View Full Version : prestige optimax for wide horse
Jan. 15, 2011, 12:14 PM
Anyone have a prestige optimax for a WIDE slightly downhill horse with a shorter back? Or tried it for this type of build and find it worked/didnt?
Jan. 15, 2011, 12:51 PM
Is this for a Cob? How short backed?
Jan. 15, 2011, 01:16 PM
yes, cob, but she's not incredibly short backed, just a little short. She's probably longer than your average compact cob. The slightly downhill build is what i seem to have the hardest time with, and the wide. Everything runs up her neck. Forward girth groove doesnt help.
Jan. 15, 2011, 01:25 PM
I cant find a standing shot of her for the life of me, but i have a side shot of her in harness if it helps at all:
This probably makes her back look just slightly curvier than it is.
Jan. 15, 2011, 01:31 PM
I was looking at a niedersuss for her, but it's an older one and doesnt have the front point billet, which i think she probably needs to keep the darn thing back. My current saddle (startrekk icelandic which i LOVE) stays back with it's front point billet, but her back has developed a little more and the sucker now rolls side to side.
The optimax is one i've sat in at the tack store and really liked for myself, that one was just way too narrow to take home and try on her. This one is a 35 that's been widened, and i know i can have it adjusted around a little if i need to being a prestige.
I honestly had given up on dressage for her because of saddle issues, but i'm bored trail riding her. ;)
Jan. 15, 2011, 01:59 PM
I have better luck with the Olympik Niedersuss model on her half siblings, FWIW, because it has a point billet.
Jan. 15, 2011, 02:27 PM
Yes, i would rather tha Olympik, i just havent found one used in a wide and i havent sat in it, so i dont know if i would like it.
Jan. 15, 2011, 03:35 PM
I had one horse/pony that got fat when I laid him off for a few years. Then when I went to start him up again, nothing I had fit ... neither of the saddles that I had used on him before fit. One was a Kieffer Aichen II (straighter flap) All-Purpose that I had been using on him before we quite all work. The other was a Sommer monoflap dressage saddle. That one really didn't fit!
Rolling side to side so badly it was not safe, at all. Pony also had minimal QH style withers and was butt-high. 14.3 hh, built like a Sherman Tank.
So, I took photos and measured the pony with a flexible curve and sent all of it up to Ron Freidson in CT (Keiffer guy). They put it in their *heat machine* and widened it to extra-wide. They put four mid-billets (4 billets on each side that hang down beneath the end of the flaps by about 6" - 8" would have been better) on it and included a four buckle mohair girth to go with it.
This *rig* was based on some older cavalry rig, according to Ron. It provides the most friction and the snuggest most evenly distributed fit. On a fat pony it is outstanding :yes:
I ended up not using the point billet ... I buckled the point billet very loosely. It was pulling the pommel and head back too far and it put pressure on the top of the shoulder. What did work was the three major longer billets ... all at once and all evenly buckled down. The buckles are out of the way .. completely.
That *sucks* the deepest part of your saddle down into the deepest part of your horse. Period. The *sweet spot*. It should allow the front and head of the saddle to *sit lightly* over the withers and the top of the shoulder. The shoulder can move under the front panel as long as it is free ... the actual points of the saddle seem to hold all of that riff-raff (the panels under the head and the pommel, and the knee blocks) out away from the top of the shoulder.
Jan. 15, 2011, 03:38 PM
Neidersuss Allegro II with regular (no point billet) long billets in a medium-wide tree fits my round downhill Cob with minumal withers.
Jan. 15, 2011, 03:41 PM
Oh, wool flocked panels, especially newly stuffed ones to fit your pony, will also conform best. Synthetic panels tend to *ride high(er)* and not settle as easily into the back of the horse.
Jan. 15, 2011, 05:22 PM
Pretty Girl :yes: How old/tall is she?
We picked up an old (ie likely 1989-1993 era), barely used County Competitor similar in style to this one (http://www.horseforum.com/tack-equipment-classifieds/fs-trade-county-competitor-dressage-saddle-55569/)
Our Welsh cob at 3 1/2 is a med wide, the #3 tree fit him perfectly (with some growing room): this is the first saddle that doesn't slip side to side on him. Originally hoped to find a used close contact with flat seat to start him but everything pinched his shoulder, even saddles that were otherwise too wide.
We had actually tried this saddle in early October but it slipped forward, kept looking but didn't find anything that fit as well so had the County rep out in late Nov to see if the saddle could be adjusted to fit him ... it now fit with no adjustments :lol:
Course she also had a gorgeous new Innovation that both kid & pony loved but rep said the Competitor fit perfectly & feels she'll be able to keep it adjusted to fit over the next year or so Yah!
The other issue was the shortness of his back but that has already noticeably changed since late Sept.
FWIW we use a sheepskin half pad under the saddle - pony pads are too small, horse pads are too big.
edit: rep also recommended that girth have elastic on both sides (preferable) or none, to reduce slippage.
Jan. 15, 2011, 05:34 PM
Your pony doesn't really look short-backed ... she may even be a tad long. She has nice conformation though and enough withers to keep a saddle back if and when you firnd the right saddle. She's really nice, pretty, nice conformation, even thought the photo isn't showing her as butt-high, I am going to take your word for it that she really is. I know how photos don't always show what is *there*.
ETA: it's not that she has a short back, more that she is a pony, so short horse :yes:
Jan. 15, 2011, 08:06 PM
I just bought a used Prestige Optimax for my horse.
The reason it fits her is that she is NOT wide. She is flat-backed but A-framed.
On my Optimax, the panels are angled and would not sit flat on a broad-backed horse.
Maybe another Prestige model might have flatter panels? VTO sells them, and they are very helpful. Give them a call.
Jan. 15, 2011, 09:32 PM
Well yes, not so much short backed as just a pony. :) But i tend to stay with smaller seat sizes if it works for me just to keep things where they should be. My Startrekk is a 16" which i can get away with because it's got a flatter seat.
Ok, So from last post, Optimax out.
I'll keep searching for a niedersuss. Do the seat sizes run true to size? I found one in a 16.75" I would normally ride in a 17.5" and i have a long thigh, so if i go with a deeper seat, i'm probably going to need something that rides true to a 17.5".
My cob is 6 and 13.3h, she's done growing i think now. All that's grown in the last two years is her width. She's about a half inch lower in the front than butt and totally rides downhill, i'm constantly tipping forward on her and use a front riser even on our western trail saddle to ride more level. She actually doesnt have a wither, you are just seeing her neck, breastcollar strap is deceptively making it look like she has a wither in front of the harness saddle, but it's not. Strap is just smashing down mane on her neck.
Here is a side shot of her minus harness, shows the lack of wither better maybe, and the butt high, though i swear she's not that off in real life...