View Full Version : Hunter crossing over...Need saddle help!

Jun. 10, 2011, 06:19 PM
Hey all! This hunter princess - (in transition!) is in need of some help :(

My guy is now in training at a FABULOUS eventing barn, and he's loving the work and looks better than ever. However, I am trapped in saddle hell.

He has really put on a lot of weight and muscle, and his shape has changed drastically (and quickly). My current saddle(s) don't fit, and the only thing in the barn that fits apparently is my trainer's Schleese monoflap saddle (which I surprisingly loved!)

I'm worried that buying a saddle now is pointless as he will continue to change shape, but I have nothing to use in the meantime. I have been kindly offered a saddle by a fellow COTH'er, but unfortunately my fitter just couldn't make it work and my Childeric saddle bridges terribly. I'm on a small budget (1500 or less) and the saddle must be wool flocked so it can be fitted. I've been shopping for a while and no luck yet.

I guess I just need some help trying to figure out what to do. I've been going around and around on this saddle thing for days now in my head and I think I just need a fresh perspective.

Jun. 10, 2011, 07:21 PM
Tell your saddle fitter that the Schleese monoflap fits him well. Ask him what other saddles would fit similarly. Then look for used ones with trial periods. Trumbull Mountain is also great to work with.

Jun. 10, 2011, 08:11 PM
I'd second Trumbull Mtn, even if you just consult with their fitters they're really helpful and look at a lot of horses and can help steer you in the right direction. Saddle hell IS most definitely hell, I feel your pain. It sounds like you've already tried everything in the barn -- can a fitter bring you some stuff or is there a shop you can haul to to try things out?

Jun. 10, 2011, 09:35 PM
HA! I thought you were me, for a second! I rode in my trainer's $6,000 Schleese yesterday and of course, it's the only saddle that's fit him out of.. 10, so far. And, I loved it.

I have no advice yet, as I am going to be working with Anne from Equestrian Imports to find a new (to me) dressage and jumping saddle since my horse has filled out from a MN to a MW. Best of luck!

Jun. 10, 2011, 10:40 PM
LOL I think there needs to be a support group for this!

I would love to try to work with TM or another tack shop, but I am located in Canada, so that makes things a bit trickier. I have told my fitter what works for me, and he knows what works for my guy, but my budget seems to knock a lot of good saddles out of contention :(

Unfortunately since nothing fits right now, I'm actually toying with buying a bareback pad and just using that for the summer and saving my cash up for a new saddle next year. My part boarder doesn't like this idea so much :lol: She even had her old saddle fitted to him, but now *of course* it doesn't fit. If we can't find something that fits, her whole season will be a wash and I feel horrible about that. She's put in a lot of work up until he went lame, and she was right there helping with the rehab program to get him better. That girl is worth her weight in gold.

The Schleese was saddle number....20? Just for giggles, I've tried:
Childeric, Antares, Devocoux (CC and dressage), CWD, County (Symmetry CC and dressage), Bates, Exselle, Prestige, Schleese, Crosby (Centennial and XL), Passier, Mark Todd, Courbette, Collegiate and a going to try an Amerigo this weekend.

Believe me, it's not for lack of trying!

Jun. 10, 2011, 11:39 PM
Have you tried a Pessoa on him? I have no clue how they fit compared to a Schleese, but I noticed it wasn't on your list as a brand you'd tried. I love my Pessoa AO and Legacy Event XP3. They fit nearly everything I've stuck them on. Several models come wool flocked--my Legacy Event is.

Jun. 10, 2011, 11:40 PM
I'm not sure where you are located, but my only advice is that you find a great used saddle shop (I love Rick's Heritage Saddlery (http://www.saddlesource.com/) in West Chester, PA) and start trying them on like running shoes.

Be sure not to get over invested in the the whole "brand name" thing. While quality is quality, I find a saddle that fits you AND the horse to be like a shoe that really fits YOUR foot: corrects all the weaknesses but allows the body to move.

Regarding your ever-changing horse: ask your trainer what he/she thinks the best plan is. Hey... if they let you borrow the Schlesse monoflap until your guy is all muscled up just say "thank you!" :)

Jun. 11, 2011, 03:08 AM
Contact Smith Worthington (http://www.smithworthington.com/index.php?p=product&id=467&parent=4) - they have alot of demo saddles besides what is listed on the webpage.

Canadian rep (http://www.smithworthington.com/index.php?p=page&page_id=Dealers-Canada) was very nice when I spoke with her last year.

Note I wouldn't rule out County saddles until you've had an actual rep out to fit your horse - saddle models are available in different trees, obviously new is out of your budget but used may work (you might ask your part boarder if she can contribute - offer to pay her back in installments)

Jun. 11, 2011, 09:13 AM
i had a really hard to fit horse horse couple of years ago. try albion saddles, wool flocked and very easy to have worked on. i have three now and love them all.good luck and welcome to the dark side :)