Arg...another saddle thread..super short backed horse....
As the title suggests, I'm looking for a dressage saddle for a super short backed horse. The HDR Austal worked, but I just don't have the $ for a new one right now. Neither of my saddles will do and I now have nothing to ride him in
I usually ride in a 17.5 but will need to do at least a 17 if not 16.5. If I lost a few lbs a 16.5 would be do able. He's normally a medium wide. I'm on a major budget for the next few months too
Prestige grand dressage would work.
Don't compromise your seat size! You'll wind up injuring your back. Look for saddles with upswept rear panels.
Both chiro and saddle fitter said he is so short backed I truly need a smaller seat
I've been looking for and have tried an up swept panel, but it was still too long in a 17.5. The rear panels of the Stubben look like they may extend too far back? She said I needed panels that ended with the seat and did not extend back at all. Chiro suggested a Kieffer. She actually said I needed a kids saddle lol!
Perhaps look at saddles that have a fairly flat seat with a low pommel so you have a bit more sitting area with a smaller size. The Barnsby Luxus has an open seat and low pommel so it rides bigger (or feels that way), the old Rembrandt OS was built the same, if nothing else google those saddles and see how they look and maybe look for something similar. There are a few Barnsby Luxus out there at very good prices. They hold up very well and are extremely well made, plus have short points for the horse's comfort. If you are having to go into a really smaller saddle I think you will want to avoid deep seats.
Ideal saddles have wider panels which allow them to extend a bit farther down the horse's back without injuring them. The wide panels provide more weight bearing surface than most English saddles, making it much less of an issue.
I had success with Stubben for my short backed horse. He had 16" from 3 fingers behind the point of his shoulder to his last rib. The Genesis and the old Tristan worked for him. I could ride in a 17" seat with either saddle. The old Tristans are really cheap. You can find ones in nice shape for $500 ish. Both have very upswept rear panels.
If he is that short-backed, you probably also need a curvy tree with upswept panels. I tried a Tekna dressage saddle on my super-short backed guy and it fits like a dream. I had tried a Neidersuss Symphonie all last year (on advice from people on this board) and it almost works but I'm finding even that is a touch too long now. I also seem to be swimming in the 17.5 since it is a more open seat.
The test-ride Tekna was a 17.5 (only size test ride they had) figuring I would need to order a smaller size. NOPE! It has a deeper seat that just cradles me very nicely.
They are a synthetic saddle but the smooth seat one looks like leather from a few feet away (unlike the wintecs, yuck!) have and adjustable tree, and have wool flocked panels. All for a budget price of $625!!!
Do a search on here for Tekna and you will see some threads about them.
The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.
Custom Saddlery actually make saddles with shorter panels which end with the seat. I wonder if you can find a used one with the short panels. I don't see them come up for sale very often though.
Some of the fitters sell their demo saddles quite frequently so it could be worth talking to the one for your area.
I'd second this - except if OP can't afford an HDR, they definitely can't afford a Custom. Even used - I did try one a few months ago that had the "pony panels" - it was $2600 used. Both Custom and Schleese make short panels for short backed horses and ponies - but they don't show up used very often.
For really short-backed horses, forward-balance point saddles like Prestige and Amerigo (and some of the newer Passiers) are often a good option. They focus the rider's weight more toward the wither and usually have upswept panels in the rear. Ann Forrest at Equestrian Imports carries them, and does a great job of fitting, both hands-on and long-distance.
Another possibility would be to look into getting a UK-made saddle with a shorter, more upswept panel and a swept-back cantle. This set-up will spread the rider's weight over as large a bearing surface as possible on the right side of T18, while the swept-back cantle maximizes seat size for the rider.
Thanks for your replies! I already have a Tekna and it is absolutely way too long.
Yes, budget is an issue or I would have already bought him something. Looking for under $1000 right now. I have a few I bought to try that now need to be sold. I've looked at and tried just about everything at the local tack store and have consulted a fitter.
Yes, Kitt, fitter and chiro said a forward-balance point saddle.
If I can confirm that his issues are related to the length of his saddle, which I suspect they are, then hopefully the last piece of the puzzle will be figured out. If I had 4K just to simply try and see I'd have done it in a heartbeat. He's a very talented horse, but coming to dressage later in life, with many past issues. I know how to ride and train, I've just never encountered a horse with a back like his and am at such a loss.
Edit to say, have two Ideal saddles and they do not work, also Albion 5000, Wintec Pro, although the Pro in a smaller size may work.
Go for an older Stubben. My 17.5" rides on the bigger side, but fits on my 14.3h really short backed Arab well. It was only about $300 on eBay. They seem to sell pretty readily on there, so you'd basically only be out shipping if it didn't work.