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gully's pilot
Jul. 31, 2011, 12:15 PM
Ok everybody--

Gully is a wide Connemara who, ever since I got him 9 years ago, has presented a fitness/weight challenge. I keep him in a grazing muzzle, sometimes put him on a dry lot, feed him 8 oz. of Triple Crown Lite a day, and work him 5 times a week--but he was still not usually as fit as I wanted, and he still scored 7 or 8 on the body scale.

Last year I bought new (to me, anyhow) dressage and jump saddles. They were fit to us by a good saddle fitter, and they were fantastic.

This March two things happened: Gully went lame for 10 weeks, and the vet put him on Thyro-L. Since then he's dropped about 150 pounds. He looks great--probably right where he should be.

Now the saddles are too wide--still usable, but no longer ideal.

He's back in regular work and has been for a few months, but I think we've got a ways to go in building muscle--I'm working on some specific exercises now, and I'm ramping up his work to get back into competition, with an eye for the T3DE in mid-October.

My question: as he gets more fit, will he get broader again? What should I expect will happen to the saddle fit? I need to get the saddles adjusted, but I hate to do it now, only to find him broadening as he gains muscle in the next few months.

Advice?

hightide
Jul. 31, 2011, 12:37 PM
I wouldn't get the saddle adjusted right now, because as he gets more work, he'll build topline and may get a little wider, but I doubt he'll get back to pre 150lbs wide.
Once he's back in top condition, that's when I'd have the saddles readjusted, IME. I know with my Morgan, since he got the winters off, I'd start the season again with a half pad and normal thickness AP pad until he had gained the muscle in his back again, and then it was down to the normal AP pad.

ETA: If you could get your hands on a Mattes or ThinLine pad, something with shims, that's even better. You can shim the places where he doesn't have muscle yet, then remove them as needed.

wildlifer
Jul. 31, 2011, 01:47 PM
Pads are your friend. :-)

Hilary
Jul. 31, 2011, 03:28 PM
Also if he is getting REALLY fit, his musculature will change towards the narrow - their withers come up. My XC saddle is a hair wide for Star in the spring when she's, well, Reubenesque, and I use a thinline and a square pad. When she is really fit ( T3D or Prelim), I use a sheepskin and the square pad. She does not have a TB wither, but she really changes from pretty round, maybe there's a wither in there" to "yes, definite wither" when she is not fit/fit. So I think his back shape will change again on you but he won't get super wide. I am a huge fan of sheepskin for padding (against the horse for best benefit).

gully's pilot
Jul. 31, 2011, 04:04 PM
The biggest change in him that I can see is that he's actually got withers now. I have a sheepskin I've been putting under the dressage saddle; I'll start using it for jumping too.

purplnurpl
Aug. 1, 2011, 10:07 AM
Also if he is getting REALLY fit, his musculature will change towards the narrow - their withers come up.

I have found this to be true.

My issues were all solved with the Equinity Performance Pad.

If you do a search you'll find a thread about it. (I mentioned it in two threads)

GingerJumper
Aug. 1, 2011, 10:16 AM
Also if he is getting REALLY fit, his musculature will change towards the narrow - their withers come up. My XC saddle is a hair wide for Star in the spring when she's, well, Reubenesque, and I use a thinline and a square pad. When she is really fit ( T3D or Prelim), I use a sheepskin and the square pad. She does not have a TB wither, but she really changes from pretty round, maybe there's a wither in there" to "yes, definite wither" when she is not fit/fit. So I think his back shape will change again on you but he won't get super wide. I am a huge fan of sheepskin for padding (against the horse for best benefit).

^ditto this.

scubed
Aug. 1, 2011, 10:24 AM
Pads are good:

http://www.equinityperformance.com/

http://www.valleyvet.biz/ct_detail.html?pgguid=C0926795-188D-4F00-AB0C-2F2E73F9286D&item=38326&ccd=IFH003&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=free&utm_content=38326

http://www.trumbullmtn.com/store/saddle-pads/dressage-pads/mattes-pads/correction/

http://netequestrian-inc.amazonwebstore.com/Fleeceworks-Perfect-Balance-Pad/M/B001JYK9AW.htm?traffic_src=froogle&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=froogle

http://www.trumbullmtn.com/store/saddle-pads/dressage-pads/pacific-rim/

https://www.rainbowsendtack.com/EnglishSaddlePadsPage7.htm