She found a dressage saddle for sale that was far too good of a deal to pass up. It'll be a couple of weeks before a saddle fitter can come to look at it and until then, I'd love to ask for some advice from the knowledgeable people on here!
It has its issues. It does not sit flat on the back. Is the tree too wide? Or is it just too banana shaped? Can a saddle fitter or a certain pad fix the saddle problems?
Actually the saddle is too narrow rather than too wide. If you look at the photos you can see that it's pommel high and sloping down toward the horse's back. It is worse with the pad.
However, it's also placed too far up on the horse's shoulder which is exacerbating the problem.
In this photo, where the saddle is further back, it is slightly better.
Unfortunately, too narrow is harder to fix than too wide (which can be adjusted with shim pads). It's possible that a saddle fitter could remove some wool. Those panels are pretty flat already -- it doesn't look like there's much that would come out.
Move the saddle back a couple of inches and see if it helps.
Agreed. The saddle is too narrow, hence the backwards tipping.
I had a saddle almost exactly like that (older Kieffer). It also tipped back, and the older-fashioned panels don't have a lot of surface area, creating more pressure on the horses back (newer panels tend to be wider/bigger). That's why its particularly important to have a good fit with the older models.
A better idea is to have someone else lift the horse's front leg while you watch the shoulder rotate back, and put the saddle directly behind that point That puts it a couple of inches or so behind the stationary shoulder blade, and puts it out of the way of the horse's movement.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
If you google Stubben North America, the people there (Buddy in particular) are great about telling you what you have and they have helped me in the past with saddle fitting questions after I've sent pictures.
Someone just sent me this (Saddle fitting with Jochen Schleese): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2mKz0uP_K8
Last edited by PracticalCat; May. 19, 2010 at 04:10 PM.
Are you in CT or NC somewhere? Is this saddle a 16.5, modified with aftermarket strap meant to hold the flaps down, but regular short billets?
If so, I know that saddle! It is a custom Stubben Tristan.
I tried it on my older DWB who has wide ribs but an old man lack of a topline (and therefore some withers), and it fit him better-- like a glove in fact.
It is too far forward and the front pics make me think it is too narrow for this younger/rounder horse.
The cantle part looks ok. You might do all right if you move it back to the place on his back where it stops sliding.
If we are talking about the same saddle, and you allow it to slide back to its natural resting place, it may work if he's missing some muscle behind his withers. The panels don't extend down very far in front and I think it was designed to fit very close to the horse's back.
It is a nicely made saddle and in wonderful shape for its age.
Well, only a FREAK on COTH would recognize a Freak of a saddle. Not to diss it. It's an usual and nice saddle.
FYI to the OP: Both the owner and I noted that if you ride with your stirrups very long for the HellaLong vertical dressage leg, you can end up in the back seat with this saddle. Do give it a thorough test drive.
At this point I think you need to show it to a saddle fitter and see if they can remove some of the flocking.
You can also have the tree widened -- many places will do it but it's important to find someone who will do it well. It's important that the tree not get twisted or be widened unevenly. Ask specific questions about how they widen the tree before giving it someone.
Still, if you like the saddle, it's not a bad option.