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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2012
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    51

    Default Short AND Flat Trees? Do They Make 'Em??

    So saddle-shopping-hell persists, and I've decided I must have some bad karma in the bank for this to keep on going. Actually it's not bad karma, I was previously undirected. I recently got more help than I could imagine from a COTH member who should really be doing the saddle eval/fit thing as a job. She's pointed me in a few directions that are good ones, but I want to get as much input as I can.

    Horse is a small (15.3) horse with large withers and a SUPER FLAT and short back. I thought I was doing the right thing by looking at saddles specifically made for short-backs, but I am finding these saddles have upswept panels, which don't work for this guy. Aside from the panels not making contact for about 4" at the back of the saddle, everything has been "perchy" and unstable, even wide trees. I hadn't previously considered him a hoop/U-tree candidate, but am more and more thinking he may be.

    Things haven't been great for me, either. I am petite but have a disproportionately long femur. This sucks because I like a substantial block (when it fits). I need a shorter flap- no longer than 16". Budget is approx $3000 but shrinking with every failed trial. Saddle fitters don't frequent the area and I can't afford to have one brought in as suggested previously.

    Any suggestions for truly FLAT and short-treed saddles? Unfortunately Stubben and Passier saddles aren't comfortable for me, which is too bad considering they seem pretty popular here.

    I can post pictures if anyone is interested. Thanks so much in advance, I know there are a ton of saddle threads but search didn't give me much that helped.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    1,337

    Default

    Forgive me if you have tried this brand- but what about a Barnsby AVG?

    It doesn't have upswept panels, but is very good for flat back with withers. I had one for my 14.2hh quarter pony. They have blocks and are inexpensive and easy to find used. And I liked how it rode.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2012
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Judysmom View Post
    Forgive me if you have tried this brand- but what about a Barnsby AVG?

    It doesn't have upswept panels, but is very good for flat back with withers. I had one for my 14.2hh quarter pony. They have blocks and are inexpensive and easy to find used. And I liked how it rode.
    I used to have a Barnsby jump saddle that I loved when I was a teenager. I have tried a couple Barnsby dressage saddles in the past but the flap length was super long in the ones I've tried. I see two AVGs for sale at Pelham Saddlery, but both have 18" flaps. Maybe I'll come across one with short flaps, thanks for the idea!!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,159

    Default

    The Kent and Master's S-line is supposed to work for what you're describing. They are leather, pretty fully customizable in terms of flap length, and come in brand new at well under $3k. Worth looking into/trialing to see if they might work for your guy.

    I'm in a similar boat, with a much smaller budget, so count your blessings. Luckily, I am managing to deal in a borrowed Passier with too-long flaps, because Miss Mare likes it so much.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Location
    mid-atlantic
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    2,472

    Default

    I've had the same struggle. Most saddles with short trees & upswept panels also have a very scoop-y shape.

    I suggest you look for a saddle with very small gussets, or look for something customizable - i.e. a "normal" gusseted saddle, that would ordinarily be too long for your horse, and see if you can order it with shorter panels. Brands like Custom, Schleese, Hennig ought to be able to do some custom panel work.

    Please update if you find something that works for you. I'll add it to my mental "in case I need a different saddle" list.
    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2012
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    The Kent and Master's S-line is supposed to work for what you're describing. They are leather, pretty fully customizable in terms of flap length, and come in brand new at well under $3k. Worth looking into/trialing to see if they might work for your guy.

    I'm in a similar boat, with a much smaller budget, so count your blessings. Luckily, I am managing to deal in a borrowed Passier with too-long flaps, because Miss Mare likes it so much.
    I'll look into those, thanks! It's hard when the horse likes something more than you, but it's extra hard when you looooove something that doesn't work for your horse. My budget started at $2000 but I irresponsibly increased it when I started realizing I might have to order something to fit our needs. Good luck with your search, please update if you find "the one".



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2012
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by retrofit View Post
    I've had the same struggle. Most saddles with short trees & upswept panels also have a very scoop-y shape.

    I suggest you look for a saddle with very small gussets, or look for something customizable - i.e. a "normal" gusseted saddle, that would ordinarily be too long for your horse, and see if you can order it with shorter panels. Brands like Custom, Schleese, Hennig ought to be able to do some custom panel work.

    Please update if you find something that works for you. I'll add it to my mental "in case I need a different saddle" list.
    The scoopy trees are going to be the death of me! I can now tell by looking at pictures if the panels are going to be too upswept, but I still have a hard time determining the tree shape. Today is going to be spent calling all over and speaking with various retailers and fitters.

    It was suggested that I look into Black Country and Frank Baines which will customize any model for no extra charge. I would love to have a real custom saddle (my love affair with County Bull Hide would be satisfied) but unfortunately those options aren't anywhere near my budget, unless I find used, which is what I've been trying to do to no avail!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2011
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    1,188

    Default

    Duett Fidelio?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
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    3,558

    Default

    I was also going to suggest looking at a Barnsby. Perhaps an older Milton?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    7,159

    Default

    Don't know if you've seen this one:

    http://www.pelham-saddlery.com/saddl...Fek7Ogodpy4ATQ

    Albions do seem to do a good job of fitting the short, flat back, and that one has the cutback pommel to deal with the withers. Most Albions are also hoop-treed. Plus a short flap! And half your budget!

    Might be worth sending tracings to Pelham, but they also have a very generous and reasonable trial policy, so it could be just as easy to have it shipped out to you.

    More, now that I'm thinking about it:

    - Bates/Wintec/Collegiate are all based on the same tree, and are all, for the most part, flat, short trees. I think the flap length is what will end up being the issue with those brands, although Collegiates do seem to run on the short side. Just thought of this right now as my mare has a Collegiate AP that fits her like a glove. If you can sit a smaller seat, Bates even has a pony dressage saddle that comes in a 16'', will definitely have the shorter flap.

    - If you can find a used Schleese, many of them were built for shorter riders (it's their "thing") and a lot even have the adjustable gullet system, which comes in handy.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default

    Don't forget, a saddler can shorten the flaps on a saddle. Not super expensive FWIR.

    Is your horse's back flat across the breadth of his back or just his top line?

    I ask because Amerigo makes a tree that's less curvy with upswept panels. But, its for a more A framed back.

    Oh- I can't remember what model it was, sorry tried a bunch of saddles on Friday.



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