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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2008
    Location
    Under the Hill
    Posts
    128

    Default Saddler Who Can Shorten a Panel?

    I have a new custom saddle that has panels that are too long. If I put the saddle off the horse's shoulder, then the horse's lower backs kicks it forward onto the shoulders. The saddler helped me greatly in selecting many custom options, but got the panel length all wrong. I do not want to deal with her on this and don't want to contact her. She thinks she knows everything and did not listen to me on the panel configuration. The saddle fits me like a glove and I love everything about it. I have a long thigh and the saddle suits me perfectly. The tree width is correct for my horse. I need to make this saddle work, so I am looking for a saddler that can somehow shorten the rear of the panel so it doesn't get pushed forward by my horse's lower back. I have to have the point billet for placement, but keep it looser (tried it tightened) so the saddle doesn't pull down on the horse's shoulders. I don't want to involve the fitter/sales rep. The saddle is my dream saddle in every other way. I am going to try to cross my billets, but really think if the panel was shortened it would be fine. So, I am looking for a fitter/saddler who can help me.Thanks.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,811

    Default

    Hi Halfling,

    First, a caveat and then I'll get off it: you'll need to be really sure that this will fix your problem and not cause new ones. Even if your fitter is a doof, it might be the case that shortening the panels will radically change how the weight is distributed across the panel, creating new pressure points or new problems. (To be fair, this might also be a ridiculously simple procedure, like just lopping off gussets at the back of the saddle.)

    But even on a good day without those concerns, reshaping a panel successfully and well requires the expertise of a very good saddler. For all of the above reasons, I would suggest using a saddle repairperson who is also an excellent saddle fitter. That way, they can address the problem from both sides, possibly making modifications elsewhere in the panel (if necessary) to make your saddle work and thinking about how the flocking distribution might need to change, if at all.

    And "great saddler + great fitter" is a pretty small club of people. Also be forewarned that this will probably be an expensive procedure. $500+, probably.

    Okay, enough caveats. If it were my problem, the saddle would go to one of these operations:

    David Young (South Carolina). He's a master saddler and a good saddle fitter. You know someone is good when they have a hopping business without having a web site. David Young, Master Saddler, Greenville, SC, davidceramics@bellsouth.net, 864-370-3143

    Barrington Saddlery (Illinois) which employes Michael Dainton (Master Saddler) and Kate Lamacki (Master Saddler and qualified saddle fitter). So you'd get two heads for the price of one. http://stores.barringtonsaddlery.com...ddler/Page.bok

    Ann Forrest of Equestrian Imports (Florida), who works very closely with Saddlewerks. She's a good fitter, and Saddlewerks has excellent saddlers on staff.
    http://equestrianimports.com/shop/in...ewDoc&docId=10

    Good luck.
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
    http://twitter.com/jenlmichaels



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2004
    Location
    Sandgate, VT
    Posts
    942

    Default

    As usual, very good advice from Jen. Altering the rear of the panels is doable, and can help as long as that's the only issue. In addition to the folks already recommended, I'll add Patty Barnett at East Crow Saddlery (saddledr@aol.com) and Suzie Fletcher-Baker (sfletcherbaker@aol.com). Both are excellent saddlers and fitters.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitt View Post
    As usual, very good advice from Jen. Altering the rear of the panels is doable, and can help as long as that's the only issue. In addition to the folks already recommended, I'll add Patty Barnett at East Crow Saddlery (saddledr@aol.com) and Suzie Fletcher-Baker (sfletcherbaker@aol.com). Both are excellent saddlers and fitters.
    And great advice from Kitt. I need to get more sleep. If I'd been a little more awake, I would have remembered to put Patty and Suzie on the list!
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
    http://twitter.com/jenlmichaels



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Qc
    Posts
    2,939

    Default

    If this saddle is new and custom to you, there must be some sort of warranty coming with it. I would not have someone else touching it until I have to Ok from the saddle's company. You don't want to void your warranty because you messed up with the panels.

    Why not contacting the company itself, explain them your concerns about this particular rep and see if they could have another of their rep to meet you and fix the problem or if they would be fine if someone else would work on the saddle. Send them pictures if needed.

    I truly understand your frustrations but custom saddles are expensive and should ultimately be fitted to you and your horse perfectly.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    Default

    One more thing to add: if you decide to go ahead and let a saddler change the panel, you might also discuss girthing options with them. Possibly a Y-girthing system would help, or other modifications, but it's awfully hard to say without seeing the horse + saddle.
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
    http://twitter.com/jenlmichaels



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
    Posts
    6,574

    Default

    Before investing in this sort of alteration, I'd have another fitter out to analyze the saddle fit for horse & rider.
    If this is not really available in your area, take some photos & video & send them to another fitter/saddle specialist.

    While it's nice to think that you can just lop a bit off the panels, it may be far from that simple, consider if you want to invest up to 1K in this saddle (think about shipping costs (with insurance) + panel reconstruction fees + time involved).
    I'd also want to be very confident that the tree shape is really suited to the horse, that long panel may be stabilizing a tree that might otherwise be too curved for the horse, also consider whether the tree points (length & angle) are truly suited to your horse's conformation.

    It's also possible that after you alter the panels, saddle may still not fit correctly, & now you'll have a difficult re-sell on your hands: someone will always buy a "used, altered" saddle but price will be significantly reduced.

    If you haven't spoked with head office (for the saddle maker), definitely contact them, they may wish to have send someone out to assess ...



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2008
    Location
    Under the Hill
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Thanks for all the good advice everyone. I actually know quite a bit about saddle fitting myself. This is why I need a good knowledgeable fitter/saddler to work on the saddle if needed. There is a fitter a couple of hours from me that can play with the flocking. She has worked on saddles for me in the past and knows my horse. She is an independent and does not sell saddles. I did punch the rear gusset/panel to soften and shape it and my ride yesterday was better. I think if I can get this fitter out that I have used in the past, I may be able to get the fit I need without altering the panels. As I said, the fitter/rep that ordered the saddle got everything else spot on including the self adjusting V rear billet which is usually not offered on this brand saddle. I also have customizations that are not standard on this saddle. I just think the rear gusset is too generous. Not to knock her, but my horse is a really hard horse to fit. Every other saddler who has brought saddles has said that. FWIW, I would not use Dainton personally. Thanks again!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2004
    Location
    Sandgate, VT
    Posts
    942

    Default

    Sometimes removing/moving flocking can help if the rear gusset it too deep, but if the panels are also too long, a flocking adjustment may not be completely successful. Can you explain a little more about why your horse is really hard to fit? That might give a few more clues as to whether the panels would need to be modified.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
    Posts
    6,574

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Halfling View Post
    As I said, the fitter/rep that ordered the saddle got everything else spot on including the self adjusting V rear billet which is usually not offered on this brand saddle. I also have customizations that are not standard on this saddle. I just think the rear gusset is too generous.
    I suspect that the rep & manufacturer of the saddle would be happy to sort out the gusset & feel that they got the saddle "just right" - you might contact & discuss

    I did punch the rear gusset/panel to soften and shape it and my ride yesterday was better.
    If you haven't put the break in time into the wool panels, definitely do that before any adjusting (unless you're considering replacing the entire panel).



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    6,811

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Halfling View Post
    FWIW, I would not use Dainton personally. Thanks again!
    Well if we're talking about who I would use personally, it would be David Young.
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
    http://twitter.com/jenlmichaels



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