For those of you who use this saddle, would it be at all appropriate for a very short-backed, low withered, round bodied pony? Pony is a 13 hand Icelandic, not tall, but quite stout. I'm 5'6", 114 lbs, so I think I could fit into a 17 inch to make the saddle as short as possible, but it's beside the point if it doesn't fit otherwise. I'm also considering a T'good broadback. I HAVE downloaded T'good's templates...my guy is between blue & red (more to red); has been out of work, so I know he'll change/build up some muscle as we get out onto the trail. Is the endurance saddle terribly A-shaped throughout? BTW, my riding buddies & I are pretty low intensity trail riders...ride 90 min.; break for lunch; ride for another 90 min.,. mostly at a walk or tolt/trot/rack. I just want a saddle that he's comfy in & that I feel balanced & reasonably secure in. Any advice/suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
I know from whence you come, tollertwins! Bridging is something we've had problems with; if the Thorowgood endurance is a no go, I may look at the Henri De Rivel Rivella Dressage...it's quite scooped up in the back. A friend has a few Icelandic saddles (Stigur and Top Reiter) that I should try. I've even considered the T'good pony saddle (if I could fit into it, which I'm not sure at all about!) I love my horse and would not trade him for the world, but if I were ever to look for another horse, I'll sure take saddle-fit-ability into consideration!
I have a tgood saddle and my trainer uses it to ride my chunkie 13.3 welsh/arab. I doesn't appear to be too long for her. The saddle I have is not A shaped as all my guys are flat backed and cannot use them. I trail ride quite a bit and none of my horses have complained. Hope the info helps.
Short-backed, definitely. That was a big criterion for me when saddle shopping, as my horse has a swayback and I was trying to minimize the bridging. After I got my Thorowgood endurance, I actually had a hard time finding a pad to fit it, because a lot of them were too long front to back (ended up with a custom Woolback).
I'm not sure about the broad part, since my guy is on the lean side. It definitely has an A shape to it -- I use the red gullet plate because even though he's lean, my horse has a pretty round rib cage and big shoulder movement, and with the red plate in there, the saddle still has plenty of clearance for his high withers.
There's a 13-hand haflinger/fjord/icelandic pony at my barn who has a back like a table -- I can put the saddle on her tomorrow morning and see what it looks like. I'll report back
Malda, I like that one too, and know that Trumbull has great customer service. But I feel like I might need the grippiness of the equisuede seat...my gelding is pretty laidback, but at 53, I appreciate a little extra security! Thanks, though!
haha, she IS a pony keg! What a great description. Well, I tried it on her this morning, and she is definitely wider than a red gullet bar I think with an xwide plate though, it would probably fit ok, so it might work for your horse. Are you able to get one on trial, or have a saddle fitter come out?
Anyway, here's the picture -- at least you can see how it sits, lengthwise. I don't think you'll have a problem. PS this is a 17.5 inch.
BHLH, thanks for saddlling the pony-keg! The red gullet seems like it would be what my guy needs (not quite as wide as the pony-keg), so maybe it would work for him. I finally got a reply from someone at Hastilow USA (I think they're the only one who carries this saddle here in the US)....she said "...The Thorowgood Endurance Saddle is designed for short backed horses and the gullet can be adjusted to be quite wide. However it does have long points so your horse would need to have some wither for this saddle to work." Hmmm...the big question is how MUCH wither does he need....so I think I need to call Hastilow and if it looks promising, I'll go ahead & order a saddle. I'll post an update with photos.....Thanks everyone for your replies!
shorthorse, that's where I got mine, too. I live close enough that Annette came out to do a fitting for me and swap out the gullet plate (difficult the first time, but then things loosen up a bit). She even let me keep the saddle for a month on trial because there was 3 feet of snow on the ground when she came out, and all we could do was walk back and forth in the path between the barn and the piles of hay Super customer service!
FWIW, I just received a used WIDE Jill Thomas Griffin endurance saddle, the non-adjustable with the Fish inserts. It was a gamble because my boy has lost some weight (he needed to) and I was hoping a wide would be small enough but not too big. Wrong! Oh well! I'm chiming in because my boy does have decent withers and that is most of the problem... I think the tree shape is good but this saddle does not have a cutback head and so the wither clearance isn't good enough.
The Thorowgood fitting guide is helpful but... using the flexicurve and laying it against the Back Width sheet, his "shape" behind the scapula begins in the XXW area and quickly drops down to the Narrow/Medium area at the end of the "arch." But when I follow Trumbull Mountain's advice to additionally measure the "mid-back," he is outside of the XXW area... well-sprung ribcage, anyone? I know he has lost muscling and I have ramped up his lunging (long story about the weight loss)... I took a chance on the Wide because I couldn't find--at that time--an affordable narrower JT to try. There are some mediums out there now but I need to sell this Wide first.
If you have a short-backed horse and you need a "bigger" seat size, a saddle with a swept-back cantle and a shorter, more upswept panel is often a good bet. Black Country's Frelsi Icelandic saddle has those features, and can be made on the hoop tree if your Icelandic is the typical "propane tank" conformation. The shorter panels keep the weight on the proper side of T18, while the swept-back cantle maximizes seat size for the rider. Many other UK-made saddles can be had with those features as well.
shubadi, fyi, the only part of the template that relates to width is the measurement taken 3 fingers' width behind the scapula. The other measurements are concerned with panel configuration and tree shape.