Saddle suggestions for horse with large trapezius muscles
Does anyone have saddle suggestions for a horse with large trapezius muscles? I love my Albion SLK, but due to the tree construction, the stirrup bars dig right into my horse's trapezius muscles. I believe this is often an issue with some Baroque style horses, although my horse is a Belgian Warmblood, so I don't know much about fitting this particular body type. He also has a short back, and is slightly croup high. I am owrking with a saddle fitter and have found a Harry Dabbs model that works very well on him, but since saddles are such a huge investment, I just want to make sure I explore multiple options before I commit to one. So if anyone knows of saddles that have worked well on this type, I would love suggestions.
I loved my Albion SLK, but it rubbed me in tender places, so I was looking. For my short-backed, round-shouldered Westfalen boy, I tried out a Lovatt & Ricketts Ellipse. Suddenly, not only did I not get rubbed, but my guy's trot opened out and he really started using his back far more than he ever had under the Albion.
This is a hoop tree, used by many Morgan, Arab and QH's. It's rather an odd ride--a bit "tippy" feeling until you get used to it. I compare it to riding bareback--you have to stabilize yourself, the saddle won't ride for you. But proof is in the pudding--happy willing horse.
Sold my SLK to my trainer, but she uses the L&R when she rides this horse.
I have an Ideal Jessica for one of my horses who also has a short, wide back. The Jessica is made for this type of back, and has straighter rails with a wide channel. It does not get caught up in the stirrup bar area as other saddles tend to do on him.
Anything made by Lauriche with the hanging stirrup bars. My Xenophon and my JP Giacomini both have them, and my boy who hates any narrowing under the stirrup bars love both of these saddles. They are a bit hard to find though. I lucked into both of mine, though one of them will go on Ebay one of these days as I need a spare saddle like I need a hole in the head.
I, too, have a Belgian Warmblood with a wide, short back. My saddle fitter found a wonderful Ideal Jessica that really fits him nicely. I really like it for me too. I did buy it used from www.allenglishtack.com but they sell them new also.
I just bought a Schleese Triumph. I had a Hennig Sofa. I also tried a Custom Wolfgang Solo. His movement in the Schleese was loose and free from the minute I put it on him. I know the Wolfgang was interfering with his shoulders (could see it) and I suspect the Hennig was too b/c he moved similarly in both. I also tried the Schleese HK, but he moved short like in the Hennig and Wolfgang.
I can look down from his back and see how the Triumph doesn't interfere with his shoulders.
If you don't mind a wider twist, the Black Country Eloquence or Vinici with a hoop tree might be an option. I tried a Black Country with a hoop tree on my horse and he really liked it, but the twist was too wide for me.