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  1. #21
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    If you scratch the horse on the belly, just behind the girth groove so that he raises the back, what does the saddle do?

    This gives you a kinda/sorta better idea how the horse rearranges his back when he's moving. Maybe when your fitter comes, you can do this in the cross ties and then have her watch you ride him. She needs to see the saddle in motion.

    Don't freak out yet. Show her what you are seeing.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  2. #22
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    Nov. 8, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alderfish View Post
    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.
    Please don't move the billets forward on the flap. This will tip the saddle forward and press the tree points into your horse continuously (but would probably keep it from moving forward). The billets must be attached to the tree where it balances the saddle! My anatomical girth from ovation was $60-80 if I recall correctly. I like it 10x better than my multi hundred dollar devecoux girth (sigh).

    Good luck!!



  3. #23
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    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.
    I'd consider this to be a saddle that does NOT fit.

    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."
    Has fitter actually observed the horse in motion & saddle slipping?

    Ask fitter to describe exactly how the tree will be adjusted & What If that does not solve the issue.

    2. She readily admits she does not see anything that should make it move,
    Is this based upon a static fit analysis or is she not seeing what happens when horse gets unhappy?
    I'm confused how she can adjust a saddle to fit when she doesn't see the issue? will she just randomly adjust the tree?

    Consider what you want out of this situation - if this particular saddle can't be adjusted to fit, do you want another go around? or do you want a saddle from a different company? how many fit attempts are you willing to go through? what happens if your horse ends up with a sore back & needs time off or vet care?

    I suspect that the more you "use" the saddle & adjust the saddle, the more difficult it will be to obtain a full refund (afterall company will now have a saddle in far from "new" condition to resell) - make sure you have in writing exactly what happens.



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2001
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    Washington, DC
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    Spitting pads means it doesn't fit. Period. No brand of saddle should "typically" spit pads.
    Also, having a big jumping horse or jumping bigger cross country fences should not cause a properly fitted saddle to move significantly either. I have jumped around Preliminary with my 17.2 h big moving big jumping horse with no saddle fit issues at all.
    Give the rep a chance to watch the saddle in motion and make a fix. Don't ride in it till then.
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr. 18, 2013
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    44

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    Quote Originally Posted by vxf111 View Post
    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.
    I think I was being a smart a$$ She does know all parts/fitting/etc of the saddle but I was joking that I wouldn't trust her to sew one together. Sorry :-/ Bad sense of humor.



  6. #26
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Thanks guys for all the responses. Trust me, the saddle isn't going near my horse or any other until I am convinced it won't cause a problem. The deal with her not seeing the saddle move is that it wasn't doing this until this week. I've had the saddle 3 weeks, the first two were considered a "break in" period during which I monitored it very closely and wasn't happy with it so had the fitter back out. Fitter said tree points had to settle more, keep riding in it. A few days later saddle started moving up the shoulders. As soon as this happened I hopped off, readjusted and tried again. I never rode either horse with the saddle on the shoulders, I'm not risking injury to my horses for anything. Thank you MVP for the belly scratch idea- perhaps that will work well enough for the fitter to see the movement without having to ride around while the saddle creeps.

    Alto - I agree. She seems to already have an idea of what the issue is and suggests they often adjust the tree on new saddles. I think she'll take a look at the saddle on the horse before trying to change it but will make sure she does anyway.

    Asterix - I also agree that no saddle should spit pads. She says its because there are no pressure points from this saddle and that she has the same issue with hers. I have another saddle which fits this horse to a T and it does not spit pads and horse is never sore because of it. It may be stubborn but I will ask for a refund if this saddle continues to spit pads - even if it is found to fit horse 100%, no saddle is worth any amount of money if the saddle pad tightens on the withers or slides back under the panels.



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    She sounds less and less on the ball the more quotes we hear from her...
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
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  8. #28
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Like I just messaged someone, I guess it's time to become a master saddle fitter myself This is crap.



  9. #29
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    Nov. 7, 2006
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    Knoxville TN
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    Fitter said tree points had to settle more, keep riding in it.
    That's baloney. How do tree points settle ? Without seeing it, I would say that the saddle doesn't fit. This is another case where you're going to be MUCH better off trying a bunch of demo saddles and buying the exact one that works.

    It's also the reason I leave a possible saddle With the Client for a few weeks so that they can really ride in it before deciding if it works for them. Nobody can fully test a saddle in a single test ride - you need a long term trial for both horse and rider.

    And I don't believe that there exists the magikal expert custom saddle fitter that can design and build your saddle perfectly first time, every time. (well, maybe that person exists, but I've never met them, and I've met and worked with saddles from loads of bespoke experts, and all of them still get it wrong occasionally).

    If it's not working after a couple of weeks, it's not working. I don't think you should be too concerned about a tree adjustment - if it's a brand that is designed to be used that way. Tree adjustments for me are an everyday thing - no big deal at all. In fact, I will often break open a clients' brand new saddle to fine-tune it on site, and then leave it open at the front for a few weeks so the client really gets the point that the saddle is a tool for the job - and the job is providing that perfect interface between horse and rider every single day.



  10. #30
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    Jul. 31, 2002
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    Harrisonburg, VA
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    The problem with custom saddles is that the horse keeps changing while the saddle is being built, so it doesn't fit the moment they start building your saddle. It sounds like it fits him standing still, but not in work...



  11. #31
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    Nov. 7, 2006
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    Knoxville TN
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    ... I think I pressed send to quickly .... Don't be overly worried about a tree adjustment, however, in this case, I suspect it's just the wrong tree shape.



  12. #32
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    KateWooten - Thanks for your reply. Do you think that if the tree is too curvy for the horse that ultimately no amount/shaping of "high quality foam" panel padding will change that? I'm wondering if perhaps the saddle fits statically because the padding makes it but in work the tree is too curvy front to back and the padding can longer disguise that. Does that make any sense?



  13. #33
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    Nov. 7, 2006
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    Knoxville TN
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    Yes, that would certainly do it. It sounds very much like when I put a horse in a Solo, who should be in an Advantage (just to pick on two models that I see a lot). I can get the tree of a Solo fine-tuned to the exact right angle .... but if the horse has a back that's better suited to the Advantage, then no amount of flocking adjustment is going to change that. I'd also suspect that the tree angle isn't quite right - which is something that can be changed on yours by the sound of it - and I would probably let the fitter have a chance to go that route.

    The most important thing for you right now, is to make sure that you are in communication with the head office, whoever's really in charge, to get this repeated back to you, that they know that you have NOT accepted this saddle. I don't know the company you're working with but there are several companies who give you you ten days' or one week's trial, and then if you have not said a definite 'No' to the saddle at that point, they take that as a default 'yes' and you're committed to buying that saddle. Make darn sure that's not the case here. Give the fitter all the chance in the world to make it right, but make absolutely sure that this thing is still 'on trial' and not 'accepted'. If they won't extend your trial period, then you have no choice but give up on it and return it.



  14. #34
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    If I were a betting woman and reading more carefully, I'd bet that:

    1. The tree is too curvey, front to back.

    2. The narrow withers plus broad back produced a problem for someone trying to fit both sections with the same tree and foam panels.

    The tall withers on this horse might make the saddle look ok when he's standing still, but when he raises his back, they become lower, relative to the top of his back-- and stop the curvy-treed saddle from rolling.

    OP, if you ride the posting trot and put your hand on the cantle, can you feel it rocking up and down? Maybe have someone watching you.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  15. #35
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    OP, if you ride the posting trot and put your hand on the cantle, can you feel it rocking up and down? Maybe have someone watching you.
    I watched my friend ride in it yesterday and the cantle doesn't move at all but she said she could feel the whole saddle moving and then it's up on his withers. I feel the same way when I ride in it. But you can't see it, I don't know how to explain it. It's NOT obvious to the eye that the saddle moves.

    Even going around the saddle DOES look like it fits...Until it's on his shoulders. I promise I'm no newbie to saddle fitting either...

    I tried another saddle awhile ago and that saddle would move up his shoulders after a jump or a spook. My unaffiliated professional fitter worked on it twice and said it wasn't a bad fit at all but that it just didn't work for my horse. He said the curve of the tree was ok for this horse but that the horse proved differently and horse obviously wins The horse had no signs either except that when you took the saddle off he would shrug his shoulders as if to say "ouch, that's better."



  16. #36
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by KateWooten View Post
    there are several companies who give you you ten days' or one week's trial.
    Unfortunately this is a saddle that was "custom made" for this horse so there isn't really a true "trial" period but more of a "breaking in" period. I was told when I got the saddle to expect a 2 week breaking in period for the tree points to settle - something about flex points that need to spread and settle over the initial two weeks. I know, I know, sounds like crap but that's what they said and after speaking with several people who have similar saddles, they have gone through the same break in period. Only this saddle isn't getting better and better, it's getting worse and worse... Will speak with the rep and let her adjust it but quite unhappy



  17. #37
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    Oct. 15, 2001
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    4,674

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alderfish View Post
    Thanks guys for all the responses. Trust me, the saddle isn't going near my horse or any other until I am convinced it won't cause a problem. The deal with her not seeing the saddle move is that it wasn't doing this until this week. I've had the saddle 3 weeks, the first two were considered a "break in" period during which I monitored it very closely and wasn't happy with it so had the fitter back out. Fitter said tree points had to settle more, keep riding in it. A few days later saddle started moving up the shoulders. As soon as this happened I hopped off, readjusted and tried again. I never rode either horse with the saddle on the shoulders, I'm not risking injury to my horses for anything. Thank you MVP for the belly scratch idea- perhaps that will work well enough for the fitter to see the movement without having to ride around while the saddle creeps.

    Alto - I agree. She seems to already have an idea of what the issue is and suggests they often adjust the tree on new saddles. I think she'll take a look at the saddle on the horse before trying to change it but will make sure she does anyway.

    Asterix - I also agree that no saddle should spit pads. She says its because there are no pressure points from this saddle and that she has the same issue with hers. I have another saddle which fits this horse to a T and it does not spit pads and horse is never sore because of it. It may be stubborn but I will ask for a refund if this saddle continues to spit pads - even if it is found to fit horse 100%, no saddle is worth any amount of money if the saddle pad tightens on the withers or slides back under the panels.
    I literally had the same problems, right down to "keep riding in it until the tree points settle." Well, they never settled, it never fit the horse right, it wobbled side to side, slid forward, and spit pads. Then there was the "tree spreading" debacle where it came back twisted and crooked.

    They finally made me a new one, and the fit was even worse... I think I deleted the photos, but I almost wondered it they mis-stamped and sent the wrong saddle, there was no way it was ever going to fit. Looked like it was made for a narrow TB with high withers and narrow shoulders, not a super-wide wine-barrel shaped WB with huge shoulders. I ended up calling around to a bunch of saddle companies in desperation, and Voltaire took it in trade.

    The Voltaire I got was a great fit right out of the box, and the horse loves it. Sits still and stays right where it is supposed to.



  18. #38
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    Apr. 18, 2013
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    Wanderlust- did the company refuse to take it back? If so, for what reason? I'm terrified they aren't going to take it back. Eek. I'm sorry for your experiences. This is so frustrating. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I sent you a PM too so feel free to answer there instead. Thank you!



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