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View Full Version : Saddle fit. Please excuse me while I scream...



Ibex
Jan. 3, 2011, 01:18 AM
I have a lovely custom dressage saddle that is supposedly adjustable. It *looks* like it fits, but it feels a little off and I can't quite put a finger on it. Mare is firmly pointing out she Does Not Like It.

I'm starting to think the shape is just wrong for her.

So, if I were to trade this in, what would you recommend???

Mare is 17hh, SWBxTB. Good sized wither, big shoulder, pocket behind shoulders. Seems happier in a slightly roomy fit with a bit of padding, but we've had issues with saddles that were too wide. Maybe she needs a specific tree?? I'm tall and long through the thigh.

I have a new jump saddle on order (County Conquest) that she loved the demo. I'm thinking maybe a County??? The trick will be it has to be used... my bank account cannot take two new saddles in one year. :eek:

bthatasitmay
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:10 AM
Your best bet is to try to find a tack store that has test ride saddles. I had to do this for my mare as she was difficult to fit. Saddles tended to slide into her shoulders particularly at the canter (which made canter work hell). Her Ladyship finally decided that she preferred a Passier Optimum after trying numerous different saddle types. It has been the best saddle for her for the last 3 years now. I just get the saddle fitter in to adjust the flocking every year. I did end up trading in saddles three times before we found the right one. I avoided trying the Optimum initially because of its price. I would likely have saved money if I had try that one in the first place. Who knew.

2tempe
Jan. 3, 2011, 10:13 AM
IBEX - I rode my TB in a County Perfection. His saddle was a Med/Narrow tree and had something called Skid Row Panels, which I believe are an added feature to deal w/ the space behind the withers.
I would suggest getting a County fitter to come measure the horse and try some demo saddles. The problem you will likely have is that Countys are not very common in the used market, and if you need the skid row panels, that will complicate the process. Good luck.

ClassynIvansMom
Jan. 3, 2011, 10:48 AM
I agree with both posts above. Test riding saddles is what helped me figure out a saddle that fits both my horses (after riding in like 7 or 8 saddles prior to finding the right one). And if your horse liked the County, I second 2tempe's suggestion of getting a County fitter to come measure your girl and try some demos. One thing I will add that I learned is that quality and a good fit often come at a price, even when used. I finally bought a Passier Grand Gilbert after trying saddle after saddle, and it can even accommodate my TWH's shoulders, and she needs the extra shoulder space to gait. It also accommodated a really wide Anglo Arab I used to lease last year, and now even my new OTTB likes it (though I'm going to have a saddle fitter check it before show season to make doubly sure that it's a good fit). I wouldn't have been able to afford it had I not gotten a HUGE tax return last year, but I'm glad I splurged and invested in a good one. I can't say enough good things about Passier saddles, but I've never ridden in a County either.

Bogie
Jan. 3, 2011, 10:54 AM
Have you had a fitter check it on her? I'd start there. If it's just a tad off maybe it can be fixed by reflocking or a shimmed pad.

I've had horses that were so sensitive that when/if their saddle fit became slightly off they were noticeably unhappy.

I have had a Roosli Pilatus for the past decade that seems to work on a number of horses (my trakehner and my TB both love it).

I'd start with the saddle fitter and then ride in as many saddles as possible.

There are a lot of high end saddles on the used market now (according to my Saddle Fitter) so you may not have to go with a new one.

Ibex
Jan. 3, 2011, 11:33 AM
The saddle was fit... TWO weeks ago. That's why I'm so frustrated. It looks like it should be 100% ok.

The county rep has also seen her... the jump saddle on order is a Conquest ;)

Bogie
Jan. 3, 2011, 12:18 PM
Then I'd be pulling my hair out too :mad:.

Do you have a thinline pad? My saddle fits nicely but my horse hunts much better if I put a Thinline ultra pad on too (I have the one with sheepskin). It doesn't change the saddle fit but it does seem to make him happier.


The saddle was fit... TWO weeks ago. That's why I'm so frustrated. It looks like it should be 100% ok.

The county rep has also seen her... the jump saddle on order is a Conquest ;)

yankeeclipper
Jan. 3, 2011, 12:27 PM
I have a lovely custom dressage saddle that is supposedly adjustable. It *looks* like it fits, but it feels a little off and I can't quite put a finger on it. Mare is firmly pointing out she Does Not Like It.

I just finished saddle shopping and had a similar issue with a Baines saddle that was a little off and I couldn't figure out why. Saddle fitter showed me that although it fit him at the withers and had nice panel contact at the back it was bridging at his rib cage. She had me run my hand along the panels from front to back.

After trying many, many used saddles and a few new ones over 8 -10 months with no luck, I called the Master Saddle fitter in my area and she had a saddle that fit him perfectly.

eventer_mi
Jan. 3, 2011, 01:15 PM
Buy this: www.thecorrector.net (http://www.thecorrector.net) and save yourself the hassle of buying a new saddle.

i've had mine for four years, still going strong. I have NEVER had a back complaint issue with any horse I've had it on for any length of time. Vet just went and palpated my Trak's back (he has worn one since I broke him out) and there is no muscle pain anywhere. Vet and bodywork guy really are surprised by this thing - I won't ride without it. Neither of my saddles fit my guy - the Amerigo dressage is too wide, so I use the shims up front, and the Devoucoux really doesn't fit in the panel, but I use the pad without any shims. The Antares also doesn't fit, but I use just the front shims and the balance is great.

I'm surprised more people don't go this route. Saved me a LOT of money on saddles - I just buy what fits me and is somewhere in the park for fitting my horse, and then shim for the balance. No pain for him, perfect balance for me.

Bogie
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:04 PM
I actually do have one of those and I find it works pretty well but is not quite the miracle that it is made out to be.

For the life of me I can't figure out how they can say that it makes a saddle that's too narrow fit properly.

However, it's a good thing to have on hand.


Buy this: www.thecorrector.net (http://www.thecorrector.net) and save yourself the hassle of buying a new saddle.

i've had mine for four years, still going strong. I have NEVER had a back complaint issue with any horse I've had it on for any length of time. Vet just went and palpated my Trak's back (he has worn one since I broke him out) and there is no muscle pain anywhere. Vet and bodywork guy really are surprised by this thing - I won't ride without it. Neither of my saddles fit my guy - the Amerigo dressage is too wide, so I use the shims up front, and the Devoucoux really doesn't fit in the panel, but I use the pad without any shims. The Antares also doesn't fit, but I use just the front shims and the balance is great.

I'm surprised more people don't go this route. Saved me a LOT of money on saddles - I just buy what fits me and is somewhere in the park for fitting my horse, and then shim for the balance. No pain for him, perfect balance for me.

HollysHobbies
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:21 PM
I'm with you. My gelding has been IMPOSSIBLE to fit...some withers, big pocket, curved back, bulging shoulder, wide and round with a back that REALLY MOVES, swinging saddles back and forth...the cantle will wear holes it swings saddles so much (under the cantle) Saddles that failed us included: stubbens (several), passier, lauriche (worked for him, not me...too wide in the twist), luc chideric, Custom Advantage, Prestige Top.

Saddles that are working ok: Black Country Eden (I don't love it), Collegiate Jessica and an OLD county warmblood #4 tree with a small riser under the cantle (I know, I HATE USING PADDING, but when you're desperate, you're desperate)

My mare is a LOT easier to fit, thank goodness. She's in a Stubben.

If you pm me with your email, I can send a picture of my boy...I don't know if they're similar or not.

Petstorejunkie
Jan. 3, 2011, 02:49 PM
The saddle was fit... TWO weeks ago. That's why I'm so frustrated. It looks like it should be 100% ok.
then you shouldn't be shopping again, you should be picking up the phone and consulting with your saddle maker and fitter.
you ordered a custom saddle. it's their job to make it right at their expense.

Mayflower Farm
Jan. 3, 2011, 03:02 PM
Sounds just like our sad story... Client tried a saddle, loved it, horse was measured, saddle ordered, didn't fit, slides forward up her shoulders. A different saddle fitter came, said it didn't fit, recommended the rep come and adjust it as it needs to be an approved saddle fitter for the company or it will void the warranty. He came, adjusted the saddle, still didn't fit. If anything, it was worse. Just by luck, we tried a friend's saddle (same make) but different width and style, it fits beautifully. Client went back to the tack shop, explained the issues. Another saddle fitter was sent, he came back twice, must have spent at least 3 hours watching the horse go, switching to the saddle that did fit, making an adjustment, putting it back on the horse, assessing it - and actually listening to us (!) - and now it fits! He was shocked at what the "approved" saddler had done to the saddle. I guess my point is that just because someone is a saddle fitter by trade, doesn't always make them great at fitting your saddle to your horse. Sometimes you need a second opinion.

CHT
Jan. 3, 2011, 04:50 PM
A problem I had getting my gelding fitted for a saddle, is that the fitter measured the horse when he was just standing square in the barn. Horse hated the saddle he picked for me.

THen I measured my horse, and realized how much his back changed depending on where he had his head, and how much he stood underneath himself. When I measured him in a more collected posture (with the help of carrots) the measurements changed drastically, and I was able to get a correct fit.

ozjb
Jan. 3, 2011, 04:54 PM
I feel your pain as we have had the same issue. Actually it seems on-going. I'm in Australia so it would seem to be a world-wide problem. :-)

I would buy a saddle that was supposedly the right one, then go off to a lesson and have the instuctor inform me that the saddle didn't fit quite right and this and that were causing problems. Call the saddler, get him to adjust it, etc. I have every pad known to man.

I finally gave up on using anyone's rep and went to an independent saddle fitter who has no interest in selling any particular saddle. Of course, he's a free spirit and usually hard to pin down.

The last saddle problem was the jump saddle for my daughter's horse. I know it's a little long for him, but he likes it, my daughter likes it. Suddenly, the coach says it doesn't fit, time for a new saddle. The horse massage lady is out to see the horse and I mention my frustration to her and she tells me it's because of his shoulder issue, which once fixed, will make the saddle fit again. I like this advice!!

We went to the States for 6 weeks seeing family, friends and the WEG and have spelled all the horses. I am currently hoping that a miracle will have occured and all saddles fit everyone when they start back into work next week.

So, no advice from me, just a shoulder to cry on,

Jackie

Bogie
Jan. 3, 2011, 05:14 PM
My experience is that some saddle fitters simply don't know what they are doing.

I use someone who is an independent so he has no saddle line to push. He's worked on my horses for 12 years and I dread the day he retires.

eventer_mi
Jan. 3, 2011, 06:34 PM
I actually do have one of those and I find it works pretty well but is not quite the miracle that it is made out to be.

For the life of me I can't figure out how they can say that it makes a saddle that's too narrow fit properly.

However, it's a good thing to have on hand.

Because the plates do not allow any pressure points to come through, being a rigid, plastic material. I didn't believe it, either, but I have Dr. Deb Bennet's book on saddle fit, and she states that the only saddle pad that will not allow pressure points is something with a hard shell, but the problem with those is that you have to make sure that the bottom outline fits the horse - then you can use whatever saddle fits the rider on top. she cites this as a solution to riding schools with multiple horses and multiple saddles - this way, you can fit the rider to the saddle instead of making them ride in whatever fits the horse. However, she did not say where to buy these kinds of pads. When i came across the Corrector, I realized that I found something very similar to what she was describing - the slots in the pad help it shape to the horse's back, but is still rigid and will not allow pressure points through. that's why it can fit a too-narrow saddle to a wide horse, providing that it isn't terribly extreme (i.e. N saddle to a table-backed horse).

the proof is in the pudding - I went xc schooling one day and brought the wrong saddle for my paint gelding (I had brought my MN mare's saddle instead of his Wide one) and thought, what the heck, if it seems to be bothering him, I'll go back to the trailer and quit for the day. I forgot it was the wrong saddle for him, and when I got back to the trailer, I had perfectly even sweat marks and no soreness anywhere. I was a believer then.

btw, I am in no way affliliated with the company, and I apologize in advance to those of you who go and see the website - it's horrendous. But the basic product is quite good.