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View Full Version : Spinoff:Big Shoulders and the Tall rider



eventingismylife
Mar. 28, 2011, 02:26 AM
I have a very big shouldered, wide IDSH mare, that also has moderate withers that I am having a very hard time fitting. Both Courbettes and Stubbens do not fit her, and my Colliegate Convertable Diploma doesnt either.
I have tried out a Albion dressage saddle in thier widest tree and even though it was a smidge too wide, she was much happier.

Unfortunaly I need a good xc/jumping saddle that I can do all three phases in, and with my ubber long legs none of Albions jumping saddles look like they have a forward enough flap that would fit me (plus even the used ones are lots $$). I am 5'9" and I know I fit very well in saddles like the Stubben Roxanne S and the Courbette Vision Extra.

I have looked in to Duetts, but they also do not have very forward flaps. They are a great price, but I dont think that they would fit me either.

I have a budget of about $1800 tops, do you guys have any ideas? Right now I will not be able to ride until I find on that fits because my saddle fits her so poorly.

Thanks in advance!

SonnysMom
Mar. 28, 2011, 08:01 AM
I am not sure if the flap will be forward enough for you but my horse has a fairly wide shoulder and prominent withers. I ride him in a Crosby Olympia. The Sofride is the newer version. I see used ones of the Sofride in your price range fairly frequently. I see the Olympia's less often.
I think there were 2 Sofrides on ebay fairly recently.
Here is one at Bucks County Saddlery. (Although this one does not appear to be a wide tree at least you can sorta see what one looks like.)
http://www.bcsaddlery.com/esadu1a.htm

pharmgirl
Mar. 28, 2011, 09:00 AM
Have you tried any Black Country saddles? I am not quite as tall as you (5'7") but have very long legs and had the same issues when saddle shopping (I have a hard to fit draft cross). I liked the Courbette Vision Extra a lot as well, but the long tree points just didn't work.

What I ended up with was a Black Country Ricochet for jumping, but I've also had a Quantum and loved it. I have an Eloquence for dressage and I'm happy with that as well. I don't think I've sat in a BC that I didn't like, so I would suggest any of them!!


Black Country's saddles are very customizable, so it is possible that you may find some used that fit your needs. It just may take a bit of searching. Trumbull Mountain seems to be very good at helping people fit saddles, so maybe they can help if you give them a call and tell them what you need?

Bobthehorse
Mar. 28, 2011, 09:30 AM
Try a Prestige, though I realize they dont all fit the same (though I think the Palladio fit similarly). My QH was a tough fit because he was broad and had these massive broad shoulders but also a major fin stuck between them that would give a lot of TBs a run for their money. I ended up with a Prestige event after most of the others were a poor fit (and were foam flocked to had to stay that way). The Amerigo Vega fit decently, but didnt work as well for me. Im not super tall, 5'6'' and long thighs, but its plenty room for me to hike up my stirrups. Maybe with an extra forward flap it would be enough for someone taller, worth a try anyway.

But yes I would look for something available in wool flocking because the foam is such a frustration with a tricky to fit horse. Im never buying anything but ever again.

eventer_mi
Mar. 28, 2011, 11:18 AM
I second the recommendation for Black Country. They're designed for freedom of shoulder movement, esp. the Tex Eventer. My boy has big shoulders and a long wither, and he goes well in his Tex Eventer (that used to belong to CookiePony, that used to belong to RunForIt - yay COTH!). Plus, you can customize the flap to fit you, for about $1k less than what you'd pay for in a County, Albion, or a high-end Frenchie.

jn4jenny
Mar. 28, 2011, 12:04 PM
I'd like to help you, and I'd bet many others would too, but we'd need a whole lot more information. Otherwise we're just naming random brands.

First and very importnat question: How wide is wide? Too wide for the XW (white) gullet on the Collegiate Convertible? Too wide for the XX-wide Albion hoop tree? Too wide for a 32cm Stubben? This really matters because once you pass a certain point of Stupid Wideness, there's really only a handful of brands worth discussing.

Curvy topline? Fairly flat topline behind the withers? I'm guessing "curvy" based on what little I can see on your web site, but it's always dangerous to guess.

And while we're getting personal, please tell us what seat size you are accustomed to riding in.

eventingismylife
Mar. 28, 2011, 07:29 PM
I'd like to help you, and I'd bet many others would too, but we'd need a whole lot more information. Otherwise we're just naming random brands.

First and very importnat question: How wide is wide? Too wide for the XW (white) gullet on the Collegiate Convertible? Too wide for the XX-wide Albion hoop tree? Too wide for a 32cm Stubben? This really matters because once you pass a certain point of Stupid Wideness, there's really only a handful of brands worth discussing.

Curvy topline? Fairly flat topline behind the withers? I'm guessing "curvy" based on what little I can see on your web site, but it's always dangerous to guess.

And while we're getting personal, please tell us what seat size you are accustomed to riding in.

Here are some pictures of Addie
mailto:?body=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Falbum .php%3Faid%3D287870%26id%3D755514247%26l%3D4519b24 423&subject=Addie 2011
The Albion XX-Wide Hoop tree is a smidge too big, but would probably fit prefectly once she has more of a topline. She is also too big for a stubben 32, but fits into the white x-wide gullet for wintecs.

I ride comfortably in both a 17.5" or 18" which is the size of my colliegate.

I did ride her in a Prestige Event in a 36cm last March that we both liked, but she has changed a bunch physically from her previous propane tank shape. My trainer tryed one on her today for me (I had surgery a 2weeks ago) in what she said was the widest tree they make and it was too wide. So I am guessing it was a 36 or 37.

eventingismylife
Mar. 29, 2011, 12:38 AM
Here are some pictures of Addie
mailto:?body=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Falbum .php%3Faid%3D287870%26id%3D755514247%26l%3D4519b24 423&subject=Addie 2011
The Albion XX-Wide Hoop tree is a smidge too big, but would probably fit prefectly once she has more of a topline. She is also too big for a stubben 32, but fits into the white x-wide gullet for wintecs.

I ride comfortably in both a 17.5" or 18" which is the size of my colliegate.

I did ride her in a Prestige Event in a 36cm last March that we both liked, but she has changed a bunch physically from her previous propane tank shape. My trainer tryed one on her today for me (I had surgery a 2weeks ago) in what she said was the widest tree they make and it was too wide. So I am guessing it was a 36 or 37.

Does anyone know of any other saddle brands that are similar to a Prestige or Albion?

Grasshopper
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:04 PM
Talk with mattymarlow on ebay (http://stores.ebay.com/Heritage-Custom-made-saddles-Tack?_rdc=1 )!

I was having similar issues a few years ago and got a custom monoflap jumping saddle from him. He's in the UK but will provide detailed requirements for info from you and your horse, wither tracings, and photos. Should stay well under your $1800 budget, even with shipping!

I'm also 5'9" or 5'10", and my TB mare needed a slightly-wider-than-a-County-wide tree, and has big shoulders and a decent wither. Hates having saddles bang into her shoulders.

I had Matty make us a saddle with short points, told him I wanted plenty of room to jack up my stirrups and keep my knee on the flap (provided my inseam and thigh measurements), and room to get in the "back seat". That's exactly what he made me. It has knee and thigh blocks, neither of which get in the way even for doing flatwork with longer stirrups. The only thing I would add next time would be an access hole into the panels for field flocking.

Note: the undersides of the flaps on my monoflap are vinyl rather than leather. I was a bit put off by this, then thought about the price again. ;) Also, being in humid FL, I have found they are easier to keep mold-free, and certainly don't seem to impair function or feel at all.

Several people noticed how much freer my mare was through her shoulders when I started using this saddle, and my dressage instructor even likes my position in it. The balance for jumping is great, and I've even hunted in it for hours at a time very comfortably.

colorfan
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:24 PM
The Duett jumping style might be an option. I have had pretty good luck with dealers sending me saddles on trial.

Have you tried a Lovatt and Ricketts? They are designed for wide round horses.
I think Trilogy and Lemke are also designed for wider horses.

Have you thought about a treeless?

jn4jenny
Mar. 29, 2011, 02:38 PM
Here's the deal. There are only a handful of brands that even make saddles with hoop trees, and once we subtract the brands that don't or won't make you a forward-flapped model, we're not talking about very many saddles. And once we subtract the brands that you will not reasonably find on an $1800 budget, we're left with a very small pool of candidates.

In a perfect world, on an unlimited budget, I would tell you to look for a Frank Baines Enigma, a Black Country Quantum X, an Ideal Saddlery monoflap, or maybe a used Albion Kontrol or a used County Conquest. But your chances of finding any of those in XW or 2XW on an $1800 budget are next to none; it could happen but it would take a miracle (those all go used or new in the $2300+ range).

If you really want to pursue that, you could get on the phone with some reps and see if anyone has a demo in your price range. My guess is no, but miracles do happen.

Now let's talk about Stuff You Can Afford And Actually Expect to Get Without a Miracle at $1800.

1. Revisit Duett. Nancy can put a more forward flap on any of her models. I'd chat her up about the new(ish) monoflap model and the Presto Eventing.

2. Find a Prestige in a suitably close size and agreeable price, then pay to have the tree adjusted to the size you really need. This 18" Prestige Eventing with the 35cm tree is a nice candidate if you're willing to pay to have it widened a size or two:
http://www.saddlesource.com/proddetail.asp?prod=CONS00000688

3. Try a Kent and Masters Jump saddle (retails at $1675), which is a leather version of the Thorowgood T6 jump saddle. Neither Thorowgood (nor its official leather cousin, Fairfax) is making that saddle in an 18" seat, but Kent and Masters is, so there's your best chance to get a saddle that fits your leg since none of these brands will customize the flap to make it more forward. On the upside, this is an adjustable-gullet saddle with a wool panel that is cut very nicely to accommodate some wither (even has wither gussets in the front, how spiffy). Hastilow in Pennsylvania allegedly stocks this saddle, and they are good people to talk to anyway since they also rep for Black Country and their own British brand Hastilow (so maybe have one of the aforementioned "miracle" demo saddles). Just don't expect it to ride like your Collegiate. ;)

4. This is kind of a "punt" maneuver, but try a Pessoa Legacy Event saddle with the widest XW gullet in it. You might luck out with a little tweaking in the wool panel or changing up your padding configuration. The flap is quite forward, so no problem for your leg. It retails around $2050, but VTO Saddlery has a nice one that is basically like new at $1700:
http://www.vtosaddlery.com/product/US/PESWXMC.htm

5. Depending on exactly what you dislike about the fit of your Collegiate, it might be worth a goose chase to track down the old Bates Event saddle (not the Momentum). It would accommodate your leg nicely and it has a slightly flatter panel shape than the Collegiate. The trick, of course, is finding one as it's been discontinued for several years. When you find them, they sell used for around $1000.

Good luck. Long leg + wide horse + small budget is not an easy combo. I am helping someone locally with an equally wide horse but a more average length of leg, and she is struggling at $2400.

PS--Your dressage saddle search will probably be easier. Dollars to donuts says that horse will fit nicely in a Thornhill Vienna, a lovely little $950 dressage saddle that's built on a hoop tree, comes in Stupidly Wide sizes, and accommodates a long leg very nicely (as in, my trainer who is 5'11" and rides in an 18.5" Devoucoux jump saddle also rides her Hanoverian mare in a 17" Thornhill Vienna.)

purplnurpl
Mar. 29, 2011, 04:20 PM
1. Revisit Duett. Nancy can put a more forward flap on any of her models. I'd chat her up about the new(ish) monoflap model and the Presto Eventing.



I wish this were true.

But I am up in the air about Duett/Nancy because she CANNOT put a forward flap on her saddles (she spent a month telling me I just needed 19" seat)
and she has "little interest in the monoflap" (her exact words) therefore only keeps one in stock for trials.

And her next order is not until this summer for a Sept delivery. So the Monoflap is out unless her stock fits you.

so here I am, stuck buying a wintec wide (I need 40cm) for the time being.

sigh.

jn4jenny
Mar. 29, 2011, 04:26 PM
But I am up in the air about Duett/Nancy because she CANNOT put a forward flap on her saddles (she spent a month telling me I just needed 19" seat)

You probably have more updated info than I do since I haven't talked to her directly since last year. However, the OP happens to have a fairly large and long-backed large mare, so going up to an 18.5" or 19" seat might not be beyond possibility. I'm not saying it's a definite option or even an ideal option--eventually, that strategy catches up to you in the placement of the stirrup bar--but on an $1800 budget with a long-legged rider and wide horse, you have to get creative.


and she has "little interest in the monoflap" (her exact words) therefore only keeps one in stock for trials.

She's never made a mystery of that, and I sort of can't blame her. Other than eventers, very few people are looking for a monoflap model. It's certainly not her money maker.


so here I am, stuck buying a wintec wide (I need 40cm) for the time being.

sigh.

I hope you had a chance to trial that saddle as it's got one of the weirdest twists ever--long and super narrow. Is the Thornhill Berlin is out of the running? :(

For the record, I don't personally care for how the Duett Presto Eventing rides either. I tried the Presto Eventing and the Rondo 2 and wasn't too fond of either. I did like the seat on the Duett Fidelo and Encore dressage saddles.

purplnurpl
Mar. 29, 2011, 04:36 PM
Unfortunaly I need a good xc/jumping saddle that I can do all three phases in, and with my ubber long legs none of Albions jumping saddles look like they have a forward enough flap that would fit me (plus even the used ones are lots $$). I am 5'9" and I know I fit very well in saddles like the Stubben Roxanne S and the Courbette Vision Extra.

I have a budget of about $1800 tops,
Thanks in advance!

I have to add, I'm a giant. And I have learned that when you are working with a small budget sometimes you have to give something up--like a perfect fit.
Fit the horse, and cram yourself into the saddle.

I have a Prestige Eventer 17" extra forward flap. Sad for me that I didn't get the XXL flap in an 18" but hey, it's all good and it fits when I'm in two point. ;)
and the seat is flat so that I can slide off the back with ease.
(I actually prefer the foam panel)
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/prestige1.jpg

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/prestige2.jpg


I needed a nice saddle for the hunters so I fit the horse to what I knew worked for him. I bought a stock sized 18" Prestige Meredith.
It works, got it for 1.2K. That's all I could afford.

Really, when it comes down to the knit and gritty. Sometimes a little
bit-o CC debt is worth getting what you really need.

Better to get it right the first time than be unhappy and finally bite the bullet after wasting 1.5K on a saddle that you will never really be happy with.

purplnurpl
Mar. 29, 2011, 04:40 PM
I hope you had a chance to trial that saddle as it's got one of the weirdest twists ever--long and super narrow. Is the Thornhill Berlin is out of the running? :(

For the record, I don't personally care for how the Duett Presto Eventing rides either. I tried the Presto Eventing and the Rondo 2 and wasn't too fond of either. I did like the seat on the Duett Fidelo and Encore dressage saddles.

good info!!
I've been copying all of the names/sites listed in this thread. I'll have Nancy send me what she can (for trial) also.

I have had trouble finding makers that do 40cm.
(+ I'm 6' tall and have LOTS of leg)

hmmmm...I've never heard of the Thornhill.
(oh, just googled it.)
yup, with my height I can't get a deep seat or a knee roll. It needs to be flat with a block so that my leg has room to bust out where it needs to. lol.
It will have to be a hoop tree for this mare.
she's 15.1 and needs my 56" girth! (I tried her in my friends Rhondo)


for the OP:
it sounds like the horse would fit into a regular sized wide tree (rather than a hoop tree) but a lot of them cause an issue with her horse's large shoulder.
I have had luck with the should issues with the Prestige saddles (as long as you put them in the right place, folks sometimes tend to put them too far up).
It's going to be hard to find a maker that will custom an XL flap that will work with the horse's shoulder and the rider's long leg.