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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    I think the real question is, what *exactly* about this saddle is causing this?
    From my experience with my broken wither guy, I learned that the better a saddle fit - according to the textbook or what *we* consider well fitting - the more uncomfortable he was.

    After a billion saddles and dirty saddle pads, I discovered he liked a saddle that was too wide in the gullet but not excessively wide... doing the too wide and padding it to fit thing did not work for him. He needed a gap over his shoulders, not filled with pads.

    Said saddle also had to be narrow in the channel and slightly more banana shaped that his back. Panels had to be extra wide and flat in profile. Its amazing I found a saddle to fit this description, but I finally did. Only took 35 saddles to find it.

    Point billets were uncomfortable despite him having the conformation that called for it.

    He disliked bearing any weight on the muscles around the shoulder area and slightly further back, right where tree points would normally be.

    A custom fit saddle would be excruciating for this horse. I am SO grateful I didn't go that route and tried figuring things out for myself, as otherwise I would have had it in my mind that "the saddle is custom made and professionally fit and therefore isn't the problem".

    He was intensely sensitive to a rider slopping around or rocking at all too... even saddles rocking or popping up in back (ie longing no rider) would get him tail tucking or cross firing. He taught me to sit *extremely still* lest I be launched into the stratosphere. And if I even thought about jumping ahead I was going over his shoulder instead.

    I did discover that he preferred I mount from the off side, and that a mounting block was mandatory. Fortunately he is short and I have long legs for my height, he did best if I could just swing a leg over rather than using the stirrups at all to mount.

    Girth selection was critical for him, I had to have super wide and super stable so the saddle wouldn't budge. I ended up with mohair in a wide roper-style diamond shape. Even with his driving harness, he prefers being girthed very firmly, not quite cut in half, but close. He would rather be girthed hard than have that saddle move a millimeter.

    When we finally decided to start driving, I had to have his harness saddles custom made to be extra wide and have an extra large footprint, and he wears a dense wool felt pad under for extra weight displacement. We drive in a 4 wheeler so there is no weight from the shafts on his back.

    I only have the one experience with my horse, so sorry if it isn't much to share, but hopefully it might be helpful in some way. Good luck.

    eta: thinking back, our most successful string of riding was with a western saddle actually. A wade. Distribution of weight and keeping away from his shoulder area was just critical.

    But as I said, in the end, even with all my efforts, he was never happy being ridden so I honored that.
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present. It steals your joy and keeps you very busy doing absolutely nothing at all... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.



  2. #82
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Buck22, thank you. I am sure reliving some of this is hard and I sincerely appreciate you sharing this information.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  3. #83
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    May. 18, 2000
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    Arizona
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    I didn't read all answers but it sounds alot like my mare. Would NOT turn right under saddle all of a sudden. Did all kinds of injections, trimming, xrays, blah blah blah. Finally had to do an MRI and it ended up being remodeled navicular bone that was wearing on her tendon. I hope its not that since she is now a pasture pony



  4. #84
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    Jun. 9, 2005
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    Unionville, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    I think the real question is, what *exactly* about this saddle is causing this? Because the saddle appears to fit well. David will see it and he will watch the horse move and what the saddle does, etc. but I am not optimistic that this saddle will ever get ridden again on this horse. My gut hunch is that it exacerbates or aggravates something and that is what we need him to help with...

    It is a violent reaction for a simple saddle fit issue, but hey! We can hope!
    This is really interesting. As I posted earlier, many saddles seem to interfere with my guy's right shoulder if they are just a bit wide. It's easy for me to tell because he resists when I pick up his right leg. I unfortunately had to get a custom Stubben for him--its the only saddle that fits him comfortably. I think it has less forward tree points so sits a bit more forward than most saddles. I will be interested if you figure out anything more.
    Last edited by kcmel; Nov. 16, 2012 at 08:15 PM. Reason: mistake!
    Delaware Park Canter Volunteer
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  5. #85
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Omg, buck 22 you described my horses saddle fitting preferences to a T. Makes me wonder!
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  6. #86
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    Aug. 26, 2008
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    buck22 wow! Thank you for sharing all of that! I am eager for David to come check this out on my pony. I do think we will end up calling the vets. Luckily, our vets are specialized in sporthorses. and UTD with the latest and greatest
    Member of the "My Saddlebred can do anything your horse can do" Clique



  7. #87
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Some things have happened since my last update.

    He has been working reasonably well and then... Bam! Lame right hind. I have always been mildly suspicious of his RH but it has always checked out sound by the vet. This time, he is truly lame. Looks high. Got to have a long talk with our vet of preference and she is coming next week, with a completely free afternoon for him

    Today the saddler came out. This is so interesting. He went over his entire body and came up with a sore spot behind his right scapula. It is pretty far back, over a rib and he was quite sore there. The saddle that makes him act like a bronc fits just about *perfect*. The saddle that he likes rocks - OFF his right shoulder and off to the left, when he moves!

    So the properly fitted saddle is exacerbating the sore spot, whatever it may be. His recommendation is, of course, diagnose and treat whatever this sore spot is and then lets look at both saddles again.

    I will report back after the vet sees the lameness and the sore spot.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  8. #88
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    Aug. 26, 2008
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    Well, in true form and fashion, my vet relayed there were no significant clinical findings re: lameness. However, she did comment that he doesn't want to load his RH, which may be the descriptor for her so we are seeing the same thing. But...he was lots better. (but...of course!)

    Here are my observations:
    1) My Kiefer custom fitted for him, and "fits", has been hurting him as he moves his R shoulder forward. The pain became acute such that he could not turn right and told us as such. His atlas was sore, behind his scapula was sore, his shoulder muscles were sore.

    2) Using the Albion that is a bit too wide for him and lists to the left such that when he moved his right shoulder forward, the saddle moved away from the sore spot...he relaxed. We only tried this Albion on the lunge, quietly testing leg aids, rein aids...to see if we could get a reaction. His sore atlas went away. His shoulder was still sore. He was still U/S at this point

    3) Just another day in the journey and he is lame on the RH. His hip is dropping and his stride is very tight. So we stop all U/S work and just lunge him "nekkid" to observe his gait until the vet gets here.

    4) After a week of that, not only is the sore atlas gone, but the shoulder soreness appears gone on vet day and he is moving better with his RH. His fetlock xrays are lovely, his bloodwork is lovely.

    So, this appears all related but why? That is what I don't know is why? What is it about this colt that, when ridden U/S, makes him avoid right shoulder pressure. Does the RH get worse with pain U/S? It just all seems like some big ol' compensation issue.

    I can't wait to ride him in the Albion, just walking around, figure 8s, whatever, I just want to casually hack him around...I just want to see if NOW that he has had a rest from U/S work in general, will he turn right?

    He is going to the clinic in 2 weeks to get a gastroscopy to rule out ulcers. I doubt ulcers are a problem but you never know. Regardless, the test must be done to say yay or nay.

    Something feels fishy to me still. If he turns right for me when I ride him again and is like la-de-da, then we may have some sort of something to go on. If he doesn't turn right for me, then it gets more interesting

    The unknown is the why, why is he avoiding "something"? I just hope I am not crazy! I don't think I am. It is really important to rule out physical issues and I have watched all of these changes the last 3 weeks.

    He seems alot of happier lately, just in general day-to-day. I think he liked the free lunging with the halter and lunge line. He even took me sjkoring the other evening on wet grass; I wasn't expecting that! He was feeling good

    I adore this silly colt. He's so social and cute.
    Member of the "My Saddlebred can do anything your horse can do" Clique



  9. #89
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    Feb. 28, 2001
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    My first reaction is what you are doing-don't saddle him for a long time. If the pain is from a pressure point on a saddle, that sort of deep tissue bruising can take up to 6 months to heal...

    Then I would start over with a totally different saddle. Personally if I could find someone local with a Freeform saddle I would start there.

    I have a Freeform cutback used with a Matrix saddle pad-it is very lightweight, allows huge freedom without pressure points.

    Obviously you can't BUY one of this for traditional showing but borrowing to observe would at least give you more information.

    I would also consult with Carol Brett-I know EqT, you said you had been there done that BUT her eyes are eagle eye sharp...sending videos naked and saddled, etc....that is the only treed saddle I would put on a horse.

    In any case, start over totally with all new saddles...see what you get.



  10. #90
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    Aug. 26, 2008
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    I agree - he definitely will need a new saddle that works for him. yet the uncertainty of moving forward has been ongoing for 3 years now off and on, and with other saddles. I do want to know if there is something else physically. I know it sounds good in words but to live it, it feels different. I really hope it is easily 'fixed'
    Member of the "My Saddlebred can do anything your horse can do" Clique



  11. #91
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    Mmmm... Well, he has been rested for long enough now that the right shoulder may very well look and act fine - in any saddle, for a while, until he gets sore again. The saddle he objects to does not overload that shoulder, in fact, it fits him just about perfectly. The fact that it fits perfectly and he objects to it is a red flag, that he prefers a saddle that rocks OFF that shoulder is a red flag. We cant just fit a saddle to him that stays off his shoulder the shoulder is going to need some diagnostics and that cannot be done in the field.

    I would love it if just getting him a new saddle was the answer, but I sincerely doubt, knowing what we know, that it would be a true "cure". Its just a bandaid
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  12. #92
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    ET, have you been able to pinpoint a relatively localized area that he likes the saddle off of? I only ask because something jogged in my mind about CWD saddles having a "cut out" somewhere in the front panels that allows some more breathing room. I can't remember the specifics - been a few years now - but if there's a relatively small (palm sized or smaller, maybe??) area that is the problem, maybe someone can do a custom job on his "perfectly" fitting saddle, or something similar, to basically create a donut hole of sorts over that spot.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  13. #93
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    Feb. 28, 2001
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    JB-is the area what Carol called the "Junction Box?" (If you recall?If you ever even had that detailed a conversation with her?)

    Anyway if it is...

    It is the same idea as the wide fit saddle with the junction box area padded-to allow a soft interface...

    Not saying this is the EqT solution but just continuing on the 'cut out' idea.

    From what I remember from her lecture, the junction box area (often seen as a hollow just behind the shoulder-about palm size) is an area where lots of nerves come together so it is quite sensitive and prone to damage in a traditionally fitting saddle-even moreso if the saddle is placed too far forward (quite certain that is NOT an EqT issue! LOL).



  14. #94
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    I don't remember that discussion, but that sounds generally like the same area that CWD takes into account with their "cutout". I can't find anything on their site about it, but if you look directly at the front of a saddle, looking at the flocked front panels, somewhere just below the flocking "button" there is (can get) a cut out in the panel area

    The best picture I can find is on the CWD on Ebay. Look at the front view picture. The panel "scoops" as it goes down
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  15. #95
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Beef had a wonky right hind, seemed up high, so I had Kit come out and do some body work. There wasn't anything in the right hind, or sacrum, but actually he had a few ribs out on the right side. He adjusted them and the hind end wonkiness went away.
    Kit does work like none other. It's not chiro, nor massage, but this weird hybrid thing that is like shiatsu osteopathy or something. Freaky to watch. He's coming in town and I know he has some time.

    just a thought.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  16. #96
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    Jun. 15, 2002
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    Has he been seen by a chiro?



  17. #97
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    Yes, he has been seen by a chiro. It was actually my first thought - ribs out. Seemed so logical. But they werent our vet is also, incidentally, a chiro, and found nothing in the area.

    But JB! Yessssss.... That strikes a chord with me. A nerve bundle. Because the feeling is so.very I CANT! And the spot the saddler found is right there. Finally maybe a clue? Thank you!!!!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    ET, have you been able to pinpoint a relatively localized area that he likes the saddle off of? I only ask because something jogged in my mind about CWD saddles having a "cut out" somewhere in the front panels that allows some more breathing room. I can't remember the specifics - been a few years now - but if there's a relatively small (palm sized or smaller, maybe??) area that is the problem, maybe someone can do a custom job on his "perfectly" fitting saddle, or something similar, to basically create a donut hole of sorts over that spot.
    Basically the saddle he likes, that does not fit properly LOL rocks OFF the spot when his leg swings forward.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  19. #99
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    Jun. 4, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    Basically the saddle he likes, that does not fit properly LOL rocks OFF the spot when his leg swings forward.
    Maybe if the discomfort returns pull out the video camera. Have you considered having the vet watch him go under saddle.



  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fharoah View Post
    Maybe if the discomfort returns pull out the video camera. Have you considered having the vet watch him go under saddle.
    Oh yes, we promised her video next time!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



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