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  1. #1

    Default Updated photos: Photos for saddle fitting help (or general conformation comments)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/horsiepics2012/

    But please be nice. These pics were taken this summer. He is a jumper starting a new career in dressage (as am I), and we're not looking to go to the Olympics. I wasn't even looking for a horse! He stole my heart, and he's never leaving.

    Narrowed down to Custom Saddlery: Advantage, Solo, Constanze.

    Forgive the "cutesy" pics - I just created the Flickr account to post these and can't figure out how to put just the saddle fitting ones in a group and post the link to only that.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by right horse at the right time; Dec. 2, 2012 at 06:00 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2003
    Location
    Australia
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    19

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    I am no help re the saddle, but I just had to log on for the first time in months to say he is BEAUTIFUL! What a lovely face.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2012
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    32

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    Quote Originally Posted by xastorm View Post
    I am no help re the saddle, but I just had to log on for the first time in months to say he is BEAUTIFUL! What a lovely face.
    What she said ... he's so handsome!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2002
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    He's beautiful, and I can tell he's just as smitten with you as you are of him! However, his butt is angled too far away from the camera to really tell conformation, or back shape for saddle fit. Try taking the pictures more dead-on from the side and then maybe we can help.



  5. #5
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    Aug. 15, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by WBLover View Post
    He's beautiful, and I can tell he's just as smitten with you as you are of him! However, his butt is angled too far away from the camera to really tell conformation, or back shape for saddle fit. Try taking the pictures more dead-on from the side and then maybe we can help.
    Yeah, I agree, the pics are at an angle that distorts his shape. It looks like he may have a long wither, and he's not a narrow boy, but really hard to tell with those pics.

    We have similar tastes in saddles - I like the Constanze and Advantage too. Have you ridden in all three of those models? I know you tried the Constanze (and the Coronado) - if so, go with what you liked. If looking for used, there aren't many Constanzes out there, it is a new model - I did a bit of a search myself, and they aren't out there. OTOH, you can find Solos and Advantages pretty easily. If you are springing for new, then go with what feels best.

    One difference - the C line saddles (Coronada, Constanze) have the flex tree - so if your boy went better in those saddles, that may be the difference. When I demo'd the Constanze, I put my hand under the saddle while I rode, and it really does give! It was a bit of an eye opener. One of the bigger name trainers in this area only rides in those saddles now.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2012
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    Thanks, xastorm and Piberfever, I am totally in love with him, (obviously!). He brings me so much joy. WBlover, thanks as well . I see exactly what you are saying about the angle and the difficulty seeing his butt. I will try to get some better pics and post them. I'm going to try to upload a trot and canter video to see if that will help, if I can muster both the nerve and the ability to change the file type! Mystic, thank you! I appreciate all your helpful personal feedback the other day! I can't get the Coronado at all, so that's out. I am leaning toward the Constanze, and am supposed to try the Solo and Advantage Saturday morning...the video I'm trying to post has the Constanze in it, so you can see how he goes in it. Apparently I tried the Solo and the Advantage when I had the fitting, but I don't remember exactly how each felt. I think the Advantage felt like my Kieffer (all-purpose), and I don't remember riding in the Solo. I haven't felt the flex tree, but I will try this tomorrow morning!

    Thanks, everyone, for the help and kind comments. He's a very sweet boy.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Tucson
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    He is handsome! I can't tell any confo faults from the pictures - as noted they're not at the right angle to be able to tell much.

    I would read up on and be aware of insulin resistance in horses as a possible thought with him - he looks like he's not out of shape yet like he has more fat deposits than you'd expect with his weight. Could just be that he's a rounder type and no problems, but I would be aware in case there are any concerns.


    I have *no* ideas on helping you with saddle fit - good luck though, and enjoy him!


    (Also, are you somewhere nearby? Palo verdes, saguaros and dry washes...)
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2012
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    Thanks . I'm impatiently waiting for my computer to convert files so that I can try to post the videos. It's interesting you mention that about the fat deposits - my vet mentioned this when I had his fall vaccines. She showed me the dorsal fat pad on his neck, and said that we need to watch it... I'm in health care (human), but know nothing about insulin resistance in horses except the fact that my sister's horse has to be on "special" $$$ food for this. I will read up on it today. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know where the other pads are - can you point them out? He is a rounder type anyway, but I suspect there are more than just the dorsal one. I will PM you my location .



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
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    Trumbull Mtn has an excellent page(s) on saddle fitting - including photo examples.

    Narrowed down to Custom Saddlery: Advantage, Solo, Constanze.
    I'm curious how you decided on this list

    Do ask your rep to come back so you can try saddles again - the fitting should be done at a pace that you're able to take photos, video, make notes etc so that the different saddle impressions remain clear in your mind.
    Do be cautious of just liking the saddle that fits your horse best - it's hard not to as poor fit for the horse will often tilt the rider or move the rider away from the balance point of the saddle.

    He is a rounder type anyway, but I suspect there are more than just the dorsal one.
    Up the exercise for your boy & decrease his calories & see how that affects his physique - he doesn't have a belly at all but he does look as if he has a nice little "cushion" everywhere (check for the jiggly spots).
    How old is he?



  10. #10
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    I went & hijacked this post from your previous thread (which I hadn't read)

    Quote Originally Posted by right horse at the right time View Post
    I like that the Coronado is a monoflap; I feel more "one" with him in a monoflap. I do like that it is a bit more open, but I'm not sure how I will like the more forward flap.

    I'm tall with a very long femur...so I'm hoping that the flap is long enough.
    Given the latter comment, I'd very much suggest that you pursue the Coronado or some other more open seat, forward flap dressage saddle.

    If you're ordering a saddle, be very certain that it's the saddle both you AND your horse love
    It's very difficult to really know how a saddle is going to work for both horse & rider without a solid 2 weeks in the saddle - also take a few lessons in the saddle so your trainer can offer imput.

    Dover has a few models still so maybe arrange a trial with them.



  11. #11
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    Nov. 14, 2012
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    Alto, thank you! I appreciate your input and going back to my original thread - I didn't even think to post there. I'm new to COTH (and message boards in general, clearly!). Two models from Dover arrived this morning, the Solo and the Advantage . The Coronado isn't an option anymore as it is gone.

    I chose these for a variety of reasons - I know there are many, many saddles out there, and I was on overload. Nearly everyone in my barn and in my city in general ride in Customs. I've been on every company's website, etc., and for my price point, the Custom Saddlery "non-customs" seem to be a good option. I'm not loaded, so I can't order a custom, buffalo, etc., and I can't find a used one that would work so far. Plus, I've read so many horror stories on this board regarding trialing saddles and the cost of shipping. I have a Constanze on trial right now and have taken lessons in it for two weeks. I have to send it back asap or buy it...I'm going to compare the Solo, Advantage, and Constanze tomorrow or Saturday morning with my trainer. I like my fitter, but he isn't local and won't be back til January. I actually really like the Constanze (and am hopefully uploading videos to YouTube right now (aaaack....scary!!) which shows me riding in it. I'm not a good rider (yet!) and am an adult returning to riding, so it may be impossible to judge how I ride in different saddles .

    Thanks!



  12. #12
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    Nov. 14, 2012
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    OK - I *think* I uploaded the videos...there are right and left lead canters and trot. They are poor quality (iPhone), but you can see his movements. He has been in training for about 8ish weeks, and I can already see improvements (from the little I know about dressage). I know I'm not a great rider - I've been away from it for a long time and wasn't ever in training long enough to become good. It was a hobby when I was young, it's been 30 years since I've really ridden consistently, and I've never ridden dressage. I know I have a lot to work on, but that actually is fine with me. BTW, in the canter videos, the lesson of the day wasn't about canter, but was about riding him when he's "up," riding through the gale-force (ok, a slight exaggeration) winds that kick up occasionally here and not death-gripping him with my legs or freaking out in other ways. I also had brand new boots on and was having trouble with that. Excuses, excuses.

    Again, we aren't looking to go to the Olympics. He has a good flying change from his jumper days, and to clarify my first post, HE is the jumper with a new dressage career, I also have a new dressage career, but I was never a jumper rider .

    Videos are under horsiepics2012 at YouTube. Please be gentle .

    This may be the link but I'm not sure:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/horsiep...2?feature=mhee
    Last edited by right horse at the right time; Nov. 29, 2012 at 12:47 PM. Reason: grammar



  13. #13
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    Nov. 14, 2012
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    Oh, Alto, he is 12, allegedly, but he doesn't have papers that I am aware of. Thanks for the tips on the insulin resistance as well - I'm going to read up on this today.



  14. #14
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    May. 5, 2006
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    I like him! The videos show a horse that seems happy with the work. And I love a bay colored horse!

    I don't own a Solo, but I have ridden in one and I liked it. If I am ever able to trade up out of my Sommer, the Solo would be high on my list.
    Sheilah



  15. #15
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    Nov. 14, 2012
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    Thanks, IdahoRider! He is a very happy, sweet, funny horse. I consider it a bonus that he is fun to ride . Thanks for the advice on the Solo...it arrived this morning, so we will see how it rides!



  16. #16
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by right horse at the right time View Post
    Alto, thank you! I appreciate your input and going back to my original thread - I didn't even think to post there. I'm new to COTH (and message boards in general, clearly!). Two models from Dover arrived this morning, the Solo and the Advantage . The Coronado isn't an option anymore as it is gone.

    I chose these for a variety of reasons - I know there are many, many saddles out there, and I was on overload. Nearly everyone in my barn and in my city in general ride in Customs. I've been on every company's website, etc., and for my price point, the Custom Saddlery "non-customs" seem to be a good option. I'm not loaded, so I can't order a custom, buffalo, etc., and I can't find a used one that would work so far. Plus, I've read so many horror stories on this board regarding trialing saddles and the cost of shipping. I have a Constanze on trial right now and have taken lessons in it for two weeks. I have to send it back asap or buy it...I'm going to compare the Solo, Advantage, and Constanze tomorrow or Saturday morning with my trainer. I like my fitter, but he isn't local and won't be back til January. I actually really like the Constanze (and am hopefully uploading videos to YouTube right now (aaaack....scary!!) which shows me riding in it. I'm not a good rider (yet!) and am an adult returning to riding, so it may be impossible to judge how I ride in different saddles .

    Thanks!
    The Coronado isn't an option anymore as it is gone.
    This is my Dover Dislike



    Nearly everyone in my barn and in my city in general ride in Customs
    This is actuallly one of the worst reasons to choose a saddle BUT it certainly does make it easier to see alot of them & often local tack shops will have consignments saddles available to test ride (also shop used locally for any that you might try); often this means that the company rep will be out frequently so any fit issues can be timely resolved BUT if the rep isn't back until Jan, not so good ...
    OTOH depending on your area, this may be excellent rep/fitter service

    At this time you have an "uneducated seat" so definitely allow your trainer to guide you in your saddle choice: try to spend the least amount of $$ to get a saddle that is acceptable to you & your horse & realize that you may "outgrow" this saddle in a year or 2 - I wouldn't actually look for that ahhhh moment in a saddle at this stage (if it happens, it may very well become your ackkkk moment in a couple years )
    (notice all the "mays" )

    Consider if the saddle
    - promotes a chair seat (now or in the future as your position develops)
    - still feels comfortable when your trainer sets you up in a more educated (your future!) seat
    - actually supports your conformation in that furture position: what happens with the blocks? where does your weight go in the seat? what do you feel under your seat bones? (you do NOT want any seams under your seat bones)
    - has high probabaility of resale at close to your purchase price


    If you don't have much in the way of "local" saddles reps/fitters, consider an online consult, eg, Trumbull Mtn (they offer some very nice lower $ saddles & consignment), VTO, Hastilow USA etc.

    As you're shopping Dover, don't be afraid to try something like this one (the jump version of saddle seemed well received though there is alot of criticism of various model years so that does affect resale) - I like the idea of an open seat for you & the (re)moveable blocks.
    (I suspect the discount price reflects Dover's desire to get the new version of this saddle out onto the market.)

    The flap is not particularly forward but this will be a limitation in many older (used) saddles as well.
    Realise that the re-sale market in dressage saddles tends to be much slower than their jump counterparts.

    Defintely consider FUS



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2006
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    None of these pictures, or videos are especially good for saddle fitting. If I were to just do some guessing, I'd say that the tree of your saddle does not contour correctly to your horse's withers. It appears that he has a fairly high neck set and prominent shoulders, meaning that you need a tree whose shape is more rounded rather than scissor-shapped. But, really cannot see well enough to be sure. Sorry.



  18. #18
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    Nov. 14, 2012
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    Alto, thanks, lots of good stuff to think about. I agree with you about the worst reasons to choose a saddle . The saddle you're referencing looks a LOT like my Kieffer Aachen...I simply could NOT get my legs back in it. I hear what you're saying about buying one that is good for a year or two until I develop - I've heard the advice even from the fitter. I'd love to go inexpensive...I've tried a few local saddles (Schleese, others) that are very inexpensive for their brands and what the offer. Fit (horse and mine) has been a problem...and I don't want to spend more in fitting an older saddle than in purchasing a new one that will have some fitting with it. I've been all over FUS, too!! I wish this were easier. With the horse, there was no choice...he just appeared. I wish the saddle would do the same!! I'm going to take your list of questions with me when I try these three - thanks for taking the time and helping me, I appreciate it!

    Angel, thank you to you as well for the advice! I am going to try to take some pictures from a better angle - these were just ones that I had on the iPhone. I'm in the process of watching the Schleese fitting videos, along with some other videos about fitting that were suggested by others, and am learning more and more so hopefully am better educated (and eventually less confused).

    Thanks!



  19. #19
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    Aug. 15, 2010
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    Agree, can't tell much from the video - the lighting is too dark/bright/dark to see what is going on, but I can see that yu are NOT in a chair seat (that is good), and you tend to roll your leg and thigh out, so your heel is in the horse - that isn't good. So see if you can rotate your thigh in (ask your trainer to help with this - you can do it while standing still), and see how the saddle feels in that position.

    You do have a very long femur (oh, I totally understand!), so am guessing that is why the saddle selection - those are all saddles made for the smaller butt, longer legged rider, as they have a more open seat and thigh block for the longer leg (the Advantage was designed for Steffan Peters and his long leg). The more "curved" seat tends to sit the more endowed butt riders (I just learned that recently and once I thought about the saddles I'm comfortable in, yes, it made total sense).

    If you are in a demo saddle, then it may not fit the horse as well - many of the demos are set in a medium or medium-wide width - they don't adjust them to fit each trial.



  20. #20
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    Thanks!! Glad you could figure out why I liked those saddles better than the others, and thanks again for sharing your experience! It's interesting that you picked up on the rolling of my leg and thigh out - I've been doing yoga/Pilates/a bit of massage work to try to open up my hip flexors. My tendency has been to grip grip grip with my thighs, so in trying to concentrate on NOT gripping, I think I've actually rolled my thighs outward and thus planted my heel in. We've been working on that also while mounted by doing exercises (luckily he is a very tolerant boy!) to loosen up. My trainer is GREAT - both with the horse, my riding, and my at-times fearful mind.

    The one I'm riding in IS a demo...hmmm...

    I will try to get better video of the saddles this weekend, but that might mean riding in the big scary outdoor arena.



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