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  1. #1
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    Default Dressage saddle for a Lusitano

    I have a 15'2 Lusitano. I need to get saddle. He is only 6 and has a little more growing to do. I'm looking for saddle recommendations. When he extends his front legs, his shoulder comes WAY back. I'm looking for a saddle that will accommodate his movement. I prefer a narrower twist and not too deep of a seat.
    Any suggests to look at or to avoid?
    Thanks



  2. #2
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    Aug. 28, 2008
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    does he have a flat or curvy back? I would search for one that advertises shoulder freedom. The Prestige D1, Verhan and others have special features for horses with a lot of shoulder movement. If you have a brand you like you can inquire as to whether that company offers such a model.
    Das größte Glück der Erde liegt auf dem Rücken der Pferde. Das größte Glück der Pferde ist der Reiter auf der Erde



  3. #3
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    He doesn't have as flat of a back as most horses his breed. I have a county for my tbred cross. It's been a good saddle.



  4. #4
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    There's a new passier in the latest Dover that looks intriguing. The tree shape is different to accommodate big shoulders and a rounder frame.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  5. #5
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    Sep. 29, 2003
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    I have a Custom Saddlery Icon Flight for my big-moving 15.2 Lusitano. We both love it, and Mr. Sensitive lets us know *immediately* if he doesn't like something.

    Our Custom rep was fabulous to work with, and I highly recommend the company and the product.


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  6. #6
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    Apr. 5, 2011
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    Somewhat related to the OP, I just bought an Andalusian cross (dam was a QH) that at first glance appears to fit my County Perfection pretty well. She's got the banana shaped back but doesn't have large withers. It's stamped MN but fits like a MW. It doesn't bridge/rock at all. The only issue is she has a pad of fat above her shoulder that prevents that saddle from really sitting on her back all the way. There's lots of clearance all around until you get above the shoulder, right where the top of the knee roll starts. My trainer's saddle is a MW Hulesbos that is only slightly wider than mine and it still wants to slip back when you really get her moving.

    Right now she's on the upper end of normal/borderline overweight. She's not straight up fat but I can't feel her ribs. She was being fed 6lbs of Omolene 200 per day and worked 3 hours a week (basic W/T/C and not working over the back) by the previous owner. I thought that was way overkill for her. I've since switched her to SafeChoice and cut the amount to 4lbs as she's an easy keeper. I may cut it back even more but she has a heavier work load than she did previously but only for the past 20 days or so. She's now being worked 3 hours a week under saddle and 60-90 minutes a week on the ground. And the 3 hours under saddle are asking for more engagement than previously. She just turned 4 and not ready for full time training. I will probably bump the under saddle time to 4 times a week by summer time.

    I'm thinking some of the fat will convert to muscle as we (my trainer and I) condition her more. If after 2-3 more weeks of regular work and more muscle she still is a little pudgy, I will be cutting the feed back to 3lbs. She's got a decent topline considering that there's not a lot of muscle there. I'm sure the shape will change some but not drastically.

    Anyone have any experience or words of wisdom on this situation, ie the saddle fit (or anything really)? I really love my saddle. I don't think it's hurting her in any way, just that it could be better. But I'm almost thinking that looking at new saddles is a little premature at this point. If she loses some of the fat pad in the shoulder, my current saddle will fit her fine. But I've had some people tell me that in some horses that fat never goes away, even once they're in really good, athletic condition.


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  7. #7
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    Cartago is on the petite side for his breed.The Vega line tends to be a little smaller. I bought him last year as a 5yo. My wide tree county connection fit him pretty well. My trainer and I wanted to take him way back to the basics. He had only been ridden for a few months, and then sat for a year. He is being ridden in a western saddle for the last 7 months. The county now perches on his withers and sits way too high. Looks like it will get in the way of his shoulders.
    The saddle fitter wants to wait another 6 months for his back to mature even more before ordering a new saddle. What I have learns, and experienced is the breed matures pretty slow.
    Thanks for all the advise !



  8. #8
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    Jul. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central US
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    Do yourself a favor and try out a Schleese Obrigado. It was designed for Lusitanos with HUGE shoulders. I just got one for my Andalusian who is now twelve and it has made all the difference in the world. This horse now goes easily forward and has more schwung than he has ever had. We had Schleese fit it to him and to me. It cost me a lot of money, but my horse and his performance are worth it. He LOVES his new saddle.


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  9. #9
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by TequilaMockingbird View Post
    Somewhat related to the OP, I just bought an Andalusian cross (dam was a QH) that at first glance appears to fit my County Perfection pretty well. She's got the banana shaped back but doesn't have large withers. It's stamped MN but fits like a MW. It doesn't bridge/rock at all. The only issue is she has a pad of fat above her shoulder that prevents that saddle from really sitting on her back all the way. There's lots of clearance all around until you get above the shoulder, right where the top of the knee roll starts. My trainer's saddle is a MW Hulesbos that is only slightly wider than mine and it still wants to slip back when you really get her moving.
    Saddle may slip back when it's too narrow - i.e. pushed by the shoulder movement (even if it's just a single shoulder - think asymmetric horse or saddle flocking or even a slight twist in the tree).
    Have you had your rep/fitter out to adjust the flocking for the "fat pad"?

    I'd definitely continue to reduce her feed - make sure she's on (very) low sugar, higher protein, higher fat diet: sometimes fat pads are just that, other times they're an indication of metabolic issues - at just 4 & overweight (maybe all her life), I'd assume the former but adjust feed as if for the latter
    I like to use a mineral supplement, quality hay (if you can find tested hay go with that for a couple months to really try the low sugar diet), then oats etc which I can play with while knowing that this is just the extra calories.
    If possible have the horse out in a compatible herd as that will do more for her fitness than the limited riding/working I'd do with a 4 yr old.
    You can also take her out on decent "walks" (like a dog FP did a lot of this: it's excellent for new experiences & building trust)


    Right now she's on the upper end of normal/borderline overweight. She's not straight up fat but I can't feel her ribs. She was being fed 6lbs of Omolene 200 per day and worked 3 hours a week (basic W/T/C and not working over the back) by the previous owner. I thought that was way overkill for her. I've since switched her to SafeChoice and cut the amount to 4lbs as she's an easy keeper.



    She's got a decent topline considering that there's not a lot of muscle there. I'm sure the shape will change some but not drastically.

    But I'm almost thinking that looking at new saddles is a little premature at this point.
    Absolutely do not buy her a new saddle if you can make what you have work - use creative fitting/flocking with your saddle fitter
    It's quite likely that she will change enough again between 6-8 (from a Lusitano perspective), that you may need a new saddle at that point, so try to be conservative with your saddle purchases: many companies will do the 1 year fit warranty but that may also not be enough ... stay with a company that offer multiple tree widths so that swapping out the tree remains a possibility.



  10. #10
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    I'm currently riding in a western saddle until I find the right dressage saddle. He turned 6 this month. I know they develop slower than most breeds. I'm looking at saddles now and hope to purchase by the end of summer. I couldn't agree more about getting the right saddle. You couldn't spend the amount of money on training and lessons to get the results of a great fitting saddle.
    Thanks for your input!



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wondering View Post
    Cartago is on the petite side for his breed.The Vega line tends to be a little smaller. I bought him last year as a 5yo. My wide tree county connection fit him pretty well. My trainer and I wanted to take him way back to the basics. He had only been ridden for a few months, and then sat for a year. He is being ridden in a western saddle for the last 7 months. The county now perches on his withers and sits way too high. Looks like it will get in the way of his shoulders.
    The saddle fitter wants to wait another 6 months for his back to mature even more before ordering a new saddle. What I have learns, and experienced is the breed matures pretty slow.
    Thanks for all the advise !
    Have you had your fitter/rep out to open that saddle up as much as possible - this can make a considerable difference.
    You might also consider having the tree widened (County does not support this) or replaced (County will do this).
    I'd want to be sure of the western saddle fit, especially as he's changing.



  12. #12
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    Feb. 28, 2004
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    It's pretty tough to make any sort of meaningful recommendation without seeing the horse in question. Can you post a photo?



  13. #13
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    I don't have any current pictures of his back. Will take some this weekend and post. I don't believe his withers/back will be hard to fit. It's give the big movement of his shoulders room to move is my concern



  14. #14
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    Please post photos of the whole horse if possible. Overall conformation and balance plays a huge part in saddle fitting.



  15. #15
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    Sep. 28, 2009
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    Northernish WI
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    I have a wide Thornhill Danube for my pony and it accommodates a wide flat back and has what I believe are called half points which my fitter said are good for shoulder freedom. Just an idea and possibly something to look into. I know she loves her saddle
    My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/?
    and her blog



  16. #16
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    Jun. 20, 2012
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    I've been riding Lusitanos all my life, so maybe I can be of assistance.

    If you can get your hands on one, the Zaldi's are made for this type of horses (fit 8/10) and the S. George is super comfortable for you too. The New Kent is an older model but pretty nice as well.

    If you can't get a Zaldi, then the Prestine D1 would be my next suggestion.

    Stay away from Devoucoux, Stubben and Passier, its really hard to get one that fits off the rack.



  17. #17
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    I've been riding Lusitanos all my life, so maybe I can be of assistance.

    If you can get your hands on one, the Zaldi's are made for this type of horses (fit 8/10) and the S. George is super comfortable for you too. The New Kent is an older model but pretty nice as well.

    If you can't get a Zaldi, then the Prestine D1 would be my next suggestion.

    Stay away from Devoucoux, Stubben and Passier, its really hard to get one that fits off the rack.



  18. #18
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    Apr. 5, 2011
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    For reference, here is my mare. You can see the fat over and above her shoulder. I went ahead and cut her food back some more.

    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...10518831_o.jpg


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  19. #19
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    She is a nice horse. It's hard to judge weight with this type of horse. They are rounder and my not look thin like a tbred. Like comparing Marilyn Monroe to Twiggy



  20. #20
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    Here is a link to my FB page. This is today. I have to say, he looks a little pudgy in this picture. The camera must add 100 pounds for horses. Today is his 6th Birthday

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=1&theater


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