View Full Version : Saddle Recommendations for the long shouldered, short back horse

Jul. 22, 2011, 10:57 PM
I'm looking for saddle suggestions with wither gussets for a TB with a long shoulder and short back.

A little background:
My last saddle was a Prestige Eventing Saddle and I had loved the saddle on the two horses before current one. Riding the my current horse in the Prestige was fine on the flat but he can really crack his back and I felt a bit trapped in the saddle, not able to really move with him. The Prestige was also foam/felt in the panels and again the horse needs wool for more custom fit. I had the saddle fitter out today to look at a Black Country Tex Eventer that was a 17.5 and I admit a bit big for me but she said I need to find a saddle that is as small as I am willing to go because my horse has a long shoulder and a short back. I really liked the feel of the BC Eventer saddle for me but would love other suggestions to try. I am currently eventing Novice and will do at least Training with this horse. Thanks in advance.

Jul. 22, 2011, 11:05 PM
My horse is not short backed, but she is long shouldered and my County Conquest works well. The tree points give plenty of clearance, and the flap that extends in front of that is flexible, so it can lay on their shoulder a bit, without being restrictive. I have a 16.5 and it is a small saddle. If you are a 17, that's not much larger. It is wool flocked and has been adjusted to fit very well. The saddle is very supportive, without making me feel trapped. The knee and thigh blocks are there when you need them, but they don't interfere when you don't (I saw this saddle and went heck no until I sat in it, because the blocks are quite large, but they are squishy!!) The back of the seat feels open, so I can really sit back going down drops etc. Good Luck!

Jul. 23, 2011, 06:58 PM
LOVE LOVE LOVE my new Albion K2 Jump for my short backed mare. We were running into issues with my old saddle because if she cracked her back over the jump, it interfered a lot. New saddle is also a 17.5 but it "fits" much shorter on her back (in spite of being plenty roomy for me). It's also very light weight.

It did take me a few rides to not be disturbed by all the super supportive blocks. I was very aware of how my leg was slipping the first few rides.

Every saddle is made to order so if you need a larger or smaller flap, it can be done.

Photo of saddle...

Jul. 23, 2011, 07:02 PM
I have a family of short-coupled, open-shouldered mares. They also have wide, flat backs of the type that would fit the BC saddles. One of them wouldn't tolerate any pressure near her shoulder at all.

What works for me: Wintecs. I use the Pro Dressage and the Pro Jump for XC and SJ.

(And I went through a lot of saddles -- including some very pricey ones -- before discovering the wonders of Wintecs.)


Jul. 24, 2011, 09:40 AM
I went through a similar saddle fit nightmare because my mare has a short back and sloping shoulders, while I have a long femur. Made it really hard to find something that fit us both. I had a BC Tex Eventer, but I didn't get a custom, so I ended up with a larger seat size to accommodate my leg, rather than a more forward flap. Unfortunately, doing this made the saddle a bit long for my mare and a bit swimmy in the seat for me. When the saddle fitter came out, she recommended a saddle with short tree points and upswept panels. I ended up trying a Devoucoux Chiberta with a AA flap. It felt great and my mare really seemed to like it, but new it was out of my price range. When I went to Rolex, I sat in Devoucoux, CWD, Black Country, and Antares. Only Devoucoux and Antares had saddles on hand with the extra forward flap and I ended up walking away with the Antares at a substantial deal. My mare loves it and I can actually stay with her over fences :)

Good luck on your saddle search!

Carried Away
Jul. 24, 2011, 06:06 PM
I have a similar issue with my new horse, plus he is a bit croup high and the Black Country Quantum fits perfectly. It has wither gussets and is super comfy to ride in, got it used through Trumbull Mountain.

I love it so much that I am still trying to find a dressage saddle that even comes close to the same fit. Do you have a dressage saddle that works??

Jul. 25, 2011, 07:17 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I am probably going to be trying quite a few saddles.

Carried Away- I lucked out with the dressage saddle. I have a Prestige Grand that fits beautifully, just needs to be reflocked. Prestige's standard flocking is very hard and bunches up.

Carried Away
Jul. 25, 2011, 09:28 AM
Thanks, I will give the Prestige Grand a try! Good luck with your search!

Jul. 25, 2011, 10:03 AM
I have one of those and a plain old Stubben Siegfried works surprisingly well, right off the rack. Worth looking at, possibly.

Dressage saddle is a Trilogy Amadeo, custom tweaked.

Good luck. If I ever buy another horse, it will be one with conformation that doesn't pose saddle fitting challenges. :cool:

editing to add that neither of these has wither gussets.

Carried Away
Jul. 25, 2011, 10:59 AM
Agree about the next horse I buy having "normal" confo!! Of course I didn't consider saddle fit when I bought him since I liked him so much :) Luckily him having such a short back and long shoulder means fab movement!

I'm curious if any of the Stubben dressage saddles would work as I know the jump saddle trees seem a bit more curvy and have upswept panels. I have tried Prestige jump saddles but the trees were too flat-assuming their dressage saddles are different?

Sorry to hijack!!