Western style endurance saddle for really narrow pony?
I have a 14.2hh extremely narrow Connemara pony who is unfortunately very hard to fit. I prefer to ride in a Western or Western style endurance saddle, but my Circle Y Arab trail saddle does not come close to fitting her (the bars are inches too wide). She has moderate whithers. You can actually see some pictures here http://pets.webshots.com/photo/29194...04500765OAJRQD
I currently ride her in a Extra Narrow County Innovation with a 42" girth that is a bit too long, she is VERY narrow. I would really like something comfortable, with a larger pommel and cantle, something that I can go on long trail rides in with saddle bags, etc.
What's your budget? Would you go treeless? I really like my Bob Marshall endurance saddle. No hard tree to irritate my seat bones, I can mount from the ground without having it cinched super tight, have never had it roll. You could look for a used one or order a new one and get exactly what you want in regards to color, cantle, stirrup placement, etc.
Otherwise I have no suggestions, other than to take her to a tack shop and try some saddles on.
I would look into a Bob Marshall Treeless saddle. I have a Bob Marshall Circle Y Barrel Saddle and I love it. It fits just about everything I put it on, except super fat wide horses, just tends to roll a little. It fits best on med to narrow horses so it would probably fit your pony fine. Ive ridden up to 6 hours in it and I dont get sore and Ive never had any rubs or dry marks under the saddle. I use it for gymkhanas, trail riding, breaking, training, just about everything except showing, just because its kind of funny looking. I love it to death, got it off of ebay actually, bought it used for 650, but new ones run up to 1800
I had good luck with Crest Ridge Saddlery. I had tried a few western style endurance saddles, but they all hit my TB mare in the withers. I sent measurements per their directions and pictures from side, front and rear and they sent me back a saddle that has been very comfortable for myself and my horse. I did not have a large budget at the time and the saddle which is half leather, half synthetic was about $650 if I remember correctly.
The Sensation treeless saddles are lovely, but as the poster above suggested, some narrow horses with prominent withers are not great candidates for treeless. My horse, for example, even when in competition-condition, is more "triangle" than "U" shaped over the back, and the Sensation creator didn't recommend her saddles for him.
I know you asked for Western, but I ride in a Wintec Isabelle, and I have the "English" saddle bags from Sungpax. Between my pommel and cantle bags, I can fit what I need for a full day's ride, and I find the deep-ish seat and higher cantle very comfortable for long rides (8+ hours in the Rocky Mountains, 4-5 hour conditioning rides in the bush.)
There is a saddlery in Alberta that is very reasonable for custom Western saddles, and I intend to have them build one for my horse (after I'm done getting his made-to-order Jump saddle done ) they are called Ertman (780) 967-5103. I believe their base price is in the $2000 range, but so far, their saddles are the only Western saddles that I found as comfortable as my Dressage and Hunt saddles for trails. I find most Western saddles way too wide, hard, and they tend to tip me backward. The Ertman saddle I tried was really comfortable and put me in a secure-feeling position. They may have a tree that will work, although I'm not certain they will be able to work remotely. Worth a call, at any rate, as they may be able to tell you what type of tree will work for this horse (many Western saddles use a variety of "standard" trees, not dependent on brand.)
Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior
I know you asked for Western, but I ride in a Wintec Isabell
The first saddle I actually bought for her was a Isabell, I have had it flocked and adjusted, but the panels are just way too long for her and it does not fit, it also doesn't fit me at all. I have a jumping saddle, and have a custom dressage saddle I ordered for her, but neither are really very comfortable on the trail. I love riding in a western saddle, but am having a hard time finding something to fit
Thanks for all the suggestions, I think once I sell the wintec and circle y I will try a demo Bob Marshall and see how the treeless fits her.
Hmm, I can see why you went to the Arab saddle then...short-backed. Arabs tend to take wider trees though, so the gullet size makes sense too.
Too bad you aren't closer to me...I am trying to sell (pretty well give away, talking less than $100) a very nice little Western saddle. 15" seat, round skirts, and the most bizarre narrow tree. It's quite old (the last owner said it was made in the 60s), but the leather is very nice. I had it on my very Thoroughbreddy Thoroughbred...until a very kindly Western rider told me it was way, way too small for me. If you're interested, I can hook you up with the consignment shop it's currently sitting at...shipping a saddle is pricey from Canada, but I actually acquired the saddle off another horse forum. It would make me happy to pass it along to someone who has a horse it might fit, just like the last owner did for me (she didn't charge me much for it either.)
This saddle doesn't fit quarter horses AT ALL...and the rounded skirts aren't a popular look. It's older and has no maker's mark on it...and a small-ish seat size. I had wanted to replace some of the strings (latigos??) before taking it on a trail, but then I sold the Thoroughbred, and didn't see much point in keeping the saddle. It's been with the consignment shop for well over a year now.
Anyway, PM for the info if you like. It's not a standard tree, and if the TREE fits, you could always have a new saddle built off it. Never thought I'd come across someone wanting a narrow Western saddle for a short-backed horse!
Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior