Saddles too far forward is a huge pet peeve of mine. Here's a hint: If the only way you could get the saddle further forward is if you put the girth in front of the forelegs, it's too far forward.
No matter how many times I ride the same horse in the same saddle/pad/girth combo, I always put the saddle on too far forward, lift up the pad into the gullet of the saddle, slide the saddle back until it stops, and run my hand along the scapula to be sure the points of the tree are behind it. Every single time. Usually several times before girthing.
Hey pattnic, what girth do you use? I am going to have to break down and get one, my TB has the tiniest girth channel ever AND has a huge rib cage, so it always wants to slid forward into the girth channel, which brings the saddle too far forward.
I have a few in different sizes - Pessoa, Jaguar, Dover, Beval, and ADT (more of a belly guard style). I hate the County ones; they are really nice at first, but they don't wear well at all. I don't think I've seen a used one that didn't have cracked leather.
I'm also intrigued by the Fairfax one, which has a slightly different style... but I won't pay the price for it! (I didn't pay full price for any of the ones I have - keep an eye on eBay, and you can find them in the $50-$100 range. The most I've ever paid was $150 for the ADT)
My horse is the same way... it's not as uncommon as you'd think! Like Pattnic, I use an anatomic girth and have had great luck with it. The saddle stays where I want it and my horse gets girthy with other "normal" girths now.
I use an M. Toulouse girth with my close contact saddle. It's certainly not the nicest girth, but the plastic-y leather wears like iron and my college-student-budget was happy with it (I got it cheap since it was used, and it still looks brand new when I clean it up). I know two other people who use these and have been verry happy with them. http://www.smartpakequine.com/m-toul...ic-girth-4429p
For my dressage saddle, I was given a County Logic. I like it well enough, but if I was spending that kind of money on my own, I would probably go with something else. It has worn well, but the sizing is a bit odd and there's no elastic, which I don't like.
Read it a couple months ago, or more. She has a great blog, love her information...even when her bitey face comes out. Don't poke the Velociraptor .
Yeah if I had the money, I'd have my Dev adjusted so the front billet came out from the point. My gelding doesn't need it, he has mile long girth channel, but it would be nice to have the option. Of course, if I had the money, the mare would have her own Dev instead of the adjustable Collegiate I just got. I'm taking both saddles to be checked on her in a month or less, with a fitter, to see what he says about fit. She's also a cribber and a kicky/bitey mare* so she's out chiropractically on a regular basis. It makes it hard for me, an education lay person, to determine if she's saddle sore, out/sore from cribbing, out from "I hate you get away" gymnastics, or what.
*I'd be kicky/bitey if I lived with my gelding 24/7, he's a giant pest.
Last edited by TheJenners; Oct. 15, 2013 at 07:12 PM.
Reason: Holy run on sentence, Batman! I need to make sure I edit things before I post if I've been up less than 30 minutes.
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Thanks for the kind words on my blog, guys - I'm glad you enjoy it and find it useful (even when I go all bitey raptor).
The ideal placement for a saddle is to have the tree point about 3 fingers' width behind the rear edge of the scapulae. In a dressage saddle, this *usually* means the front of the flap will be about 1 finger width behind the shoulder; with jump or ap saddles, it's harder to judge, since flap set will differ. Usually, if you place the saddle on the withers and slide it back, it will "stop" in the right spot. The idea is to keep the tree points from impinging on the rear of the shoulder blade as it rotates back; if your horse's shoulder is making contact with the points, s/he won't want to extend the foreleg fully, and will wind up going like a sewing machine.
Of course, if your horse is really short-backed and you require a larger seat, placement can become problematic, but there are saddle designs (swept-back cantle and shorter, upswept rear panels or forward-balance saddles) that can help maximize seat size for the rider w/o having the weight bearing surface extend past T18.