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View Full Version : saddle fitting for the youngsters, or will she grow out of the round stage?



Hampton Bay
Dec. 12, 2010, 12:35 AM
I have a coming-3 half-Lusitano filly. She's just starting to get used to the idea of a saddle, standing at the mounting block, etc. She's a way from doing anything more than being sat on very rarely.

She is currently very round. Not much in the way of withers, though they are starting to develop a bit. Right now looks like she might need a saddle with a hoop tree. Or maybe she's just absurdly wide. I haven't done any kind of wither tracing, as she's still a baby.

Do youngsters typically look so round? Could she end up being more "normal", as in a V-shaped tree rather than a U-shaped tree? Or am I destined to have an even harder time finding saddles that work? I'm already not the easiest person to fit with the long legs and tipped pelvic floor, so I can't imagine having to try to fit something to a barrel on legs too.

Of course I know all babies will grow and change, just wondering if the roundness tends to stick around. My other youngster was never round like she is, and her mom is very much NOT round through the withers/shoulders.

Ibex
Dec. 12, 2010, 01:10 AM
At three my mare had a sausage body and went in a MW or W tree tree... at 5 1/2 she has withers, and has narrowed out and goes in a M tree... she's a WB/TB...

goeslikestink
Dec. 12, 2010, 03:15 AM
I have a coming-3 half-Lusitano filly. She's just starting to get used to the idea of a saddle, standing at the mounting block, etc. She's a way from doing anything more than being sat on very rarely.

She is currently very round. Not much in the way of withers, though they are starting to develop a bit. Right now looks like she might need a saddle with a hoop tree. Or maybe she's just absurdly wide. I haven't done any kind of wither tracing, as she's still a baby.

Do youngsters typically look so round? Could she end up being more "normal", as in a V-shaped tree rather than a U-shaped tree? Or am I destined to have an even harder time finding saddles that work? I'm already not the easiest person to fit with the long legs and tipped pelvic floor, so I can't imagine having to try to fit something to a barrel on legs too.

Of course I know all babies will grow and change, just wondering if the roundness tends to stick around. My other youngster was never round like she is, and her mom is very much NOT round through the withers/shoulders.

sounds like shes going to be very broad across the shoulders lol
you need a saddle fitter so he can adjust it as she grows and changes wouldnt mind betting shes going to xtra wide fit lol
sounds nice type tho

stecia
Dec. 12, 2010, 09:12 AM
I don't know if this helps. but here is my andalusian x perch mare at 3.5

http://picasaweb.google.com/esthavera/Spring2007#slideshow/5043350746630226834

and taking her tracing as 7 yo

http://picasaweb.google.com/esthavera/SaddleFitting#slideshow/5499040715211587154

Surprisingly, I don't think her fundamental shape and even tree size have changed very significantly. She could have always used a hoop tree... in a hoop tree she can take a MW. The recent wither rubs were from an xw prestige! I've kept a backup Wintec Isabell with the w gullet throughout.

opel
Dec. 12, 2010, 05:44 PM
Albion sells a saddle called The Classical that has a rounder tree intended to fit baroque breeds. Love mine for my round mare. It also has a shorter panel--so as not to poke these shorter backed horses in the kidneys like the big, flared, gusseted panels tend to do.
My mare didn't sprout good, definite withers until she was 5-6 years old. She still tends to be round though and takes a good saddle-fitter to make her happy.

Hampton Bay
Dec. 12, 2010, 07:25 PM
So it sounds like the roundness hasn't changed for those who started with it. Damn!

She's far from short-backed though. She's actually a bit long in the back, though not anything extreme. At 2.5 though, she's not getting her own saddle for a bit yet. I doubt I will start riding her more than once a month until she's 3.5.

kdmiddleton
Dec. 15, 2010, 11:21 AM
When I was looking for saddles for my mare at 4 years old, her wither tracing looked more egg shaped and my medium wide saddle at the time was fitting snug. At 5 rising 6, the wither tracing showed that her withers were coming up and could see definition from the wither to shouldler blade that looked more pronounced then the egg shape she was before, and the medium wide saddle was too wide. When I asked the saddle fitter at the start about the shape of my horses withers, she cautioned me that typically young horses have this egg shape and then as they get a bit older (about 5 - 6 yrs) their withers come up. My mare is oldenburg.

Good luck with the saddle fittings!

JB
Dec. 15, 2010, 01:40 PM
You really do need to do some wither/back tracings and start talking to some companies like Trumbull Mountain and Frank Baines (both of whose websites have details on how to do tracings). Being wide doesn't necessitate a hoop tree, and being less wide doesn't negate a hoop tree. There are some brands of saddles that are simply wider at the top than a typical A-frame tree, and mimic a hoop tree well - Prestige is one.

Given that she's 3, she WILL change. It may only be in width, not shape, but her shape may change too, particularly if she sprouts withers. Also, her ribcage may well expand, which will change her shape a bit.

HCF
Dec. 15, 2010, 04:33 PM
I have a four year old (coming 5 in April) Anglo-arab gelding. In the spring, he fit nicely in my wide tree County Connection. He has grown and filled out through the summer and recently was fit into an XW Lovatt and Ricketts Ellipse with a hoop tree. He has huge shoulders and his wither has disappeared. The fitter who "read" his wither tracings thought I must have made a mistake! :eek: I'm just hoping he doesn't get any wider!

Appsolute
Dec. 15, 2010, 05:46 PM
My girl wasn't that "round", but I can tell you at 3 years she was in a MW tree. Now at 3.5+ (4 in April) she is down to a M tree!

Withers came in, and her shaped changed. She was more round at 3 then she is now.

MelanieC
Dec. 15, 2010, 07:45 PM
From what I understand, hoop trees are for wide, flat backs. My guy has a wide, scoopy back and does not take a hoop tree as the panels are too flat. So, you may not need a hoop tree when you do get a saddle.

Elegante E
Dec. 15, 2010, 08:35 PM
With my Andalusians, the ones with whithers had them when young and they got wider around the whithers as they grew. Those without, never produced more.

They all have wider whithers than non baroque breeds. With saddles, it's important to know if they have a scoop or flat back. That will help pick a saddle.

slp2
Dec. 15, 2010, 10:57 PM
I've got a giant sausage too! :D My mare was 3.5 last fall and barely had withers (she is a trak/tb). And of course--my older horse has a huge shark fin wither so her saddles were ridiculous on my young horse. So I borrowed saddles that fit her width-wise--but most of them slid around on her (a non-slip pad was very helpful)

This summer, at age 4, she seemed to have some withers and the saddles stopped slipping. But this fall, it seems that her withers are gone again and my saddle is back to slipping. I am crossing my fingers that she sprouts withers at age 5 or so just to keep a saddle in place! Here's a pic at age 4 (about 6 months ago).

betsyk
Dec. 16, 2010, 10:13 AM
My Anglo-Arab was built like a propane tank last spring and was using an XW County. Sometime around September/October, he grew withers, and now the County doesn't fit him right and he's back in my other TB's wintek with the MW gullet. Go figure. He turned 4 at the end of July.

Hampton Bay
Dec. 16, 2010, 02:09 PM
At 2.5, she's not going to be getting her own saddle very soon. I won't really start riding her for at least 9 months. And I'm sure she's going to change some before then.

The unpredictable part is that she's very much a combination of mom and dad. Her mom has high withers, but very much V-shaped. Dad is flatter thorough the back and round. Right now she's flat and round like dad, but she also has mom's HUGE ribcage and butt.

If I can find my flexicurve, I'll get some wither tracings today.

purplnurpl
Dec. 17, 2010, 09:48 AM
I have a coming-3 half-Lusitano filly. She's just starting to get used to the idea of a saddle, standing at the mounting block, etc. She's a way from doing anything more than being sat on very rarely.

She is currently very round. Not much in the way of withers, though they are starting to develop a bit. Right now looks like she might need a saddle with a hoop tree. Or maybe she's just absurdly wide. I haven't done any kind of wither tracing, as she's still a baby.

Do youngsters typically look so round? Could she end up being more "normal", as in a V-shaped tree rather than a U-shaped tree? Or am I destined to have an even harder time finding saddles that work? I'm already not the easiest person to fit with the long legs and tipped pelvic floor, so I can't imagine having to try to fit something to a barrel on legs too.

Of course I know all babies will grow and change, just wondering if the roundness tends to stick around. My other youngster was never round like she is, and her mom is very much NOT round through the withers/shoulders.

I broke some Andalusians a few years back. I started them and showed them as 3 year olds.
A year later I went back and was going to sell the owners the saddle that I used.
It was far from fitting.
The mares had doubled in size and became ROUNDER.

It's really hard to say.

Valentina_32926
Dec. 20, 2010, 11:08 AM
My KWPN mare is very round and gets rounder as she gets more muscled. I thus purchased a Verhan (2/3 models of Verhan have adjustable trees) so it could be adjusted as she grows. Same saddle took her from Training to Third level - then since saddle was old I bought a new saddle and had the older saddle adjusted for my older mare. Worth every penny for the saddle, :D

Xfactor
Dec. 21, 2010, 06:32 AM
My cob youngster is probably already at LEAST a wide at 18 months. I see an XXW in his future. =0

Had never given much thought to treeless, and I know many people hate them.
I thought I would too, but after riding in one, I must confess, I much MUCH prefer it. Love the contact and feel.

As with anything, there are brands that are worth it and some that are very much NOT.

This is the one I have in mind for my guy.
http://www.ansursaddle.com/excel.html

Seems a perfect answer for the round horses.

Xfactor
Dec. 21, 2010, 06:42 AM
Oh...and the slip issue...
Again, I THOUGHT the saddle would slip. I even mounted from the ground and the saddle stayed perfectly in place. Sitting trot, canter.......no slip.

I was VERY skeptical...but feeling is believing. Loved that saddle and will most definitely go that route with the baby when it's time.

My new trainer has pretty much switched over to them entirely. She too has a few roly poly types that needed either customs or xxw's that were never "just right".

Maybe at least try one and see if it might not be the answer?

Invite
Dec. 21, 2010, 11:09 AM
My round mare is now 5 and still round. She is a Selle Francais, but built like her old type Holsteiner daddy. She has very little in the way of withers and has a very laid back shoulder combined with a forward girth groove. Saddles that fit her when she was standing did not fit her when she was moving.

After trying many saddles, the best solution I came up with was a French saddle that had short points. This prevented her shoulder from being impeded. I went with a L'Apogee www.lasaddles.com Kitty, the owner and saddle fitter, went above and beyond. We still needed a bit more room than the XW offered, so Kitty did a little work on the saddle to make it fit my girl perfectly. The one caveat is the saddle is not stuffed with wool. It worried me at first, but there have been no issues. My girl moves like a dream in this saddle!

Hampton Bay
Dec. 21, 2010, 01:03 PM
I definitely wouldn't be against something treeless. Of course right now, since I'm out of a job, buying anything isn't an option. But then she's also still a baby.

And I have no issues with foam panels either. I prefer them in most cases. My current saddle is wool-flocked, and my gelding likes it quite a bit, but the mare isn't thrilled with anything wool and never has been. She does OK with the current saddle though. And it fits the filly well enough for now, just to teach her about mounting blocks, steering, and stop. I won't put more than 10 rides on her until she's 3.5 anyway.