 PM
Let me see, it is dangerous to count, but my lifetime score is:
Heart 15, head 0 and no regrets.

You are just getting started!

Perfect Pony
Sep. 27, 2010, 08:53 PM
How funny, I just posted the same sort of thread :)

Big, giant congratulations for you! I was silently hoping you would end up with this horse, but didn't want to push you into such a difficult decision. I am very happy with the outcome though!

Here's to many years together!

paintlady
Sep. 27, 2010, 09:26 PM
Congratulations! I hope that you'll post some pictures.

DandyMatiz
Sep. 27, 2010, 09:29 PM
CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chaila
Sep. 27, 2010, 09:31 PM
I can't believe Perfect Pony and MelanieC got their dream horses in the same week.

Feeling all kinds of warm and fuzzy over here on the East Coast for you ladies!

Melanie pictures and details please!! Breed, etc???

Yaay!!!

MelanieC
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:08 PM
Melanie pictures and details please!! Breed, etc???

I wanted to get some photos of my own (I have a bit of a photography problem, see http://www.flickr.com/photos/soloriver/) but my photos will have to wait until the end of the week. So, in the meantime, here is Danny's Dreamhorse ad:

http://www.dreamhorse.com/show_horse.php?form_horse_id=1494226

He is an 8yo Arab gelding, and is giant for an Arab -- he is at the very top of my horse-shopping height range, being an honest sticked 15.3. I was actually hoping for shorter, but when you keep having dreams about a specific horse there's no point in quibbling about a couple of inches.

I know lots of Arabs have "puppy dog" personalities but Danny is really something else. I wondered if he just seemed that way to me because for most of my riding career I've mostly been around either lesson horses who hate their lives, or other people's horses who don't consider me to be "their" person. But enough people who know what they're talking about seem to think he is exceptional that I know it's not just me having a crush. He is super outgoing, super interactive, and totally honest. His temperament is fantastic, his work ethic is great, and he is a problem solver. His little ears are ALWAYS forward. His godmother calls him a "pony good heart."

He is not a super fancy horse right now, but he has nice movement especially considering his previous training and is eminently trainable. I think he'll be great fun to work with. I am not expecting to take the show ring by storm but who knows, we may surprise people. I am even thinking of trying the Arab shows now. Danny will be ridiculous fun to clicker train and I hear the liberty classes are a blast!

I am playing with show names because I am not crazy about his registered name (OK, actually I hate it). I was thinking either "You're the One that I Want" or "Danny Zuko" (get it?) but there's plenty of time for that considering I don't even own a saddle yet.

I should give credit where credit is due and note that my husband is entirely supportive of taking the chance on Danny, and that he is especially pleased since I bought Danny for considerably less than the asking price in the ad (which was lowered quite a bit to begin with after the PPE). My husband's favorite store is Costco. He loves bargains. :) I'd have to buy a LOT of orthopedic surgery before making it anywhere near Danny's original asking price, so to my husband, that sounds like a great deal. All of his colleagues who have horses keep telling him that horses break all the time anyway, so he won't be surprised if something goes awry. And if something does go awry, Danny will get the care that he needs.

Thanks again, everyone! I will post new pictures when he comes home.

inca
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:17 PM
WOW! He is gorgeous. Looks very substantial for an Arab and looks like he has a lovely neck. I can see why you fell in love with him.

esdressage
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:54 PM
Another Arabian on board. Woohoo!

I also have an Arab (see my profile pic for my sweet girl) and I can't believe how much she is "my" horse, heart and soul, through and through. I am head over heels for her, even eight years after buying her, and am thankful every day that she is in my life. They say that many Arabians have an "in your pocket" personality, and I think it's 100% true. Then when you get an extra-special one, look out!

I bought my Arabian in Oregon as well… I wonder if they are relatives?

He will be not just your horse but a part of your family, your forever friend. Congrats again. :D

Arab/WBGirl
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:55 PM
CONGRATS!!!! on such a wonderful horse. You can't go wrong with an Arab, especially one as handsome as this fella. Looking forward to more pics and hearing about your adventures together as you get to know one another. You done good.

Marengo
Sep. 28, 2010, 01:24 AM
I don't have time to post much but all I have to say is 'Wow'! He looks and sounds so amazing, so glad that the second opinion gave you hope. Every horse is a risk, why not take a risk on one that pulls at your heart strings.

Beentheredonethat
Sep. 28, 2010, 01:24 AM
I'm so happy for you. I vote heart all the way.

Event4Life
Sep. 28, 2010, 03:15 AM
Aww yay, Arabs are so awesome! They definitely do seem to have amazing personalities - I worked with a lot of Arabs last summer (place bred them) and one in particular had the best "in your pocket" personality. When we went into the corral to get the horses Masaii would actually try to shove his nose in other horses halters while nickering at you. SO cute! Many congratulations on your new boy - have so much fun!

DandyMatiz
Sep. 28, 2010, 05:17 AM
I wanted to get some photos of my own (I have a bit of a photography problem, see http://www.flickr.com/photos/soloriver/) but my photos will have to wait until the end of the week. So, in the meantime, here is Danny's Dreamhorse ad:

http://www.dreamhorse.com/show_horse.php?form_horse_id=1494226

He is an 8yo Arab gelding, and is giant for an Arab -- he is at the very top of my horse-shopping height range, being an honest sticked 15.3. I was actually hoping for shorter, but when you keep having dreams about a specific horse there's no point in quibbling about a couple of inches.

I know lots of Arabs have "puppy dog" personalities but Danny is really something else. I wondered if he just seemed that way to me because for most of my riding career I've mostly been around either lesson horses who hate their lives, or other people's horses who don't consider me to be "their" person. But enough people who know what they're talking about seem to think he is exceptional that I know it's not just me having a crush. He is super outgoing, super interactive, and totally honest. His temperament is fantastic, his work ethic is great, and he is a problem solver. His little ears are ALWAYS forward. His godmother calls him a "pony good heart."

He is not a super fancy horse right now, but he has nice movement especially considering his previous training and is eminently trainable. I think he'll be great fun to work with. I am not expecting to take the show ring by storm but who knows, we may surprise people. I am even thinking of trying the Arab shows now. Danny will be ridiculous fun to clicker train and I hear the liberty classes are a blast!

I am playing with show names because I am not crazy about his registered name (OK, actually I hate it). I was thinking either "You're the One that I Want" or "Danny Zuko" (get it?) but there's plenty of time for that considering I don't even own a saddle yet.

I should give credit where credit is due and note that my husband is entirely supportive of taking the chance on Danny, and that he is especially pleased since I bought Danny for considerably less than the asking price in the ad (which was lowered quite a bit to begin with after the PPE). My husband's favorite store is Costco. He loves bargains. :) I'd have to buy a LOT of orthopedic surgery before making it anywhere near Danny's original asking price, so to my husband, that sounds like a great deal. All of his colleagues who have horses keep telling him that horses break all the time anyway, so he won't be surprised if something goes awry. And if something does go awry, Danny will get the care that he needs.

Thanks again, everyone! I will post new pictures when he comes home.

Oh please keep his registered name his show name. So many people change the name for USEF, and then the appropriate breed isn't credited (or breeder) :( I know a lot of horses that are arab or arab x already that aren't showing as them bc no one wants the "Stigma" of it.. Grrrr.

exvet
Sep. 28, 2010, 08:40 AM
Congrats to you. I wish you many good rides and know you have found a best friend ;)

dwblover
Sep. 28, 2010, 08:45 AM
Can't wait to see the pictures!!! Congrats:D

Oooh, just saw the dreamhorse ad, he's a beauty!!!

paintlady
Sep. 28, 2010, 09:19 AM
Danny is gorgeous! I also agree with keeping the registered name as his show name - you can still call him whatever you want at home though. Good luck and ENJOY!

netg
Sep. 28, 2010, 09:26 AM
Congrats! He is adorable, looks like he has the ability to learn quite a bit, and you went in with two opinions and knowing risks.

Good luck, and I hope none of those risks ever pan out, and instead you just get all the positives! I can't wait for more updates. :)

SisterToSoreFoot
Sep. 28, 2010, 09:30 AM
WOW! Congrats. I remember looking hard at that very ad a while back...my kind of horse. He seems to step out nicely even without a dressage ride--it will be so exciting to see how he develops in a dressage program that has him working over his back. I love those big, substantial arabs.

I too went with heart on my horse purchase--picked the horse based on his stellar personality and obvious smarts. So glad I did. I am enjoying the process so much. I am sure you will, too.

Congrats again!

arabiansrock
Sep. 28, 2010, 01:11 PM
Melanie
You are so lucky I didn't see him on dreamhorse (guess I didn't put in a big enough radius)!!!! I would have given you a run for your money for him.

He is absolutely georgeous!!! I hope you have many wonderful rides together.
Arabsrock

Petstorejunkie
Sep. 28, 2010, 02:20 PM
Big cyber hugs and congratulations to you! I am thrilled to pieces with your decision. I've been rooting for him this whole time :cool:
I can't wait to hear about your journey together. :D

MelanieC
Oct. 6, 2010, 11:25 PM
Coming back to this thread I figure I owe you all some photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/soloriver/sets/72157625090341360

MANY more will follow. Thanks again everybody!

alto
Oct. 7, 2010, 01:33 AM
Wasn't it grand writing "My horse" :yes:


Danny has what we call a "curvy" Arab back.

He'll look completely different once you build that topline! A friend has an Arab cross & he could do the Energizer Bunny commercials - except he'd still be going long after Bunny quit :lol: He's an amazing horse when he works 3-4 hours a day & has a nice straight(ish) back - give him 2 weeks off & he starts to look like some old swayback retiree :eek:

btw Welcome to the Saddle Hunt Club :winkgrin:
Do you have something interim to ride in?

oldernewbie
Oct. 7, 2010, 08:13 AM
From one dressage Arab owner to another - welcome to the club! Yes, Arabs have wonderful personalities. All I have to do is yell out my boy's name and he'll be at the pasture gate waiting for me. Many many things to love about them and they are great in dressage. Congratulations!

About a dressage saddle for him - I hope you have the one standard size Arab in the world....but post on here when you get ready to look and let the Arab folks point you in the right direction. It took me about 25 saddles to find the one that fit, if that gives you any idea of what may be ahead :eek:

Enjoy him, come to Arab shows as well as open ones as you can win some of that Sweepstakes money!

Rbow
Oct. 7, 2010, 08:20 AM
If he does need to be retired early, he has a fairy godmother who would love to be his retirement home. I know that people's circumstances can change and that there is no guarantee that she would be able to take him 10 years from now even if she still wanted to, but if she can't then I am comfortable knowing that I may need to provide for him throughout his retirement. I would have to be comfortable with that idea with any horse, anyway, since there's no guarantee that any currently sound horse will stay sound. I am a scientist, so I try to be a realist, but I am also an optimist, and I have been known to be sentimental.



He's a lucky, lucky horse and you both deserve the best! Good Luck with him and many happy days ahead.

staceyk
Oct. 7, 2010, 08:26 AM
And, they've all got *something.* PPE or no, things come up that no one could predict. My 10 YO TB had hock issues when I bought him and at 23 he is still being ridden. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

MelanieC
Oct. 7, 2010, 11:19 AM
btw Welcome to the Saddle Hunt Club
Do you have something interim to ride in?

No! And it's a complete nightmare! There are very, very few tack shops around here and I have a size XS ass, so not only am I looking to fit a curvy Arab with a wide back, I am looking to do it in like, a 16" seat size. Do you have any idea how many available saddles that eliminates? It seems like everything out there is a 17.5". I'm trying not to spend more money on the saddle than I did on the horse so this may end up being quite the search. I thought I might get a Wintec to tide us over, but I don't think the tree shape fits him very well -- he has big round shoulders and the one we tried on him just pinched. I really don't want to spend hundreds of dollars shipping trial saddles back and forth but I don't know how I'll avoid it. My barn is small and private so there's only so many saddles there I can try.

I DO have a bridle, but I bought a cob size and the browband is too small for his giant bulging forehead -- so I'm also waiting on my new pink crystal browband to come before I can put a bridle on him either.

In the meantime I started clicker training him and he is a GENIUS. He is so much fun to work with because he is super interested in people and extremely interactive, which is exactly what I wanted. He learns REALLY fast. I think I may have the world's smartest horse.

Macimage
Oct. 7, 2010, 11:42 AM
Congratulations on purchasing your heart horse!!

Happy Trails~
Joyce

FatDinah
Oct. 7, 2010, 12:13 PM
With bigger Arabs, buy a cob size bridle and then a separate horse size browband or buy a horse bridle and get the cheek pieces shortened.

What abotu the Wintec with the different size gullets to change the tree?

FatDinah
Oct. 7, 2010, 12:22 PM
One bit of advice: IN his ad he looks like they really cranked him in, what Arab people call getting a headset.

In retraining other Arabs to be more true dressage horses, the important thing is to get them to stretch that neck out and lift the back (which will take care of any dip in the back). Best way I found was trotting on a loose rein over poles and then low cavaletti four in a row (12 feet apart is good to start but adjust for his stride). It will really help him start using his back and move the impulsion to his hind.

Jumping low X-rails in a grid is good too. Lots of hacking too especially up hills, again letting the reins go loose so he can learn to use himself.

Good luck, I have a 30 yr old Arab who started out as a park horse/driving horse, became an English Pleasure horse, then dressage and hacking around X-country courses- and she adapted every time. They have great brains and the 'let's do it' attitude and 8 is barely getting started for them.

esdressage
Oct. 7, 2010, 12:25 PM
One bit of advice: IN his ad he looks like they really cranked him in, what Arab people call getting a headset.

In retraining other Arabs to be more true dressage horses, the important thing is to get them to stretch that neck out and lift the back (which will take care of any dip in the back). Best way I found was trotting on a loose rein over poles and then low cavaletti four in a row (12 feet apart is good to start but adjust for his stride). It will really help him start using his back and move the impulsion to his hind.

Jumping low X-rails in a grid is good too. Lots of hacking too especially up hills, again letting the reins go loose so he can learn to use himself.

Good luck, I have a 30 yr old Arab who started out as a park horse/driving horse, became an English Pleasure horse, then dressage and hacking around X-country courses- and she adapted every time. They have great brains and the 'let's do it' attitude and 8 is barely getting started for them.

GREAT advice! Love the story about your mare as well. :)

MelanieC
Oct. 7, 2010, 01:25 PM
Yeah, he was shown as a saddleseat and hunter pleasure horse (and some halter -- ??? does he look like a halter horse to you?). One of the reasons I decided to buy him is that he seems eminently retrainable. He offers behaviors readily in an effort to figure out what you want, and was willing to stretch in the first test rides with me and with my trainer despite not having been ridden that way in the past. Between my first and second test rides, which were a month apart, he changed a LOT because they knew we were coming back and made an effort to ride him in a more relaxed frame. We figured that if he could learn that much in one month (being ridden by a 15 year old girl) then he should be fun to work with.

Thanks for all the pointers -- I plan to clicker train him to free-lunge and stretch/reach on cue, which I also think will be good work for him and build that topline. I have some interest in VERY low level cross-country so jumping (LOW jumps) will be fun for both of us. I am interested in the galloping across the country part, anyway, not so much about the jumping over fixed objects part, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

oldernewbie
Oct. 7, 2010, 02:32 PM
Just call Trumbull Mountain now. Someone gave me the same advice but too late in the game - I had already spent a fair amount shipping saddles back and forth. It just happened that the saddle I bought was in our barn but I would have continued working with Trumbull Mtn if the saddle hadn't come to the fore.

My Arab is also nearly 15.3 and has wide shoulders as well. He looks narrow from the front and side so you would never believe that he would need such a wide saddle, but it's true. *Every* saddle I tried pinched him and I would guess that will be the case with your fellow as well.

And that's not even talking about what it will take to fit you at the same time!

Good luck, seriously.

MelanieC
Oct. 7, 2010, 02:41 PM
I did talk to Trumbull Mountain this morning. They have a Passier Young Champ that might work but it's got short billets and I don't want that. They also have a BC Eden that's probably the right size but it's -- well, let's put it this way, it costs about twice as much as Danny did. I'm trying to stay within the price range of the actual horse for my used saddle. :)

For some reason every used saddle in my area that is a 16.5" seat or smaller seems to be a Niedersuss. They are nice saddles, but I have been told that they have weird billets that will only work with Niedersuss girths. I'll be able to pick up a few on Saturday and am really looking forward to it.

esdressage
Oct. 7, 2010, 02:45 PM
I'm trying to stay within the price range of the actual horse for my used saddle. :)

That's a great idea in theory… check back in with us down the road and see where you're at with that one.

I have spent so much more on tack over the years than I would have ever dreamed, and not because I have a shopping fettish either. My horse has been the least of my investment in the sport. Somehow that seems wrong, but I don't think I'm alone. :lol:

arabiansrock
Oct. 7, 2010, 03:48 PM
Melanie
Remember that you are now way ahead of the game financially as you got Danny for a fraction of your budget. Seriously you will not regret putting some of the saved funds into a good quality saddle. If you go cheap, you will most likely end up buying another saddle down the road. The Black Country should last as long as your horse!

I have never heard that you have to use "special girths" with the Niedersuss. That said, I have heard that you either love them or hate them. There is no in between.

Also, keep in mind even though you are very thin, it is highly uncommon for an adult to fit in a 16 in saddle. My sons gf has no butt, if you turn her sideways you can't see her, she is that thin, and I put her in a 16.5 ap saddle the other day and it truly was too small for her. it would work in a pinch but was far from ideal. And usually dressage saddles need to be a size larger than ap saddles. A 17 is probably going to be what ends up being "right" for you. JMHO.

If you really want to stay on the less expensive side, and if you are willing to consider synthetic, take a look at the Thorowgood T4 at Dover. $550, the regular tree with a wide gullet fits the wide arabs quite well. I have one that I use on my older mare (the one with the scoopy back) and even tho the tree is fairly flat, when she rounds up on the bit her back comes up so much that the saddle fits her perfectly. And it is exchangeable gullet so you can adjust the shoulder area as he muscles up.

Good luck.

FatDinah
Oct. 7, 2010, 04:20 PM
His body shape is going to change a lot with retraining. I really suggest something you can change with a gullet or a variable tree to start.

I'd hate you to spend a lot now on a saddle because I'll bet it won't fit well within 6-9 months.

MelanieC
Oct. 7, 2010, 04:46 PM
Thanks again for the advice. It's not so much that I'm thin, but I'm also only just over five feet tall. I stopped growing when I was 12 and I was small then. The 17+" saddles I've sat in are just too large. Actually, I had a lot of room in a couple of the 16.5" seats I sat in (this was all a few months before actually getting the horse). Now, I am used to riding in saddles that are too big, but I'd rather have one that fits now!

I figure I'll try to find something inexpensive that fits now and if it can be adjusted, great. If it can't, it won't hurt as much to buy a new one down the road. The Trumbull Mountain rep had some questions as to whether the particular Eden they had in stock would fit Danny (due to gussets, panel styles, etc.) and ordering a new one custom is just out of the question.

I have no problem with synthetic saddles. I have only ridden in Wintecs and I liked them fine, although I think the V shape they tend to have doesn't work well for Danny's shape. I'd rather have a leather saddle but at this point I just want ANY saddle (that fits) so I can ride!

mbm
Oct. 7, 2010, 04:51 PM
give Merhdad at JRD saddles a call. He literally hand makes all his saddles (i have been to his shop and seen them made) and has many many different trees that he builds on.

His clients are always having new saddles made for their horses so he has a pretty good inventory of used saddles and probably will have something to fit your guy and/or can rebuild something to do so.

i told him i had 2k to spend and i got the perfect saddle, completely re-stuffed and fitted to my hard to fit, high withered, curvy backed WB mare. it fits me too!

i highly highly recommend him.

http://www.jrd-tack.com/

re: neidersuss, for the ones i have had any regular girth would work.

arabiansrock
Oct. 7, 2010, 05:13 PM
Melanie
The wintecs do not fit hte wide arabs well, they tend to pinch just under the stirrup bars. The thorowgood synthetic is however, a whole different ball game. Much better design, and fit.

If you are interested, let me know and I can pm you a couple pics of my mare conformation shot and wearing the saddle.

katarine
Oct. 7, 2010, 05:37 PM
I think he's LOVELY. Congratulations.

I would not spend a ton on a saddle for a horse whose shape shall surely change, and shortly. At a horse show I bumped into an ancient Kieffer another competitor wanted rid of, one that fits my $1800 horse, for $400 bucks :) So it can be done.

I think he's way cute. Enjoy.

mbm
Oct. 7, 2010, 05:50 PM
yeah, i used to feel the same but it is amazing how fast muscle will build if the saddle really fits and how fast the horse will get sour and back sore if it doesn't :)

also, re: kieffers -- and really any older saddle - you need to make sure they have enough gullet clearance along the spine - at least 3 fingers, 4 would be better.

katarine
Oct. 7, 2010, 05:53 PM
MBM, what does the saddle's age have to do with that basic saddle fitting 101 suggestion?

My ancient saddle fits my horse, I said so in my post. Where did you get the idea that it doesn't fit?

mbm
Oct. 7, 2010, 06:09 PM
i made no comment on whether your saddle fits your horse, nor does age have anything to do with it - except as i noted: a lot of old saddle don't have enough channel clearance and that can bother some horses.

i have a horse with very similar topline to the OPs, hence i know how difficult it can be to get a saddle to fit that curvy back. just giving my opinion, just like you. take it or leave it :)

Hampton Bay
Oct. 7, 2010, 06:11 PM
It's very simple to have the short billets swapped out for long ones. I have done it myself using a piece of nylon webbing and the existing billets. So don't let that keep you from a certain saddle.

I'm going to be trying a Neidersuss here in the next month, if the Jeffries I am borrowing doesn't end up fitting my Arab. Mine is very flat-backed but not wide though. He's not yet 5, and he hasn't widened through the chest. But I can let you know how the billets on this one seem to work with a plain girth.

exvet
Oct. 7, 2010, 09:54 PM
I own 3 Niedersuss saddles and have had that brand for close to 12 years. I have never used a special girth for my saddles. In fact I purchased my first one to fit my polish arab who I ended up earning my bronze with (that was my heart horse may he RIP). He started in reining and ended up a dressagy horse. He would get galled if I didn't use a string girth. I never noticed any issues with the girth and saddle. Currently with my Niedersuss saddles I use a string girth, an older V billet system leather girth and a neoprene girth I won at a show (but couldn't tell you the brand); so, to say that they require a special girth is certainly not what I've found to be true. I would caution the OP against a Niedersuss though if she truly needs a 16 inch saddle because as far as I know they only come as small as 16 3/4 inch.

MelanieC
Oct. 8, 2010, 11:00 AM
Thanks for the input. I am pretty sure my old trainer's saddle was a Niedersuss (or one of them was) and I liked it, so if one will fit Danny that would be great. They are beautiful saddles and I like that the ones I've seen don't have giant blocks on them. I have never ridden with big blocks and the saddles I've sat in that had them felt really weird, although I guess they make you pretty much impossible to unseat.

I was on the phone with the Pelham Saddlery folks yesterday and was told the 16.75" seat measures to a 16.5" or that it is functionally equivalent or something of that nature. I have always ridden in saddles that were too large (most recently an 18") so if I have a little extra room I won't notice. I think if I really insist on having a 16" and no larger I will NEVER find a saddle.

How big is too big anyway? There are so many more used 17" saddles than 16" or 16.5" especially at more reasonable price points.

Perfect Pony
Oct. 8, 2010, 11:06 AM
Look for some older (but not OLD) County dressage saddles as well, you can get them reasonably, they fit horses with wide shoulders very well, and they can be reflocked. I had a County Warmblood 2000 that fit nearly every horse I sat it on, but sadly did not fit me. I sold it for $1200 and it was in excellent condition with completely restuffed panels.

If you could find a Competitor or Connection it would be worth giving it a try.

As for seat size, with dressage saddles I find it better to go a bit large than too small. With a saddle with a deep seat like a County, the tiniest person at our barn rides in a 17" (and she is really tiny!)

Fantastic
Oct. 8, 2010, 11:30 AM
Sending you a PM about a Petite sized saddle. 17" seat, but is said to feel smaller. Priced at five bills.