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View Full Version : Saddle fitting a wide wide mare - WWYD?



sirensong4
Dec. 19, 2011, 08:02 PM
So after a lot of trial and error fitting the World's Widest Horse, I have recently purchased a used Balance GPJ saddle off of eBay (no returns accepted, of course).
I believe the saddle is an early model that predates the Zenith but it is very similar. It's an 8x tree. It fits me great but I have noticed that it seems to sit incorrectly on my horse. It tips to the right quite noticeably, and one panel is longer than the other if you look at both of them from the bottom. Also, one of the panels seems more rounded while the other seems more flattened. My mare's back is actually very symmetrical, and the tipping-to-the-right has has never happened with any other saddle. Also, this one seems to cause me to sit more on my left seat bone but i do not know if that is related.
I know that Balance saddles tend to emphasize weaknesses in position but I should point out that I also have a Balance Matrix dressage saddle which causes none of these same issues. I get schwung like you wouldn't believe with that particular saddle. :)
What sort of advice or guidance can you offer me, COTH? Should I send the saddle to Balance for re-stuffing? There are very few saddle fitters in my rural area of Idaho and I would almost bet there are no Balance-certified saddle consultants.

FlashGordon
Dec. 19, 2011, 09:17 PM
First, I can't help you at all.

But, wow, I was excited to click on your link in your sig and see pics of this 8x mare. Damn and I thought mine was wide!

sirensong4
Dec. 19, 2011, 11:44 PM
Oh, ha ha--i should explain. The Balance saddles are built on the premise that the saddle should be too wide and then filled in with soft padding rather than a rigid tree like you would find on a standard saddle. The narrowest Balance Zenith you can get is a 7x tree.
My mare measures between a 38 and a 40 cm tree--not Trojan Horse-wide but still well out of the range of most saddle manufacturers.

purplnurpl
Dec. 20, 2011, 09:51 AM
send it to Balance with some back tracings and have them stuff it for you.

Either that or get a mattes pad and pad up one side.

In the end you'll save a ton of heart ache if you just have it fixed. : )

I feel your pain.
Right now I'm riding in a Duett (40cm) and a Germania Spring 2XW (38cm).

:cool:

sirensong4
Dec. 20, 2011, 12:35 PM
Toby has a Roxie back! :D Sweeeeeet.

Yeah i was ecstatic to find the Matrix dressage saddle that I did. And I have an Ansur Classic that i dink around in, and a Thorowgood T4 broadback that is actually an excellent fit but way too dressagey of a flap.

I'm borrowing an Ansur Konklusion for jumping and gallops right now but Megan (http://albigears.blogspot.com) is probably going to want it back eventually.

sirensong4
Dec. 20, 2011, 12:37 PM
Any guidance on what shipping to England will be?

purplnurpl
Dec. 20, 2011, 02:38 PM
oh dang. It's in England?

They don't have a rep here?
Can any saddler stuff it for you?

Fancy That
Dec. 20, 2011, 03:25 PM
If you end up needing a different cc/jumping saddle, I would HIGHLY recommend the County Innovation in XW.

My mare is a Propane Tank with Legs.......the Innovation runs CRAZY- WIDE so it fits like a XXW easily.

Love your Chunkey-Monkey mare :)

Here's my ROUND WIDE girl:
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Twin%20Oaks%20Ranch/May%202011/Fsnooze.jpg

Daatje
Dec. 20, 2011, 03:36 PM
Well, after trying a ton on my broad girl, I ended up with the Sensation G4 Jump by Nickers Saddlery.

Best saddle I've ever bought.

The saddle before was a Balance Matrix....it was wide enough, but totally not stable. I had to girth up much too tightly and ride in a breast girth just so it wouldn't shift!

After 4 seasons of hunting in 5 different saddles (all of which made her back sore by the end of the season and several gave her white spots after the fact!) I took the plunge and bought the Sensation.

I already rode treeless for dressage (Ansur Carlton) but hadn't yet gone that route for jumping. Very glad I did....mare is too. :)

FlashGordon
Dec. 20, 2011, 06:07 PM
Right now I'm riding in a Duett (40cm) and a Germania Spring 2XW (38cm).

:cool:

Hey how do you like your saddles? I've been looking at both Thornhill and Duett, the Germania Spring and the Presto specifically.

And OP I'm guessing shipping to England is gonna be about $150-200?? At least?

purplnurpl
Dec. 21, 2011, 08:46 AM
Hey how do you like your saddles? I've been looking at both Thornhill and Duett, the Germania Spring and the Presto specifically.

And OP I'm guessing shipping to England is gonna be about $150-200?? At least?

The Presto was too flat for me and it also made me use a much much shorter stirrup that what I like. And if I remember correctly the blocks were stationary--no velcro.

I bought the Foxhunter but really topped out over fences with it at 2'3".

The horse I need to fit is HUGE. Basically a couch. All of the horses posted don't hold a card to this girl. She is 15hands tall and 15hands wide.
here:
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/abby2.jpg

The Foxhunter I now use for dressage on the hippo.
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/333866_10150754542805212_664505211_20376501_728309 7_o.jpg

I bought the Germania for jumping the hippo.
here it is on trial day.
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/AbbyDentonCreek009.jpg
and after a bit of time.
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/Prestigecollar.jpg

the only issue I had was that the blocks were not velcro. They were a little low and made my knees raw. I cut the blocks off and used contact cement to glue on velcro. Problem solved. It took all of 1hr and looks pretty nice and tidy.

I don't like either as much as my Prestige! But that was to be expected. I also don't like wool flocking...which they both are.
The flocking in the Duett is better quality. But I use an equinity pad underneath my saddles so it's a moot point. The seat in the Germania is hard--as compared to my Prestige.

I would recommend both saddles to those in need of wides and have a budget of under $1500.
My Duett is a 40cm and the Germania is an XXW which is about a 38cm. It's a tad snug on hippo but gets the job done.

When the mare leaves in March I'm keeping the Germania because it actually is a perfect fit on our QH, Toby. Where-as the Duett and Wintec Wide are going to be sold.

Subira
Dec. 21, 2011, 10:07 AM
You actually wouldn't have to ship the saddle to England if it does need re-flocking. They have a woman in Colorado that handles that. You do however, need to contact BALANCE and explain the situation and they will advise you from there.

I also sent you a PM.

sirensong4
Dec. 22, 2011, 03:53 AM
Thanks for all the assistance, COTH!
I am going to send the saddle to Balance's fitter in Colorado. She's $400 to reflock it but purplenurpl is right--if I am going to fix it, i want to fix it right. And I am SO happy I don't have to ship it to England that I'm basically still considering it a win. :cool:
In the meantime, any other saddle and/or fitter recommendations are greatly appreciated! I like this saddle but I am not 100% sure it is "the one."

mildot
Dec. 22, 2011, 08:23 AM
I have nothing to say about saddles. I just wanted you to know that Roxie is really funny. :lol:

purplnurpl
Dec. 22, 2011, 09:32 AM
Thanks for all the assistance, COTH!
I am going to send the saddle to Balance's fitter in Colorado. She's $400 to reflock it but purplenurpl is right--if I am going to fix it, i want to fix it right. And I am SO happy I don't have to ship it to England that I'm basically still considering it a win. :cool:
In the meantime, any other saddle and/or fitter recommendations are greatly appreciated! I like this saddle but I am not 100% sure it is "the one."

Duett saddles are a really good bang for your buck.
I think they tend to resale pretty well too.
Might be worth checking in with Nancy.

and if you want to look around, here is this link:
http://saddlefitter.com/

I picked up the Germania (1st picture in the jumper saddles section) but the Smith Worthington would have been my first choice if money were unlimited.
http://saddlefitter.com/smith_worthington_altair.htm

It looks quite tastey.

Fancy That
Dec. 22, 2011, 03:04 PM
Purp - love that chunky monkey bay mare!

OP - you got some great suggestions if you are looking for something else. Smith Worthington are FANTASTIC quality saddles. Duetts absolutely do not compare, quality-wise. It's too bad, I know someone that just sold a nearly $4000 SW saddle for $600, and it is marked size XXW (though she said it fit more like a XW)

I fully recommend a County Innovation in XW, if you can find one. They run CRAZY WIDE:)

And a Black Country QuantumX can also work. It has a hoop/freedom tree and they are very nice quality too.

If you are on a budget - perhaps a Duett, since they can easily be found used for under $700

FlashGordon
Dec. 22, 2011, 11:06 PM
Hey purplnurpl ,I just wanted to say thank you for the info, it was very helpful! And I loved the pics! You guys make a really nice pair. :)

sirensong4
Dec. 27, 2011, 01:28 PM
Yeah, these are all FANTASTIC suggestions. Thanks, all!
I may look into the Smith-Worthingtons. I've been saving my pennies for a while so i can afford something pretty nice. And at this point, I will pay ANYTHING to stop playing saddle roulette.
I am having my Balance reflocked but, like i said, always good to know there are other options out there. :)
Thanks again, everyone!