View Full Version : Need Help with Saddle Suggestions!

Sep. 30, 2010, 08:12 AM
I need help narrowing down saddle choices for my new horse.

He's a 6y/o TB who just came off the track a few weeks ago, with fairly high withers, but a short back. Best pictures I have of his back are from his trainer listing....


Anyways....I've tried Collegiates, M. Toulouse Celine, HDR Advantage....none have fit. The only thing that seems to fit him fairly well is a used HDR my friend has as a lesson saddle (which I am currently using when I ride him), but I'm still trying to figure out which model it is.

M. Toulouse was too wide (it was the Medium tree)..it was tight by the shoulder, and the gullet sunk down too far on his back and withers. Collegiate's sunk down on his withers as well. The HDR Advantage was very uneven on his back, looking like it needed a riser pad in the back.

I've heard Northrun Ashland saddles are good for this type...is that true? I found one on ebay, but am hesitant to try it.

So while I try to hunt down the other HdR model that fits him ok.....was wondering if anybody had any suggestions on what may fit him? I know the pictures aren't the best, but any suggestions at all that could point me in a direction would be appreciated!

My budget is $1,000 or less. I plan on jumping him once retrained, but probably 3' max.

TIA! :)

Sep. 30, 2010, 02:12 PM
My boy was built like that. The only thing I found to fit was a wide tree butet. It gave the large wither and shoulder room. Good luck though. You might be able to find an older 90s model in good shape!

Sep. 30, 2010, 02:19 PM
Keep in mind that if your horse is only six weeks off the track that his back WILL change as he muscles up.

Sep. 30, 2010, 02:21 PM
Keep in mind that if your horse is only six weeks off the track that his back WILL change as he muscles up.

Oh, I know! :) I was just hoping I could get some saddle ideas for his type on conformation. Which are better for higher withers rather than lower withers, etc.

Sep. 30, 2010, 02:30 PM
First of all, your new horse is lovely! About the saddle, my TB has a very similar build. That big shoulder and high wither seem like it is going to push your saddle back to the tail! And he was definitely hard to fit - I think I tried about 10 different saddles. The best fit I've found (in my price range which was under $1500) is my BdH (the original, which I don't think is sold anymore) in a regular tree. I have seen them used though, for under $1000.

I have also heard great things about the Northrun Ashland saddles fitting that type. That was actually going to be my next try if the BdH didn't work. I really think the Ashland would be worth trying. Of all the saddles you mentioned, I think that is the best saddle.

Sep. 30, 2010, 02:58 PM
I just had to buy my horse a new-to-me saddle and ended up with a Stubben. I think I tried just about every brand of saddle in my price range. Bates, Wintecs, Collegiates, HDR, Dover.....the only thing that came close to fitting both of us was the Stubben. He's got wide shoulders, a decent wither, and a short back. It's bad when the chiro comments on how weirdly shaped his back is :lol:!

Sep. 30, 2010, 05:04 PM
I suggest sending your photo to the folks at Trumbull Mountain Saddlery. They are very knowledgeable about saddle fit and always have a good selection of used saddles.

Sep. 30, 2010, 05:25 PM
I am going though the same thing with my horse. He also a TB with tall wither, short back, and big shoulders. I am still in the middle of my saddle search, but I borrowed a Beval Natural saddle. It fits my horse very well. I just got a used Beval Natural and a BZ Natural used from Beval in the mail today. If it stops raining, I will try them on him tomorrow.

If you want to see pictures of my horse with different saddles I have tired and the Bevals, let me know.

Fashion Police
Sep. 30, 2010, 06:12 PM
Cute horse! and considering the situation, you might want to think about a convertible tree option. I haven't ridden in this saddle, but have heard a lot of nice things about Bates -


Sep. 30, 2010, 06:18 PM
I would try to wait as long as I could before buying. Adding muscle to his back will help your cause. But this one will be hard to fit.

You might look at the Amerigo website first. One of these saddles is made for this type of back. Then see what you can do in a used one. An FYI about their leather. In the past, they were made with very blonde "color corrected"--tanned hides. They don't wear in a pretty way. But if it fits and you can find it for A Grand, buy it.

The Centaurian
Sep. 30, 2010, 06:24 PM
Maybe something with a way-cutback pommel like this:

I picked a similar one up for $100 a few weeks ago on ebay. Then when your horse fills out you can still afford a fancy saddle if you want one.

Congratulations on your new horse, he is really cute!

Sep. 30, 2010, 06:35 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions! And compliments....I'm really excited about this guy, he's proving to be a great-minded horse so far. I really hope to make him my low-level eventing partner in a couple of years. :)

I will definitely take a look at the Trumbull site! That might be really helpful once he fills out.

I have a Collegiate Alumni with Convertible Gullets, which doesn't fit. I'm trying to sell at it a local tack shop to help fund my new saddle search, lol.

I will probably wait awhile until he builds muscle, and use my friend's HdR in the meantime that seems to fit for the time being. But I'll check out Crosby, Amerigo, Northrun, Beval, BdH, and Butet as well.

Sheltona1, if you have pics you'd care to share of the Bevals and others, I'd love to see them to get some sort of idea! Thank you!

Thanks guys! Really appreciate it! :)

Oct. 1, 2010, 11:29 PM
Not a problem, I know how frustrating a saddle search can be. I think I actually just found one for us. I have it on trial from Beval. It was amazing the difference in my horses movement. I am going to take a lesson in it tomorrow to see if it works for me while jumping.

I was like you trying to find one under $1000. I actually ended up doubling my budget, but I do not have a young horse that may change. My guy is 17. I do have a couple of pictures of his back in the Circuit Saddle album, so you can how he is shaped.

For you budget, I suggest trying out the Circuit saddles. They were very close to fitting my horse. I just did not want to settle for close. I got them on trial from Dover. I heard if you take a lot of care in the first year, the leather really does turn nicer. You can get them for less than $400 on ebay. My trainer and I liked the Elite model the best.

Circuit saddles:


The two saddles shown are the XC (lighter color underside) and the Elite Model (all the same color).

Below is the link the the Beval Saddles:

The BZ Natural the the lighter redish color. The Natural is the other one. The BZ Natural is the one I tried today and loved. I had been riding in a borrowed natural which is the reason I started looking at the brand.

I do recommend working with someone who knows saddle fitting. I tired to do it myself, then realized how much I did not know. I am lucky that I know someone who does and is willing to help me. She also used Trumbull Mountain before and recommended them.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you can not see the pictures!