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Perfect Pony
Oct. 3, 2011, 02:05 PM
My saddle nightmare doesn't seem to want to end. I have so far tried a multitude of dressage saddles, including my ill fated custom saddle (of which I returned, yeah!) and after this weekend's latest saddle fitting attempt I am running into dead ends.

So far the only saddles that have been recommended as fitting is a $5000 Schleese Link II, and some Euroriding saddles that aren't really available in this country.

This particular pony has a very narrow weight baring surface along her topline, wide shoulders, and almost no room behind the whithers for the saddle. She needs narrow and short panels but with points that will allow shoulder freedom. he also has a flat back.

Does a saddle like this exist off the rack? So far the only saddle I have found that she is ridable in is a 17" narrow tree County Innovation jumping saddle. And even with that I now need a Mattes pad to clear her whithers.

Suggestions?

atr
Oct. 3, 2011, 02:16 PM
I know it's not a very pretty solution, but an old-style County Competitor might do the trick. I think you probably need those swept-up panels rather than the flat...

Or a Niedersuss Symphony? They have the same kind of panel design.

CHT
Oct. 3, 2011, 02:25 PM
Have you looked at a Frank Baines custom model? It worked for my hard to fit, short backed horse. They have a few styles for different back types and aren't crazy expensive (depending on the exchange rate)

meupatdoes
Oct. 3, 2011, 02:29 PM
My experience with Jaguar saddles has been that they have extremely upswept panels in back. That did not work for the horse I saw using the saddle, but he was not a pony with a short back, either. This configuration could possibly be a way to have the saddle be large enough for the rider while still being short enough for the horse.

arabiansrock
Oct. 3, 2011, 02:30 PM
PP - look on ebay for an OLD passier, circa 1970's to early 1980-s. They have short points, shorter upswept panels, and fit just about everything!

Alinera2
Oct. 3, 2011, 03:16 PM
You might want to look at the Stubben Genesis dressage saddles. Their panels don't extend nearly as far as most current dressage saddles. The panel shape on the Stubben is more like we used to see on the old flat jumping saddles.

Perfect Pony
Oct. 3, 2011, 03:29 PM
You might want to look at the Stubben Genesis dressage saddles. Their panels don't extend nearly as far as most current dressage saddles. The panel shape on the Stubben is more like we used to see on the old flat jumping saddles.

Thanks! I forgot about Stubben, and they also have the Juventus that comes in a 17" seat. I will contact them.

FYI, I have tried a KN, panels are too wide and long.

friesian4me
Oct. 3, 2011, 03:45 PM
We have 2 such ponies and I ride them with a Verhan. Has upswept panels. Mine is an older version and I love it.

Gallop~on~Grant
Oct. 3, 2011, 03:52 PM
I have the same pony and the Schleese Wave and Schleese Derby both worked for us. Found both used for under 3k.

LaraNSpeedy
Oct. 3, 2011, 03:56 PM
here here on the old County. I have 3 of them - actually sold one on ebay to buy my WB a big saddle. But the saddle fitter came out and showed me how it seemed of ALLLLL the saddles she had with her and my saddles - the ONLY one that fit my 14.1 Connemara Paint cross' back was the old County. She showed how the rounded back and way the gullet is and how it all sits - that is the saddle that fit and yeah for me so I did not have to buy a new saddle for him!

And they are comfy and last a long time.

Perfect Pony
Oct. 3, 2011, 04:18 PM
Well I will have to try some with upswept panels then, might be interesting as she has the flattest back ever.

here is a picture I took of her yesterday. I will have to see if anyone locally has something I can try on her back. None of the French jumping saddles fit her all all (I tried CWD, Devoucoux, Antares..)

http://inlinethumb59.webshots.com/46586/2082250860104500765S600x600Q85.jpg

Do any of you have pictures of these saddles actually on your ponies?

norcalammie
Oct. 3, 2011, 04:27 PM
If the County Innovation fits her, is there not a County dressage saddle that will work?

Gallop~on~Grant
Oct. 3, 2011, 04:29 PM
Sending you some pictures of pony with saddle to your email.

Pocket Pony
Oct. 3, 2011, 06:03 PM
What about a treeless saddle? They may actually be too long, though... anyone use a treeless on a pony?

not again
Oct. 3, 2011, 06:09 PM
A Stubben Tristan may work too. I have had both old Passiers and old Stubbens and the canter panel is more rounded on the Tristan.

ise@ssl
Oct. 3, 2011, 06:33 PM
For some of our German Riding ponies that are shorter in the back we've gone with AP saddles instead of dressage saddles. The flaps are smaller and they are easier to find with smaller seat sizes. The bigger challenge is the width.

Perfect Pony
Oct. 3, 2011, 06:45 PM
For some of our German Riding ponies that are shorter in the back we've gone with AP saddles instead of dressage saddles. The flaps are smaller and they are easier to find with smaller seat sizes. The bigger challenge is the width.

yes I have thought of that also, especially since it's nicer to ride with a bit of a shorter stirrup since she is narrow through the girth. Some of the AP saddle look more dressage than jumping. Nice to know others have done the same.

Xfactor
Oct. 4, 2011, 03:27 AM
I use an Ansur on all my horses, including my 11-12h sec A Welsh pony!
Needless to say he doesn't have a wither, is short/flat backed. He is quite wide for his size, so maybe the fit is easier?

I tried a bunch of wide or XW saddles...nope....pony saddles....nope. My horse's Ansur fit him better than anything I tried.

I would suggest trying to find a rep and at least try one. There are several styles that might suit you and your pony best.
I never thought I'd go treeless, but with my group of horses, ranging from ultra high withered med's to ultra flat xxw...an Ansur made sense. The best part is I adore it and can't imagine riding in a rigid treed saddle again. I even ride in it on the trails, it is so comfy. Was just on a 3.5 hour ride on Sunday and as everyone got off their horse, whining about their sore bums, mine was just fine. =)
I had to dismount to take my horse down a steep ravine by hand...hopped back up from the ground, no slippage.

One horse I have was also a fitting nightmare, and no matter what I tried, his back was always sore, day after riding. As I'd run my fingers down his back his skin would flinch. I was so so frustrated. Tried a few different fitters and MANY saddles with no great improvement. Lots of massage therapy, chiropractic...

Tried the Ansur after a few months of rest....next day, no back quiver. Thought it was coincidental. Tried it again... still no pain.
Not only did he just move more freely in lessons, his back has consistently been pain free, even after lengthy trail rides.

Just something to think about. =)

GreyDes
Oct. 4, 2011, 07:43 AM
I have a Smith Worthington Danzig for my 14hh Arab. He's also short-coupled, and crazy wide through the shoulders.

It has short points. It doesn't have upswept panels, but based on his tracings and photos, they softened the flocking all the way in the back for him. He's been very comfortable in this, and I like how balanced I am in it.

Regarding treeless - I rode him in an Ansur Carleton for the first year and a half. I really liked the flexibility when he was changing shape pretty much weekly :). However, at least for us, there was a huge difference in how he went in the Smith Worthington v. the Ansur, especially when we started lateral work. I know they work well for some folks - this was just my experience.

kelampe
Oct. 4, 2011, 08:01 AM
I second the Frank Baines. I have an elegance for my ridiculously short backed Connemara cross. The panels aren't particularly upswept but are very soft at the back and the weight bearing surface is farther forward. It's the only dressage saddle I found that fit both him and me.

carolprudm
Oct. 4, 2011, 08:53 AM
I've had great luck with County on my Irish horses. I have used both Eventers and Connections

exvet
Oct. 4, 2011, 09:01 AM
Have you considered contacting some of the master saddlers/fitter in Britain? Some post to the other board. They have dealt with this type of problem frequently and imo have a broader range of selection in suitable, decent quality saddles to recommend for this problem. I contacted one a few years back for one of mine. She recommended I go with one of the show saddles that they use in their flat show classes which is similar to a dressage saddle in appearance and doesn't give you as forward of a flap as the all-purpose saddles. Many are designed to accomodate the conformation of the British Isle breeds. One brand that is here in the states is the Ideal saddle. They have show, dressage and jumping models. I know of one tack shop in TX that at least use to carry them. The owner has/had welsh cobs.

Perfect Pony
Oct. 4, 2011, 10:15 AM
Thanks everyone, so many great ideas! There is a gal at the barn with a FB Reflex (which is the one the fitter said *might* work) and she is going to let me see how the panels fit. Schleese is also coming to my area at the end of the months, so I can at least do a fitting with them and see if I can find used. Also, thanks for the info on the British riding saddles.

Sometimes I think I should just buy a treeless endurance saddle and take up trial riding..

esdressage
Oct. 4, 2011, 10:24 AM
I'm a huge Passier fan and they have created a Compact Dressage Saddle (http://www.passier.com/index.php?id=15&L=1) designed for shorter-backed horses, without having to go with a smaller seat size than what would be correct for the rider.

Dune
Oct. 4, 2011, 11:39 AM
I'm a huge Passier fan and they have created a Compact Dressage Saddle (http://www.passier.com/index.php?id=15&L=1) designed for shorter-backed horses, without having to go with a smaller seat size than what would be correct for the rider.


That looks like an interesting saddle solution! Personally, I'm a Custom Saddlery fan, do they come to your area PP?

Perfect Pony
Oct. 4, 2011, 12:38 PM
That looks like an interesting saddle solution! Personally, I'm a Custom Saddlery fan, do they come to your area PP?

So far no luck finding anyone in the US that carries the Compact Passier.

CS does come to my area, but several people at the barn struggled with them, in the last 5 years I have not heard or seen a good interaction. I seriously doubt having seen and ridden in the saddles that they will solve my problem (which is the length and width of the panels).

I personally love the Trilogy saddles, but they too will not work with this pony :(

I called Trumbell, and even the Frank Baines Reflex only has 19" panels in the 17" seat and smaller. Everything else is 20" or more long, and that is their short panel saddle. My jumping saddle measures 19" and it barely fits.

Hampton Bay
Oct. 4, 2011, 11:55 PM
I saw a used Lauriche somewhere recently that was built for a narrow horse and a very short rider. Most of them are made for wide horses, but if you find a narrow one, they do tend to fit flatter backs well.

Your pony looks to be built just like my Arab, but level vs. uphill. Its a very hard shape to fit. I make do with the Lauriche that's just a hair wide on him, and a hair too wide in the twist for my ideal saddle. There are just so few options for narrow and FLAT.

alto
Oct. 5, 2011, 04:47 AM
Email sent with some photos.

esdressage
Oct. 5, 2011, 10:07 AM
Passier reps won't bring out a Compact for you to try? Bummer.

My mare is short coupled and a regular 17" GG fits her wonderfully, too.

Perfect Pony
Oct. 5, 2011, 10:11 AM
Passier reps won't bring out a Compact for you to try? Bummer.

My mare is short coupled and a regular 17" GG fits her wonderfully, too.

So far I have found one in the country, back East. I may need to just find one and order it and see if it fits, but I would like to find one I can actually demo and ride in, so far no luck except being able to put it on her back and sit in it.

I have an email in to Passier about any reps local, but have not heard back.

I'm kinda close to just giving up for the winter to be honest, she's only 4 :)

KateWooten
Oct. 5, 2011, 10:11 AM
How about a Custom Saddlery Steffen's Advantage with the short panels ?

ponysize
Oct. 5, 2011, 10:18 AM
So far no luck finding anyone in the US that carries the Compact Passier.

CS does come to my area, but several people at the barn struggled with them, in the last 5 years I have not heard or seen a good interaction. I seriously doubt having seen and ridden in the saddles that they will solve my problem (which is the length and width of the panels).

I personally love the Trilogy saddles, but they too will not work with this pony :(

I called Trumbell, and even the Frank Baines Reflex only has 19" panels in the 17" seat and smaller. Everything else is 20" or more long, and that is their short panel saddle. My jumping saddle measures 19" and it barely fits.

My two short backed ponies can have no larger than an 18" panel. they are in close contacts.

artisticgold
Oct. 5, 2011, 05:55 PM
I have a Schleese Triumph 17" saddle that is made for very short backed horses with shoulder relief panels for freedom of the shoulder. The 17" saddle only measures 17" from front to back where it would be on the horses back...probably can't find anything much smaller in a dressage saddle.

*Teddy*
Oct. 5, 2011, 09:04 PM
I have a uk made "checkmate" saddle that is 17" and can be worn by a 11.2hh pony comfortably so maybe look them up?

buck22
Oct. 5, 2011, 09:21 PM
What about a treeless saddle? They may actually be too long, though... anyone use a treeless on a pony?
I think treeless isn't a half bad idea actually. The rider's weight will be over the stronger part of the back, no extended panels to dig down into the loins. Especially as you're not thinking of doing hard riding in the winter, I think treeless is something to consider.

Treeless fitting is just as important as treed fitting though. Need to be sure you pad to clear the spine, and don't have anything to sit and rub on the withers.

I have used my Heather Moffet SBS Flexion on many many many short backed ponies, even a little 13.1h morganx and a 12.3 welsh x

I'm shocked I didn't see this brought up, so I likely missed it... but you need to be searching for "upswept panels", like a Roosli, or Amerigo, or Dominus. Upswept panels are designed for short backs. Usually a short tree point and lot of shoulder freedom is part and parcel with an upswept panel as large shoulders close to the barrel/withers generally goes along with a short back. Other thing that goes with short backs however (generally) is width, and curviness, like baroque breeds, morgans, etc. This is not the case with your mare from what I read.

I kissed a lot of saddle frogs trying to find one that fit my curvy morgan, the Ideal Jessica would have fit your description of your mare.... but don't run off blindly to get one, there are *many* versions of the Jessica, it was a popular model for a very very long time, and its a highly customized. Treat each Jessica as an individual.

Prestige, especially an older model like a Top, is something else to consider, I think you'd be pleased.

Perhaps Roosli, thought they tend to be curvy. There are two Rooslis, brothers (or kin of some kind) that both have saddlerys, one is higher end than the other, one tree fits flatter than the other, I do not recall which.

Look for older Barnsby, Courbette, and check out what Duett and Thornhill have to offer too. County saddles, especially older ones, tend to be very curvy, they might rock painfully on a flat back.

good luck

saddles w upswept panels (not affiliated with any of these)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Verhan-Odyssey-Dressage-Saddle-17-1-2-Excellent-Cond-/310335120304?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item48416a23b0

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Demo-Prestige-Galileo-D-Dressage-Saddle-17-33-2365-/200562411475?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb27387d3

http://www.ebay.com/itm/COURBETTE-17-MW-KORORAL-GEN-PURPOSE-DRESSAGE-SADDLE-133-/270796782685?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f0cbefc5d

http://www.ebay.com/itm/COURBETTE-17-MW-KORORAL-GEN-PURPOSE-DRESSAGE-SADDLE-133-/270796782685?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f0cbefc5d

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Prestige-Optimax-17-dressage-saddle-girth-included-/250903901713?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a6b09b611

something like this would probably really work depending on the overall panel length (the tree appears on the flat side)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Prestige-Optimax-Dressage-Saddle-18-in-32-cm-/250851306583?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a67e72c57