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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
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    NW Louisiana
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    Default Saddle for the VERY flat back

    My two young horses are very flat in the back. Even moreso when they lift their backs. My current saddle *works* with some creative shimming, but it's certainly less than ideal. It is used on my older mare, and fits her perfectly.

    So I guess at some point soon I need to buy a new saddle. The money is not really there, so I need to stay as cheap as I can. I want to go used. A cc or a/p is fine, as long as it fits a flat back.

    What has NOT fit: anything Wintec or Bates. The tree is just too curved, and it rocks. My JP Giacomini is the best fit, but it rocks a bit too when the back is lifted. It's the one I have been shimming to fit better, because when shimmed and the back lifted, the rear panels don't lift up. I have access to an old Crosby to check fit, but I am betting it won't work either.

    Any suggestions? They would both need a W tree, and I am willing to shim something that's a touch too wide. Since they are young, they will be changing, and this saddle will probably end up being sold anyway. I just need something that works for now so I can get some topline built up, and then I will deal with finding something that will work longer-term.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2000
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    Wilds of the Blue Ridge foothills
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    179

    Default

    That description resembles my horses. I have had good luck with Albions and Lauriche. The Lauriches I have had fit a wider variety of horses, better than the Albions.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
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    Spotsylvania, VA
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    Default

    It would be hard to find a back flatter and wider than Sophie's and her wide County Connection works well
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
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    999

    Default

    I ride my Halflinger in a Kieffer Wien. I wish it could be a tad wider but it does the job for now. I am considering a Duett for her their trees are made for the flat back horse.

    Dawn



  5. #5
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    Nov. 13, 2007
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    NW Louisiana
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
    That description resembles my horses. I have had good luck with Albions and Lauriche. The Lauriches I have had fit a wider variety of horses, better than the Albions.
    My JP Giacomini was made by Lauriche. Still not flat enough. When I say flat, I mean FLAT.

    And a Kieffer wouldn't work either. I had one for a while, and the tree is just too curvy.

    Maybe I will make a reverse-swayback pad. That would give me a bit more options.

    Someone needs to invent a saddle that you can change the panels on easily. You could get different panels for different horses, and just swap them out.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
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    Spotsylvania, VA
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    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2010
    Posts
    1,168

    Default

    Hampton Bay
    Look at the Thorowgood broadback dressage saddle. Dover carries the T4 series.They are synthetic so very inexpensive, come in 3 tree shapes - broadback (cob),standard, high wither. the cob isVERYflat. they have the changeable gullet system and it is much easier than the wintec. great big wide panels forbearing surface. In fact I think dover has an 18 in broadback for 399 in their clearance section right now.

    if you want leather the fairfax is a leather version of the t4.very nice. I own both and am very pleased. pm me if you have questions.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
    Posts
    8,693

    Default

    Find a wide County from around 1999-2004. I had a County WB2000 that fit my table top mare really well. The County saddles you can also adjust since they are wool flocked. I sold my County WB2000 in good condition will all new flocking for $1200, you can usually get County WBs or Competitors for $700-$1400. Make sure it's not the really old one, but the ones from around 2000 with the gusseted panels.

    The WB2000 was great as it also has half panels, it wasn't the nicest saddle in the world but every single horse went really well in it with the flat, wool, gusseted panels and the half panels in front.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
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    NW Louisiana
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carolprudm View Post
    Viewed from the side, yeah he's flatter than that. He's not terribly wide, just FLAT. I'll have to get a picture of him with his back lifted a bit. I've never seen one so flat, and whose back flattens out that much more when it's lifted.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
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    Default

    ditto arabiansrock, the thorowgood broadback series was made for the wide and super flat. They're synthetic, but lovely well made saddles, and definitely in a lower price range. Very comfortable to ride. iirc, you can drop the panels and shim between the panel and saddle for a better fit too. I had a teqnic once, and it was unbelievably flat. They actually do have a teqnic dressage now too, but I don't know if its available in this country.

    Only other super uber flat treed dressage saddle I've come across is a Farrington Kentucky, though hard to find in the US. Extreme flatness, and fits generously wide too. Albions tend to be quite flat too, and I have a spalding pennine that is very flat.

    eta: oooh oooh oooh, I remember, toulouse Aachen, quite flat, also budget friendly. And, not for nuthin' but check out thornhill's offerings, they have a really broad and diverse range, they might have something interesting for you.
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
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  11. #11
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    Feb. 28, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hampton Bay View Post
    Someone needs to invent a saddle that you can change the panels on easily. You could get different panels for different horses, and just swap them out.
    I think thats what WOW's premise is. However, its the tree that has to fit, the panels are just the buffer.
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
    Click for the ideal stocking stuffer for anyone equine!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2006
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    132

    Default

    I had great success with Albion for flat back horse



  13. #13
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buck22 View Post
    I think thats what WOW's premise is. However, its the tree that has to fit, the panels are just the buffer.
    Even if the tree fits, the panels can NOT fit though. Depends on the flocking.

    Can the panels on the WOW be changed out easily? Or is it more like the Wintec gullets where you would only change them infrequently.



  14. #14
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    Feb. 28, 2008
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    Even if the tree fits, the panels can NOT fit though. Depends on the flocking.
    well of course but some trees are designed to be flat, and while others curvy.

    Can the panels on the WOW be changed out easily? Or is it more like the Wintec gullets where you would only change them infrequently.
    to my knowledge, its an entirely modular saddle... seat, flaps, panels. The entire saddle is changeable. Not something you'd want to do on a daily basis I'm sure, but the theory is you'd never need to buy another "saddle", just pieces to suit your needs.
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
    Click for the ideal stocking stuffer for anyone equine!



  15. #15
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    Nov. 13, 2007
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    NW Louisiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by buck22 View Post
    well of course but some trees are designed to be flat, and while others curvy.

    to my knowledge, its an entirely modular saddle... seat, flaps, panels. The entire saddle is changeable. Not something you'd want to do on a daily basis I'm sure, but the theory is you'd never need to buy another "saddle", just pieces to suit your needs.
    the tree on my JP Giacomini does fit, just not the panels. They are foam, so no reflocking, but they fit my mare perfectly anyway. so even if they could be reflocked, they then wouldn't fit my mare (who doesn't like wool in the first place).

    and as for changing panels, my thought was to create something that could be changed between horses, with a minimum of effort. just no idea how it would work, or if it's practical.



  16. #16
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    Feb. 28, 2008
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    oh rats! what a cruel joke to have the tree fit but not the panels. I have 2 andy foster saddles too, I love his foam panels, just love those saddles to pieces, my horse always preferred them too, as did I, until he outgrew them.

    I really haven't a clue how easy WOW saddles are to change around, but I believe thats the idea, to change whatever portion needs changing, though I don't think its for day to day horse to horse, but more as the horse grows. I *think* changing portions around is a bit of a production, but hopefully someone might correct me if I'm wrong.

    I have a joni bentley saddle that has a wellup tree and panels that appear to detatch, but I can't find much about the creator, so I don't know what the vision was or if there are other panels available.

    I too think modular panels would be neat.

    Finally, Fairfax (thorowgood) has a line of "shimz", I think I was mentioning earlier, http://www.fairfaxsaddles.co.uk/ you can drop the panel on the saddle and shim it to suit. Sadly the website doesn't have much info.
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
    Click for the ideal stocking stuffer for anyone equine!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2000
    Location
    NC
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    Default

    You mentioned wintecs and bates don't work, but have you tried the new models, especially wintec, as they are flatter than the original models. My mares can't use them at all as they are too flat, whereas they could use the older models. I'm surprised you're having difficulty finding a flat one as most of them seem to be on flatter trees.



  18. #18
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    Nov. 13, 2007
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    NW Louisiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponyjumper4 View Post
    You mentioned wintecs and bates don't work, but have you tried the new models, especially wintec, as they are flatter than the original models. My mares can't use them at all as they are too flat, whereas they could use the older models. I'm surprised you're having difficulty finding a flat one as most of them seem to be on flatter trees.
    I've not tried the new models, just the older ones. I don't have access to the newer ones to try, but that is an idea. I sat in the new 500 and thought it was decent.

    And yes, it is a very cruel joke that my LOVELY JP/Lauriche saddle has a tree that fits, but the panels fit one horse and not the other. I adore that saddle, the mare loves the foam panels (are yours hard or are mine just old), but it just doesn't fit the gelding. I've considered FLAIR for it, just not sure if the air bags would adjust enough to work for both horses, with a bit of shimming of course.

    The Fairfax saddles are neat. A friend tried one right before her horse passed from colic, and she really liked it. The panels are lined in ProLite, which her horse loved. Unfortunately, they are not in the budget right now. Scraping up any money for a new saddle is going to be difficult.



  19. #19
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    Feb. 28, 2008
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    of the 4 AF saddles I've owned (sold two, still have two, both of which are out on loan with friends), all were foam paneled and only one had firm panels. It wasn't the foam but rather the leather had been allowed to dry out by the prior owner(s) lending to a quite firm feel. That one is quite old, but my favorite to ride. He uses top notch foam, and I love how broad and form following they are. His saddles fit like gloves, until outgrown, lol!

    you know, I know a saddle fitter in MI who specializes in AF saddles, and works closely with another AF specialist out of VA. I'll pass along her info if you'd like, she might have a suggestion for you.

    If you're open to FLAIR and the trees fit, how about an adjustable air bladder pad: http://www.fteltd.co.uk/Korrector/korrectorintro.htm
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
    Click for the ideal stocking stuffer for anyone equine!



  20. #20
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    Nov. 13, 2007
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    NW Louisiana
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    I just went out and measured him with my Wintec gullet gauge, and he's on the smaller half of wide. I might try changing the gullet in my Bates and seeing if that fits him better. I'm actually surprised he's only a W, since those things tend to fit small. My mare, who LOOKS less wide than he does, measured right on the line of W and XW last I checked. She's 19, so the only thing changing is muscle tone from having several foals, high withers, and getting older.

    buck, I checked into the air pad, but I don't think that would fill enough space in the front. I'm using a ProLite front riser right now, with one of the ProLite shims and one I cut from wool felt. I wish it had a pocket for a rear shim too. The Mattes pad and shimming seemed to make the fit worse, oddly enough. I'm contemplating making something from one of those foam rubber exercise mats that feels similar to the ProLite. If it fails, I'm only out $10 and some time.



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