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View Full Version : New to Dressage... Does this saddle fit?



Weenie19
Dec. 29, 2010, 09:45 AM
Hi Guys,

I am looking to purchase a dressage saddle and have one out to
try on my horse. What I am most concerned about with this saddle is the height of the pommel and how much space there is between the withers. I know there should be space, but I am wondering if this is just too much?

I have the pictures on facebook in an open privacy album, so you should be able to see them here. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=44760&id=331100915&saved or they can be seen on Photobucket here http://s1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc476/weenie19/

Thanks for any help!

angel
Dec. 29, 2010, 09:49 AM
Sorry, cannot enter Facebook without a log-in. Won't join.

Weenie19
Dec. 29, 2010, 09:50 AM
Ok, I will put the photos on photobucket or another website!

Petstorejunkie
Dec. 29, 2010, 10:52 AM
you are going to need to reposition the saddle before we can give an assessment. It's at least 3 inches too far forward.
There is a video on my website that shows how to fit a saddle by Schleese
http://www.destinationconsensusequus.com/learning-tools.html

Bogie
Dec. 29, 2010, 11:40 AM
PSJ is right, the saddle is too far forward right now. It's completely over the horse's shoulder and that makes it difficlt to assess whether the shape of the tree is appropriate.

However, it's certainly not to wide. If anything, it's too narrow.

The way it's sitting now it's pommel high -- there's quite a down hill slope going toward the back of the saddle.

When you ride in a saddle that is too narrow, a few things happen:

- the saddle will dig into the withers because of the pressure.
- The saddle will put more of the rider's weight on the cantle because it's tipping back
- It will make it impossible for the rider to stay in balance because the saddle is tipping the rider back.

Take a few more photos with the saddle back and let us all take another look.

The deepest part of the saddle should be level on the horse's back.
Its hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks too wide.

Bronte
Dec. 29, 2010, 11:44 AM
PSJ is right, the saddle is too far forward right now. It's completely over the horse's shoulder and that makes it difficlt to assess whether the shape of the tree is appropriate.

However, it's certainly not to wide. If anything, it's too narrow.

The way it's sitting now it's pommel high -- there's quite a down hill slope going toward the back of the saddle.

When you ride in a saddle that is too narrow, a few things happen:

- the saddle will dig into the withers because of the pressure.
- The saddle will put more of the rider's weight on the cantle because it's tipping back
- It will make it impossible for the rider to stay in balance because the saddle is tipping the rider back.

Take a few more photos with the saddle back and let us all take another look.

The deepest part of the saddle should be level on the horse's back.

120% what Bogie said!
Also, girth up your saddle before showing us the pictures.

paintlady
Dec. 29, 2010, 11:48 AM
I agree that it looks too narrow. However, it's really impossible to tell the way it's positioned on the horse and not seeing what it looks like girthed up. Have you considered a professional saddle fitter? I bought/sold several saddles before finally breaking down and calling one. Honestly, it was the best money I ever spent. No more guessing and I have a saddle that I know fits my horse and myself.

JB
Dec. 29, 2010, 12:16 PM
Ditto the others - it's far too forward for starters. Have someone lift your horse's front leg forward, and watch his shoulder blade rotate back. The point of the tree needs to be behind that spot. Another method is to put the saddle forward, and then slide it back. At some point it will "stick", and that is where that particular saddle will need to sit.

Only then can an assessment be made.

I suspect it's going to be too narrow. But, it may be just fine.

It does fit well laterally. The rear panels are sitting nicely on his back.

When you take your 3/4 front view, you need to stand back, as we need to see the WHOLE saddle, top to bottom. The one you have of the right side cuts off a good bit, including the top. Also, you will need to stand on something a little off the ground, as even though the pic of the left side shows the pommel, you are angling the camera up, and that distorts things. You need the camera perpendicular to the shot to eliminate as much distortion as possible.

If this saddle is too narrow, it's probably only by 1 size. And, given what else I see, it may only mean that this saddle in a wider tree would be great.

Weenie19
Dec. 29, 2010, 02:01 PM
Here are some new pictures... http://s1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc476/weenie19/

However, after looking at them, I think the saddle could move back a little further? I watched the video that Petstorejunkie posted, and when I put the saddle on her, I made sure to feel the edge of the shoulder blade like the video showed and placed the saddle right behind it.

PaulaM
Dec. 29, 2010, 02:52 PM
Even with being moved back, the saddle still looks too narrow IMO.

Hampton Bay
Dec. 29, 2010, 03:11 PM
Looks too narrow to me too. See how you have some space between the panels and the withers, at the top of the panels? The whole panel should rest evenly down along the withers/barrel.

Weenie19
Dec. 29, 2010, 04:28 PM
Looks too narrow to me too. See how you have some space between the panels and the withers, at the top of the panels? The whole panel should rest evenly down along the withers/barrel.

Too narrow really? It is a wide. Could it possibly be because she has almost like mutton withers, so her withers don't take up space near the top of the panels?

paintlady
Dec. 29, 2010, 04:35 PM
Too narrow really? It is a wide. Could it possibly be because she has almost like mutton withers, so her withers don't take up space near the top of the panels?

"Wide" is a relative term.

I have a QH/Paint with a flat back and low withers. A "wide" Crosby and Stubben are still too narrow. If using a Wintec, she needs the "extra wide" gullet plate. The saddle I found through the help of a professional saddle fitter is an Albion with a "wide" tree, but Albions tend to run much wider than other "wide" saddles.

I have to pipe in again about the value of working with a saddle fitter. I wish I had contacted one years ago - would have saved me lots of headaches buying/selling saddles that were never quite right.

Good luck. Saddle shopping is a nightmare.

Bogie
Dec. 29, 2010, 04:46 PM
Nope, still too narrow.

It may be more that you need a different shape of tree. Your horse may need a "hoop" style tree that is shaped more like an upside down U than an A.

I'm also not crazy about the fit over the shoulder. It looks restrictive.

I don't know much about that brand other than it's a synthetic saddle and aggressively priced. My temptation is to tell you to look at some better quality used saddles rather than buying this brand new. I'm not opposed to synthetic saddles (I quite like Wintecs), but there's something rigid and unyielding looking about that saddle that doesn't match your horse's conformation.

Also, a "wide" saddle from one manufacturer may not be as wide as one from another. That would be way too easy ;).

Po-Po
Dec. 29, 2010, 08:19 PM
Is there any way that you can send that saddle back...it really is an overall poor fit for your horse.

Keep trying additional saddles....the process of finding the right one can take some time, but you'll be so much better off in the end.

Petstorejunkie
Dec. 30, 2010, 12:19 AM
Still too far forward, and probably too narrow.
is it flocked or foam?

LarkspurCO
Dec. 30, 2010, 01:14 AM
I would keep looking if I were you. I also suggest you spend some time reading Trumbull Mountain's saddle fitting blog.

Check it out, and be sure to drill down into older posts for some great information and photos.

http://www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com/

JB
Dec. 30, 2010, 01:04 PM
Still too far forward, and probably too narrow.
is it flocked or foam?

Totally agree.

Properly positioned, you're looking at the girth (dressage saddle or CC) being roughly a hands' width behind the elbow.

Here it's cranked right against the elbow.

If this is where the saddle "stuck" as you tried to slide it back, then it's not going to work at all.

LarkspurCO
Dec. 30, 2010, 02:21 PM
Hmm...looks to me like the horse's girth line is going to be forward no matter what, due to her round belly. You may need a different billet configuration and/or anatomic girth -- or situps.:lol:

This is the anatomic girth I use, but I don't remember spending that much!

http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=8616&cm_mmc=paidfeeds-_-froogle-_-NA-_-18616

alto
Dec. 31, 2010, 04:54 AM
You might also contact Lynnda at
http://classicsaddlery.com/JulySale/HDRSaddles.htm
The HDR close contact saddles are decent enough, I've no personal experience with their dressage saddles but suspect they are a better "horse fit" than the status.

I'd also look for close out wintecs (dover link) or used wintecs
http://equestrian.doversaddlery.com/search?p=Q&lbc=doversaddlery&uid=853317139&ts=closeouts&ref=closeouts&w=%2a&af=brand:wintec catsub:saddles cat:horsetack&isort=globalpop&method=and&view=grid
Rick's Heritage Saddlery: http://www.saddlesource.com/default.asp

If your budget can go this high, I'd definitely consider this saddle:

Toulouse Octavio in beautiful doubled black leather, soft, supple, breaks in immediately. This is a generous fit for broader backed horses. X-wide will fit the almost impossibly wide horse.
In medium tree widths 16.5-18.5
In wide tree width 16-18.5
In XW tree width 17.5-18
Retail: $1295.00 Sale: $999.00 with fittings
CLEARANCE: $725.00
CLEARANCE W/ LEATHERS/IRONS: $799.00*

Weenie19
Dec. 31, 2010, 10:39 AM
Thanks for all the help guys. Saddle will be going back before sunday! I'm going to have a look at some of the Wintec saddles, and see about having someone come out to see the horse.

alto
Dec. 31, 2010, 11:39 AM
Many Wintecs & Bates saddles have CAIR panels (foam + air bladders) which are generally fine with most horses though occasionally you'll find a horse that cannot adjust to them (sore back); this does make it more difficult to determine saddle fit until saddle is girthed & rider is up there.
CAIR panels can be shimmed & adjusted to fit your horse but in my area there is no one that does this - the saddle fits or it doesn't.
A wonderful person to speak with regarding Wintecs is Alan at Foxhunter.ca - if you send him photos he can help select which Wintec is most likely to fit your horse (re back anatomy).

If your local tack shop carries alot of Wintec/Bates saddles they have also have someone on staff that is knowledgeable about the horse & rider fit of the different models or be able to recommend a fitter in your area (do ask questions before paying a fitter to come out).

Bates/Wintecs also come with "flocked" panels - these tend to be special order unless your tack shop keeps alot of stock, I believe almost all models of the Wintecs are now available in either panel. If you have a CAIR panel switched over to flocking (by a local saddle fitter) this will void any saddle warranty through Bates/Wintec.

Weenie19
Dec. 31, 2010, 12:00 PM
A wonderful person to speak with regarding Wintecs is Alan at Foxhunter.ca - if you send him photos he can help select which Wintec is most likely to fit your horse (re back anatomy).


I was actually going to be going to Foxhunter to look at the Wintec saddles!

alto
Dec. 31, 2010, 01:27 PM
Lucky!!!
call ahead & check that Alan will be in - he's a trained saddle fitter & has been in the trade "forever" so he's seen alot of the saddle trends - & bring in as many conformation pics as you have: if you call first, Alan will tell you what sort of pictures you need.

Equibrit
Dec. 31, 2010, 02:22 PM
Fit (both horse and rider) should be assessed when somebody is sitting in the saddle.

Valentina_32926
Jan. 3, 2011, 12:34 PM
Here are some new pictures... http://s1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc476/weenie19/

However, after looking at them, I think the saddle could move back a little further? I watched the video that Petstorejunkie posted, and when I put the saddle on her, I made sure to feel the edge of the shoulder blade like the video showed and placed the saddle right behind it.

Weenie - girth does not need to be positioned just behind elbow - see if you can have girth come straight down from saddle (i.e. further back). With my one mare who is BIG barrelled the saddle maker had to move one of the billets so the girth aligned with the saddle and didn't pull the saddle too far forward.

Second set of pictures appear saddle is in correct position in relation to the point of the shoulder, but girth attaches in front of saddle position - pulling saddle onto shoulder.