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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2013
    Location
    Northern Canada
    Posts
    97

    Default Saddle challenge for the exceptionally tiny adult.

    I'm not sure this is exactly the area to post this but I'm looking for some insight or advise on a great quality children's saddle, and for once the horse isn't the fit issue.
    My issue is I'm an adult in a child sized body, 90lbs, 4'9" shorter legs and a small seat (15.5 inch). I'm looking for a long term quality close contact saddle with good quality leather, that will hold up to regular rides, and isn't just a dinky little thing designed for kids.

    The children's pessoa's seem ok, but I'm shying away because of the foam flocking and recent manufacturing switch. I've never been a bates fan, and find the pony saddles have to deep of a seat for my liking, plus the fair panelling comes in all the models i'd consider and I'm not a fan. I recently stumbled across a Frank Bains pony saddle that I have en route for a trial, but it's more of an all purpose and I'm concerned that the seat will be too deep, again, a common theme in kids saddles.

    Aside from going custom, which I don't really want to do, any suggestions? I'm looking to spend between $2-2500, prefer wool flocking and a shorter reg. flap. My pony is a pretty easy fit and anything in med-med-wide (especially if its wool) can usually be tweaked by my fitter!

    This is quite the conundrum and saddle shopping has turned into quite the nightmare. Any suggestions?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,089

    Default

    Check this out...high end used children's saddles:

    http://www.danforthfineusedsaddles.c...ns-saddles.php



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    972

    Default

    I have a Beval Jr that I use on ponies and I absolutely adore it! Its a 15" model that truly measures 15.75". You might want to look into a Beval Devon or Crosby Prix Des Nations.

    Some quick searches brought up these you might be interested in:
    Crosby 15.5" http://www.ebay.com/itm/Crosby-Prix-...item3ccff50c45

    Luc Childeric 15.5" http://www.ebay.com/itm/Beautiful-Lu...item3ccfc14800

    15" Flat Natural w/ short flap http://www.allthebestusedsaddles.com...ural-2100.aspx

    15/15.5 Devoucoux (scroll down a little on this page) http://www.highendusedsaddles.com/premiumsaddles.htm

    15" Beval Jr http://www.saddlesource.com/cons00001281.html
    Last edited by Satin Filly; Mar. 20, 2013 at 12:32 AM.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2013
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Stubben has great saddles. I feel your pain, I'm barely pushing 5ft haha :P I comfortably ride in a 16.5 stubben edelweiss. Definitely doesn't feel too big, i bet it would work for you. The flaps aren't long either.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2008
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,223

    Default

    I had a 16.5" PJ Lite that I loved when I was younger and smaller, but either it shrunk or my butt grew so I had to get a new saddle . I recently upgraded to an Antares Hamton that I love, I know it comes in a short flap and smaller seat. Some of the smaller teens at my barn ride in the smaller Bevals or the Antares pony saddles. Any of them you should be able to find used.
    Proudly Owned By Sierra, 2003 APHA/ PtHA Mare



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2000
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    2,248

    Default

    I am also very small and an adult. 4'8" and under 90lbs. None of the off the rack saddles really fit that well. Either the seat was a tad narrow and/or the flaps just too big for my leg. Add to it wide backed ponies and it was twice as difficult to find the right saddle.
    I spent thousands over the years only to keep each saddle 2 to 3 years tops.
    Prix Des Nations.
    Beval 2000, I had 2, regular and wide tree.
    Stubben Rex and Edelweiss, both the widest tree.
    All of my saddles were 15". The flaps on a 14" saddle fit my short legs much better, but the seat was a tad snug.
    I had a County rep over to show some saddles to me to try tree sizes on my really wide pony who was having issues with even the widest Stubbens not fitting. None of the saddles were sized to me, but the one that felt the best balanced was a County Stabilizer even thought it was a 16.5. Their wide tree fit the pony like a glove.
    I decided to take the chance on going custom.
    The rep custom drew flaps on cardboard for the saddlemaker. County made me a 15" and I chose the XTR leather since honestly, I had so much trouble breaking regular saddles in since the flaps never fit correctly. Until I got my county, I did not even know how a knee roll felt because my knee always ended up right behind them! I was used to riding in a totally flat saddle, so it did not matter to me, but what a difference a saddle that actually fit my build made.
    Not trying to make you spend lots of money, but for me, going full custom was the only way. I have had this saddle the longest of any that I have purchased.
    I know you don't really want to go custom, but don't rule it out if it will fit you best.
    Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
    Posts
    6,998

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mscho View Post
    I'm not sure this is exactly the area to post this but I'm looking for some insight or advise on a great quality children's saddle, and for once the horse isn't the fit issue.
    My issue is I'm an adult in a child sized body, 90lbs, 4'9" shorter legs and a small seat (15.5 inch). I'm looking for a long term quality close contact saddle with good quality leather, that will hold up to regular rides, and isn't just a dinky little thing designed for kids.
    MD Tack exchange also handles some very nice child-size saddles.
    High End Used Saddles

    If you're considering Childeric, talk with Running Fox - I found them to be very forthright

    Contact the various reps & let them know what you're looking for & arrange a demo for when the rep can bring suitable saddles.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,872

    Default

    the frank baines pony saddle is quite deep I think you'll find... my daughter has a 16 in Antares, short straight flap that while not wool flocked would also fit you fine. The French made saddles in a 16 in seat will fit, you do not need to look at 15.5. My daughter is 10 and shorter than you, and she is a 16 in the Antares, Devoucoux and Butet... that should open some doors to find a nice used one with a short flap.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2012
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    315

    Default

    check www.mdtackexchange.com. she had a great selection. I ride in a tad coffin a5g and love it. she had a 15.5" on there recently. i usually ride in a 16.5" but purchased a 17" because they tend to feel smaller (which could behoove you). I love my saddle and can't imagine riding in anything else. (sorry about improper punctuation and grammar- my coffee has yet to kick in)



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2011
    Location
    southeast Georgia
    Posts
    3,372

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by katestephenson45 View Post
    Stubben has great saddles. I feel your pain, I'm barely pushing 5ft haha :P I comfortably ride in a 16.5 stubben edelweiss. Definitely doesn't feel too big, i bet it would work for you. The flaps aren't long either.
    Stubben makes the Edelweiss in a child size, which might work even better for the OP. It's wool-flocked and meets her requirements.
    I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2013
    Posts
    342

    Default

    I have several Pessoas that my kids ride in and they are nice saddles. My kids ride several times a week on a lot of different horses and ponies. The saddles have held up (they keep getting passed down to the younger kids) and they fit all the different horses and ponies.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2013
    Location
    Northern Canada
    Posts
    97

    Default

    Thanks all! The wool flocked is definitely better as foam flocked seems to turn rock hard on me in during my cold northern Canadian winters. I've looked into the Stubben Edelweiss, and like the true close contact, but they all seem to have quite a forward flap...
    Lori, you are describing my saddle experience to a tee. I've been riding only in flat saddles as anything else is entirely foreign to me because of years and years of being behind the knee rolls. How did you find the transition to the deeper seat? Unfortunately custom isn't the easiest route for me as the closest large centre to me is about 8 hours, which means both me an my horse taking a road trip.. I was hoping to try a few of the kids Devoucoux/Anatares/Stubbens first.. Have you had a chance to try any of these?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
    Posts
    6,998

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mscho View Post
    Thanks all! The wool flocked is definitely better as foam flocked seems to turn rock hard on me in during my cold northern Canadian winters. I've looked into the Stubben Edelweiss, and like the true close contact, but they all seem to have quite a forward flap...
    Lori, you are describing my saddle experience to a tee. I've been riding only in flat saddles as anything else is entirely foreign to me because of years and years of being behind the knee rolls. How did you find the transition to the deeper seat? Unfortunately custom isn't the easiest route for me as the closest large centre to me is about 8 hours, which means both me an my horse taking a road trip.. I was hoping to try a few of the kids Devoucoux/Anatares/Stubbens first.. Have you had a chance to try any of these?
    Not Lori, but I missed the Northern Canada the first time around, none of the french companies will do wool flocking as a "standard" panel: some will do a special order wool flocking but may discourage the customer to varying degrees.
    I was loathe to order a custom wool panel from a company that has NO demo saddles available, there is a bit of an art to producing a wool panel & not all panels are created equal (so says the sensitive equine - this was with panels that were deemed a good fit by company reps/saddle fitters, & they certainly appeared fine).
    Most saddle companies do offer various seat depths (as well as flap, panel & tree configurations), so when shopping used, always obtain the serial number & then run that by the company for horse & rider fit specifics.

    If you're considering Stubben, give the company a call & chat with one or two (or more ) of their saddle fit specialists, they'll happily discuss & look at photos (yours) & send photos of the saddles & measure flaps etc: unfortunately there are no roaming Stubben reps in Canada but Diamond H Tack (which stubbornly resists any sort of web interface ) is a Stubben dealer (they have a decent used collection as well) - Heather was excellent & didn't hesitate to state that none of the Stubben trees would ever fit the "sensitive equine" (not quite the term I used while saddle shopping) who had the "straightest back she'd ever seen"
    The Juventus line lists a 17 seat size but the saddle does fit much smaller than the non "young rider" 17 saddles; the Edelweis NT seems to be one of those saddles that you love or hate, & not much in between.

    Stubben NA has few shops listed for Canada, but you might confirm via email etc.

    Depending where you are, travelling down to whichever location during one of the big shows, so you can have access to as many saddle vendors as possible, may be your most efficient path (shipping saddles that do not fit, gets old & expensive, fast). At least at the show, you should be able to sit in a ton of saddles to find what works for you & if your horse is there too, actually try some saddles on your horse - limited value if your horse is not in the demographic - it's important to test ride the saddle on a horse where the saddle is not tipping/slipping/perching etc as this really impacts your feel.
    Unfortunately most demo saddles will be in the 17 range & medium tree BUT most companies will be able to ship something in IF you arrange in advance with "local" reps that will be set up as show vendors.
    Also contact any "local" saddle fitters (lots of Mobile Tack Shops & fitters will come in for the big shows) as they should have a broader range of saddle brands, though, again, suitable to your size will be the sticking point, but at least, you should be able to get a thorough idea of horse fit.

    I think you may find that the newer (more $$) foam flocked saddles will be different re hard in winter ... note that extremes of cold are not recommended storage conditions for saddle trees either (whether plastic - oops, carbon fibre - or wood); wool does warm/shape to the back more quickly than foam.

    FWIW we went County as the local rep is fantastic, custom, as none of the used saddles came close to fitting

    Note that wool panels can be adjusted for fit, most foam panels can be replaced (or possibly re-flocked but likely costs similar to replacement).
    Some saddles may be adjusted for the next horse but this is generally only the width at the tree points & not the tree shape (relative to the horse's back).

    You may be able to order an Equipe in for your price range (very nice quality for the $$).

    Once you know more about what you like, you might look into long distance fitting for Albion, Black Country, Hastilow etc as you should be able to bring in a custom for 2.5 - 3K range (depending on your leather choices), County prices went up recently (their "demo" sale lists are great - especially at the 20% off sales - but, again, you're unlikely to get the seat size you need). Be very cautious about custom orders if you're unable to try a demo saddle that is remotely the correct size, read the fine print on the contracts re guarantee of rider/horse fit, also enquire about shipping costs re adjustments with companies that do guarantee fit - this will be much more $$$ than if you are within the US, so if factory work won't be done in Canada, make sure you get the "What If's" in writing.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2013
    Location
    Northern Canada
    Posts
    97

    Default

    Thanks, I 100% agree about the foam flocked. While I don't store any of the saddles in the cold up here (not to mention dry!! my saddle would be dust in a month!), My indoor isn't heated, and we do ride down to -25C (might seem crazy, but some winters, if we didn't, we'd never ride), Thus, wool is the best of all evils I believe..

    I would love too be able to do the custom route, and am not concerned about the $$ as much as the distance. Edmonton is my closest "travel down" city, and while there are tons of shows in the area, And I could certainly get the pony and myself down, I worry about the issues with custom orders. I tend to hear nightmare story after nightmare story and am not sure I'd want to deal with the "What if's" from up here... Honestly, this saddle shopping business is for the Birds!.. I might get in touch with some of the bigger shows down there and see who they have coming in for reps, but still trailering my horse a 16 hour round trip for a saddle fitting seems nightmarish as well.. oh the joys.
    Have you had any luck/experience with the mouldable wither/shoulder pads (the heat up, fit to horse, harden and ship to saddler kind?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 22, 2010
    Posts
    400

    Default

    We also ride down to -25C and nobody at my barn has mentioned having a problem with their foam paneled saddles because of the cold.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2013
    Location
    Northern Canada
    Posts
    97

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cabaret SK View Post
    We also ride down to -25C and nobody at my barn has mentioned having a problem with their foam paneled saddles because of the cold.

    Good to know, I'm riding in wool flocked at the moment, and do like it for convince of refit, but have heard bad things (mostly from tack shops) about foam in the cold.. If I can expand my search to include foam, it'd definitely give me more as far as options go..



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    5,933

    Default

    Someone above mentioned Hastilow... I tried a Hastilow on my horse and I absolutely loved it. Even though it was a standard demo saddle and a larger seat size, I actually felt very comfortable in it (I'm 4'11"). I wish I could afford one, but if I ever can, I'd get that. I also rode in my friend's Antares, but really didn't like that for my build.

    My Stubben Rex was very comfy, but didn't fit my horse, unfortunately. I have a Collegiate Diploma now, which is tolerable. I'm not crazy about it, but it fits my horse well as long as I use a riser, so I am sticking with it at the moment.
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2003
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    3,002

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    Another vote for Beval here. I have a Beval Natural, 15 1/2 with a custom short flap. have had it for 14 or so years and still love it. I am 4'10" and I have used it on both horses and ponies.
    Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org


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  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Posts
    1,808

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    Ill vote Stubbens. The Juventus is designed for kids and small adults. The edelweiss is another one that comes in kid sizes. The Juventus is kid only sizes.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2013
    Location
    Northern Canada
    Posts
    97

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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahandSam View Post
    Someone above mentioned Hastilow... I tried a Hastilow on my horse and I absolutely loved it.
    Good to know! I actually just sent out an email to a (somewhat) local dealer for Hastilow, regarding the Hastilow Ranger Pony Jump, I'm excited to hear back as it seems pretty darn close to what I'm looking for, with the added bonus (for me at least) of minimal blocking.. I'm hoping for a trial! Finally a light at the end of the tunnel (maybe?)..
    I'll keep you posted on how the pony versions work out, they do tend to run a bit cheaper than the adult versions on occasion..



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