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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Default WWYD New Custom Saddle Moves Around on Horse

    So I have a new saddle that is a few weeks into its supposed "breaking in" time. The saddle seems to be a good static fit: doesn't rock back to front or side to side, no bridging, plenty of gullet room, tree sits nicely on back, seems to stay in place out on a hack, horse seems happy when saddle stays put...

    However, when doing serious flat work in the ring (a connected walk/trot/canter where his back comes up) the saddle moves up until it is sitting on top of his withers and shoulder. Unhappy horse, unhappy rider.

    Had the fitter out once to check fit and she says all is well. The saddle is breaking in nicely etc etc. This person knows what she's doing and has successfully fit many horses at the barn. She is plenty capable.

    Now the obvious response is to ask the her to fix the saddle: she says she needs to adjust the "very adjustable tree - new saddles often need this adjustment." I have two big concerns:

    1. I do not understand how a saddle I paid thousands of dollars for should need any adjustment at all
    2. She readily admits she does not see anything that should make it move, which leads me to be mistrusting of her over all opinion of the saddle fitting - leading me to want to ask for a refund.

    Notes: Have had several riders with several pad configurations ranging from nothing to extra padding and all had the same result.

    What would you do?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2004
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    City of delusion in the state of total denial
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    8,490

    Default

    Has the fitter watched the saddle in motion on the horse's back?

    If she has not, make sure she does. I doubt your horse needs a crupper.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  3. #3
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Default

    Haha. A crupper would suck on this horse But no, it happens with two different horses - one the saddle was made for and one with a similar back. My old saddle fits very well but is wearing very thin.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alderfish View Post
    So I have a new saddle that is a few weeks into its supposed "breaking in" time. The saddle seems to be a good static fit: doesn't rock back to front or side to side, no bridging, plenty of gullet room, tree sits nicely on back, seems to stay in place out on a hack, horse seems happy when saddle stays put...

    However, when doing serious flat work in the ring (a connected walk/trot/canter where his back comes up) the saddle moves up until it is sitting on top of his withers and shoulder. Unhappy horse, unhappy rider.

    Had the fitter out once to check fit and she says all is well. The saddle is breaking in nicely etc etc. This person knows what she's doing and has successfully fit many horses at the barn. She is plenty capable.

    Now the obvious response is to ask the her to fix the saddle: she says she needs to adjust the "very adjustable tree - new saddles often need this adjustment." I have two big concerns:

    1. I do not understand how a saddle I paid thousands of dollars for should need any adjustment at all
    2. She readily admits she does not see anything that should make it move, which leads me to be mistrusting of her over all opinion of the saddle fitting - leading me to want to ask for a refund.

    Notes: Have had several riders with several pad configurations ranging from nothing to extra padding and all had the same result.

    What would you do?
    Was this truly a saddle made to measurement? Or a stock model they sent in the leather/flap configuration you wanted? Wool or foam?
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  5. #5
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    47

    Default

    It is a made-to-measure I guess. She came to fit the horse a few months ago - but it's a stock tree, they only offer two options, medium and wide but "cut the foam to fit." It's more custom than an Antares Spooner but not as custom as a Stackhouse. Does that make sense? High quality foam filled.

    She is offering to adjust the tree and says they are very "adjustable" but also says she doesn't see anything wrong with the current fit - hasn't been out since the saddle has started moving up the shoulder. Will come out early next week.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2001
    Posts
    4,691

    Default

    I had this problem with a CWD that was too narrow on a wide horse with minimal withers (but "custom fit" to the horse). They "spread" the tree, and the saddle ended up crooked, fit normally on one side and gapped on the other. I would demand that they re-make the saddle or give you a refund.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
    Location
    California
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    3,730

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alderfish View Post

    1. I do not understand how a saddle I paid thousands of dollars for should need any adjustment at all
    You are dealing with a live, moving animal and even saddles custom made may need adjusting. Nothing out of the ordinary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alderfish View Post
    2. She readily admits she does not see anything that should make it move, which leads me to be mistrusting of her over all opinion of the saddle fitting - leading me to want to ask for a refund.
    I agree with the other poster as to having her watch you ride in it and see for herself what is going on.

    I wouldn't ask for a refund just yet.... the bonus for buying a high end saddle is more often that not, they will do many things and eventually make it right for you even if it costs them and they have to make another saddle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alderfish View Post
    Notes: Have had several riders with several pad configurations ranging from nothing to extra padding and all had the same result.

    What would you do?
    So you are saying other riders on "their horses" have had the saddle slipping forward issue with the same saddle maker?
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
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    Philadelphia PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alderfish View Post
    It is a made-to-measure I guess. She came to fit the horse a few months ago - but it's a stock tree, they only offer two options, medium and wide but "cut the foam to fit." It's more custom than an Antares Spooner but not as custom as a Stackhouse. Does that make sense? High quality foam filled.

    She is offering to adjust the tree and says they are very "adjustable" but also says she doesn't see anything wrong with the current fit - hasn't been out since the saddle has started moving up the shoulder. Will come out early next week.
    That doesn't sound at all made to measure. It sounds stock with options. If it's foam, you have fewer options. I'd give the salesperson one more shot to get it to fit through adjustments. If it still moves after that, I'd demand the company take the saddle back and I'd go a different direction entirely (County, Black Country, Albion, etc.)

    What sort of training has the fitter had? A lot of reps have nothing more than sales training from the company they work for. If you can't get satisfaction with this saddle, I'd forget reps who are mainly sales people and work with someone who either reps for several brands and is a trainer saddle fitter or else at least get a trained saddle fitter to give you tracings and suggestions and search on your own with that.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    47

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wanderlust View Post
    I had this problem with a CWD that was too narrow on a wide horse with minimal withers (but "custom fit" to the horse). They "spread" the tree, and the saddle ended up crooked, fit normally on one side and gapped on the other. I would demand that they re-make the saddle or give you a refund.
    This reply strikes close to the heart of my problem What did you end up doing?

    Doublessatble: I understand your point and agree that some adjusting is fair. Do you think however that a tree adjustment is a bit extreme? Maybe I'm being dramatic. I just thought a flocking adjustment was fair game for a saddle but altering the tree seems like it would devalue the saddle.
    I am hesitant to put the saddle back on the horse and cause him more pain but I guess if I have to I will.

    About the various riders and padding configurations: I tried various padding configurations with this saddle because it spits pads and I was unsure whether it was my pad that was an issue or the saddle. Was told this is a common issue with these saddles. Not thrilled about that.

    Also had two friends ride in this saddle on my horse (saddle was made for him) and both observed the saddle moved very far forward. I rode in the saddle on another horse with similar back and had the same problem of it riding up his shoulders.



  10. #10
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by vxf111 View Post
    What sort of training has the fitter had? A lot of reps have nothing more than sales training.
    The fitter is one of the top reps for the company. She has extensive knowledge and works with many people at my barn including my trainer. I know that's not necessarily saying a lot but I've dealt with many reps in the past and this is the first one who seems to know what they're doing. They have successfully fit several horses this saddle is not a good fluid fit. That's why I'm so conflicted.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 6, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alderfish View Post
    The fitter is one of the top reps for the company. She has extensive knowledge and works with many people at my barn including my trainer. I know that's not necessarily saying a lot but I've dealt with many reps in the past and this is the first one who seems to know what they're doing. They have successfully fit several horses this saddle is not a good fluid fit. That's why I'm so conflicted.
    I used to work in retail and was a tippee top salesperson. I could not sew a garment. There's a huge difference between being trained in SALES and being trained in SADDLE FITTING. The fact that the saddle is moving enough for you to notice and she's all "shrug I don't see it" makes me doubt things a bit. Speaking as someone who got to spend $1000+ on back injections after a rocking saddle made my horse backsore, trust me... a moving saddle is BAD NEWS and a saddle fitter worth her salt should take that seriously.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/


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  12. #12
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    Jul. 22, 2007
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    809

    Default

    Has she mentioned anything about where the horses girth groove is placed in comparison to the billets? Further back billets and a forward girth groove will make the saddle slide forward no matter what you do. The girth wants to sit in the girth groove, and will pull the saddle forward to where it wants to sit. My horse is like this, and I am anxiously awaiting my CWD anatomic girth. :-)

    If you post pictures, we could help you out.
    "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."



  13. #13
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Default

    Girth groove is a good point : ) Forgot to mention that the horse for whom this saddle was made has a wide girth groove so I don't think the saddle would shift because of that and the other horse goes in another saddle with billets placed in the same place and that saddle doesn't move forward at all I guess that's not conclusive evidence to the contrary. If that's the case though they'd have to move them for me though as I can't afford to buy another piece of tack.

    I'm still leaning towards an issue with over all fit though. As both horses have different girth grooves and have the same problem with this saddle.



  14. #14
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by vxf111 View Post
    I used to work in retail and was a tippee top salesperson. I could not sew a garment. There's a huge difference between being trained in SALES and being trained in SADDLE FITTING.
    Agreed - absolutely. This gal is trained in saddle fitting but I wouldn't trust her making a saddle So yes and no...



  15. #15
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    Apr. 9, 2006
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    275

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    My saddle does this too! It is The. Most. Annoying. Thing. Horse has a lot of movement and a back-cracking jump, and saddle will do this on the flat and over fences. It has now been adjusted twice, once by the rep who sold it to me and once by a fitter. Saddle LOOKS great on the horse. 2nd adjustment, where the fitter actually watched me ride the horse, seems to be working (although I did have to get off and move the saddle back after taking big-jumping young horse through a relatively large downhill down-bank question out XC schooling).

    What is your horse's back conformation like? PM me if you want to exchange pictures... would be great to find a solution to this.



  16. #16
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    Oct. 30, 2003
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    PA
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    397

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    I'd send it back. A custom saddle or near custom or whatever you want to call it should fit without having to muck around with it. Had friends go through this both a CWD and an Antares. Neither ended well. Lots of hassle and both ended up giving up months later and buying another new saddle. Ridiculous!



  17. #17
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    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
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    I would have friend video it and you video it from on top of horse. Lay some strips of tape across his withers, mark where the pommel is on one tape when first sitting down and where it moves to while and after riding.
    You then have objective, non-refutable information and can share that with others to get their opinion.


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  18. #18
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by technopony View Post
    My saddle does this too! It is The. Most. Annoying. Thing.
    Don't have pictures yet but will try to get some. What a pain in the butt boat to be in...Right? This horse doesn't crack his back too much with his jump but he does bring it up quite a bit when you get him working from behind. His old saddle, the one I'm replacing, was amended by a top notch fitter but he couldn't fix the fact that the tree was too curvy - the saddle also fit perfectly when static and didn't move but the horse would scrunch his shoulders when you took it off, which implied the tree was rocking on his back - ever so slightly and you couldn't see it but it really bothered him. This horse has big withers, not shark fin though, and a pretty flat back (front to back), slightly angled side to side. Big TB.

    Fourfillies - *emoticon of pulling out hair*
    Chall - good idea. Will plan on trying that.



  19. #19
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    Oct. 6, 2002
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    Philadelphia PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alderfish View Post
    Agreed - absolutely. This gal is trained in saddle fitting but I wouldn't trust her making a saddle So yes and no...
    The person selling a truly custom saddle SHOULD know how they're made. Soup to nuts. Even if she doesn't personally make them. She should know what it looks like underneath, what the options are in terms of adjusting the tree, ways to change the panel shape /flocking, etc. That's very different than having memorized all the flap options and colors of leather and memorizing the sales pitch.

    I'd like to see photos of this saddle on the horse and video too. I bet it's moving even more than you think if you feel it as obviously as you say.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2003
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    Michigan, USA
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    Default

    This is a tough thing with foam-flocked saddles: the panels are what they are. Often issues like this can be improved by adding or removing flocking, when you have wool. There are so many minor or major modifications that can be made, and small asymmetries can be catered to.
    If the shape of the tree width/pitch of the points is correct now, narrowing or widening it to try to fix this problem will cause other problems, IME. For the amount of money you are spending, compromise fixes or resorting to external padding seem unacceptable to me (but I'm poor ).
    Trying other girths, or other billet configurations may help (use first two instead of first and third). Some horses need the billets further forward if saddles tend to creep forward. I have to ride one of my geldings in a saddle with a point billet (dressage saddle), or it is immediately crawling onto his shoulder.
    Best of luck.
    *CrowneDragon*
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.



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