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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2007
    Posts
    111

    Default Saddle fit question

    I am trying out a used Albion SLK and have a question on fit. I ride numerous horses, most of whom have similar backs, and have had great luck for years with Wintec Isabells with Cair panels. I usually keep two around with slightly different gullet sizes. Now one is graduating to become a school saddle and I am looking for a second saddle for myself. The SLK seems to be a good width for all my horses, but one I would have it on most is a mare with a very flat back. It sits well, but it curves up at the rear so that the back of the panels don't touch her back for about the last two inches. It does not do that on the others. They have all been happy in the Isabell, and I am wondering if the slightly different curve of the Albion will bother the flat backed mare. Of course it will change a bit with my weight in it. Any advice from you saddle fitting experts out there?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,502

    Default

    If it's just a matter of upswept panels, it *shouldn't* matter as long as there is sufficient back surface area contact with the horse.

    if, however, it does that because the tree itself is a bit curved, there will probably be enough rocking that it will bother her over time.

    IIRC, that saddle tends to be flatter, with the upswept panel making it work sell for the flat-backed horse who also has a short back.

    I just don't know if "flatter" means FLAT, and what "flat" means for your mare. But, those are the things to consider when looking at it on her
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2007
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Thank you, JB. Her back is very flat when looked at from the side, but with a decent wither. She is fairly close coupled, but she is a big mare (17h.) and has plenty of room for a longer saddle. My feeling is that it is the panels being upswept more than the tree, but I'm not really sure how to tell. I surprises me that the Isabell, which is a pretty flat saddle, fits my other horses so well, but I think their backs change more when I ride them. When I do belly lifts on the others their backs really rise, while hers doesn't move much - it's already up! There is a very slight amount of rocking with the Albion, but I think it would be less with weight in the saddle.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2004
    Posts
    1,798

    Default

    JB gave great advice. If the points of the tree fit her shoulders and the panels are otherwise in good contact, a rear riser type of shim pad may help stabilize the rear of the saddle and extend the contact over her back.

    An example:
    http://www.tackroominc.com/fleecewor...t-p-12044.html

    I have a much cheaper version that is basically just a foam wedge that velcroes into a pocket, but it is for an A/P or close contact style saddle.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Location
    mid-atlantic
    Posts
    2,402

    Default

    How is the panel contact once the saddle is girthed up & ridden in?
    It may settle down fine, or like JB said, if the tree is too curved it might have a pivot point and rock front-to-back.
    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,502

    Default

    I don't think any rear shim is the answer. If the saddle is too narrow and tips back, the shim will fix the balance in that regard, but not the real problem, and will just place more pressure on the withers.

    If the tree is too curvy, even a little, and rocks, while the shim might prevent the rocking, it will also just ensure the middle of the curve presses right down on the back.

    If the panels are just upswept and the tree is otherwise flat enough, there shouldn't be any rocking or tipping IF there is enough panel-back contact, so a shim wouldn't be necessary at all.

    Is there another scenario I'm missing?

    GG - put the saddle on her in the right spot, no pad, get up on a step stool or something so you can really see. Look all around it, as you should be able to look under the flaps and see a good deal of the back contact, looking from the back. Run your hand lightly under the flap, along the back panels, and see how even the contact is. Try to rock the saddle. Obviously you'll be able to rock it come if you press on the cantle, in this case, but otherwise it shouldn't rock.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2007
    Posts
    111

    Default

    JB, I agree that a shim is definitely not the answer in this particular case. In addition to not solving the problem I think it would alter the balance of the saddle.
    I have felt all along the panels from front to back and it seems to be even contact. I'll get the step stool and look from behind also tonight. Thanks!



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