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View Full Version : The "witherless" pony - How to keep saddle in place?



ForTheLoveOfHorse
Mar. 21, 2012, 11:05 AM
We have a new green pony who, on top of being overweight which isn't helping matters, has virtually no withers. The darn saddle will not stay in place, and this isn't your typical sliding slightly to one side or the other. It shifts severely, and seemingly constantly! (Yes, even when the rider is very careful to sit centered or rides without stirrups.)

I've tried a couple different non-slip pads from tack vendors in Ocala, but am wondering if anyone has a better idea, or knows of "the best" non-slip out there! We're riding him in a neoprene girth instead of leather or fleece since the neoprene helps a little, but only minimally!

Thanks in advance for your help and ideas! We'll try anything!

OveroHunter
Mar. 21, 2012, 11:11 AM
Is your saddle wide enough? I have the same problem with my guy. I had been riding him in a wide Moritz Accord, but I had a County saddle fitter come out and turns out he needs a XW - XXW tree. I tried a XW County Innovation and the saddle didn't slip at all.

Sunnyhorse
Mar. 21, 2012, 11:44 AM
Echoing OveroHunter -- if that saddle is perched up on top of the pony, it'll roll the minute someone puts a foot in the saddle. (Ask me how I know!) I ended up having to go custom to solve my problem, but my pony had other fitting issues as well, so you might well be able to go with an off-the-rack saddle. Good luck! :)

axl
Mar. 21, 2012, 11:57 AM
We used to have a pony that had fat pockets around her withers and we couldn't keep a saddle in place at all! Solution: breastplate
http://www.adamshorsesupplies.com/Ovation-Raised-Breastplate-P2538.aspx

which worked great until she lost the weight.

alto
Mar. 21, 2012, 12:03 PM
The darn saddle will not stay in place, and this isn't your typical sliding slightly to one side or the other. It shifts severely, and seemingly constantly!

Thanks in advance for your help and ideas! We'll try anything!

Look for a U-shaped tree - most saddles out there are A shaped trees, so you may need to involve a saddle fitter or tack shops that have a saddle fitting focus ... even if you go XXW in the A tree, saddle will still shift if pony needs a U tree.

For the non-slip pads, Barnsby & EcoGold get the best reviews (especially EG for the special pony situations).

Given the overweight issue, I'd get some of the weight off her with groundwork first & then start saddle hunting, though a good saddle fitter will be able to pretty accurately guess which saddle is going to fit best as the weight comes off.

hundredacres
Mar. 21, 2012, 12:06 PM
We used to have a pony that had fat pockets around her withers and we couldn't keep a saddle in place at all! Solution: breastplate
http://www.adamshorsesupplies.com/Ovation-Raised-Breastplate-P2538.aspx

which worked great until she lost the weight.

Our shetland needed a crupper that attaches to the saddle....OP's may need both crupper and breastplate :)! The one I had had a little metal "t" that slid into the back of the AP saddle.

showponies
Mar. 21, 2012, 01:15 PM
Another way is to use a wet shammy cloth. Dunk it in water, wring it out , then put it on the withers first, then saddle pad, then saddle... I dont like useing breastlpates and learned this trick years ago from an eventer..works like a charm! Also the no slip pads work as well, just a bit more $$$$$ then the shammy.

BeanCounterPony
Mar. 21, 2012, 03:42 PM
My pony doesnt have withers and is built a bit downhill so I have problems with the saddle sliding forward, especially while jumping. She is insulted by a crupper and I dont really blame her.

Ive had the best luck ever with dover's leather contoured girth. Im sure one of the more expensive versions would work well too. Its has worked better than the all the non-slip pads i have tried! I dont even bother using a non-slip pad anymore. The only time I have problems now is when we go down really steep hills while hacking out.

ForTheLoveOfHorse
Mar. 21, 2012, 06:08 PM
Thanks so much for your advice!! He's wearing a very wide pony saddle right now, but I'll check the shape of the tree (thanks alto!) for sure. Cruppers/breastplates are not going to be an option (though perhaps for riding him at home it would work fine)...he would would definitely catch some eyes walking into the ring at pony finals wearing those!

Western
Mar. 21, 2012, 10:21 PM
For when you're not riding English, David Genadek (saddle maker) has a video on how two cinches, equally snug, are far superior to the traditional one cinch. You can google for it.

bumknees
Mar. 22, 2012, 07:31 AM
Thanks so much for your advice!! He's wearing a very wide pony saddle right now, but I'll check the shape of the tree (thanks alto!) for sure. Cruppers/breastplates are not going to be an option (though perhaps for riding him at home it would work fine)...he would would definitely catch some eyes walking into the ring at pony finals wearing those!


There is nothing wrong wearing either one or both of these. Even to the pony finals. They used to be concidered standard equipment.
I think that wearing one or both of these are far more desireable that the saddle slipping either forward or back. Just because the are not the lastest fashion is not a valid reason to be sacred to use a valid piece of tack that would be benificial to your child and their pony. Geesh some parents are more into fashion than safety...
How sad....:(

bizbachfan
Mar. 22, 2012, 08:09 AM
I just got that same Ovation breastplate for my Haffie, I think it looks great and does help with the slipping.

DMK
Mar. 22, 2012, 10:16 AM
Hopefully the diet will kick in before pony finals and change his shape up a bit, until then, I'm thinking the neoprene girth, a breastplate and the blue non slip pad (gel eze) is your best bet. But when my youngster (not a pony) was in his "totally tubuler" phase (otherwise known as most of his 3 year old year - I swear, he looked like a sausuge), the blue pad didn't help that much and it is beyond the best non slip pad out there. But really, that's expecting a LOT our of a wee little non slip pad! ;)

ponysize
Mar. 22, 2012, 10:27 AM
Keep your padding as thin as possible. Any time there is saddle slip issues or pad issues, fit is the problem. On the wide barrel type animals, keep your padding at an absolute minimum. I would use a baby pad and a ThinLine until he drops some weight. Went through the same thing when I brought my pony back into work last year. She was in an extra wide tree county, a baby pad and a thinline. anything more and the saddle shifted. now she's fit and is back to her MW tree self.