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Narrow twists and hip problems

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  • Narrow twists and hip problems

    I wonder if anyone can help with advice.

    I have hip pain, its from a bad accident more than 10 years ago, its damage to the bone (as identified on xray) but Im unsure the extent. I walk with limp in the cold and have for years.

    I also ride wide horses. Most dressage saddles give me pain, but i just cant sit around in one (as long as im moving its bearable)

    Ive been recommended a narrow twist saddle a couple of times, one is a stubben.
    My current saddleis a UK brand (ideal) and with an open seat and small knee rolls its the best i have found. I dont consider it a wide twist, just average probably.

    My question really is, do the narrower twist saddles really make that much difference? Ive tried to find one to try locally and cant. Due to my horses being wide, my last million saddles have been wide too. I genuinely cannot remember the last saddle that was comfy for me.

    I had a clinic recently and it became very apparent how much this injury is affecting my ability to ride better.

    Unfortunately surgery wont be an option for at least 12 months, and other than dressage saddles, my injury has little affect on day to day life.

    My other option is to give up on dressage and the saddles completely and turn to HJ.

  • #2
    Check this out;
    ... _. ._ .._. .._


    • #3
      Yes! A narrow twist makes ALL the difference! Well, for me anyway. I don't have the hip issues that you do, but I can't stand a wide twist saddle (or western saddle which don't have a twist, they're just as wide as the horse's back). I've always ridden in a narrow twist on my wide horses (currently riding a fjord). Most people get on my horses and ask how they're "so narrow", the horse isn't, the twist in the saddle is.


      • #4
        What kris0227 said. I too need a narrow twist. I just bought a Stubben for my youngster who takes a medium/wide with a narrow twist. But I had to try a couple of the narrow twist models to get the right fit for me and my girl.

        I also have a Hennig with a narrow twist (doesn't fit my youngster but works on my older girl). My hips KILL me if I don't have a narrow twist, PLUS, I can't get my legs on the side of the horse without a narrow twist. Twist really does make difference.


        • #5
          I really love my County for that..... the horse was wide, the saddle a narrow twist (wide tree) but I felt like I was just sitting there in the sweet spot without struggling. No pain.


          • #6
            I have had hip labrum issues and now have osteoarthritis in my hips. A narrow twist has made a huge difference to me. Not a miracle fix, but with it I'm achey after riding, whereas in my old Albion Platinum with a wider twist I'd end up pretty crippled post ride, and the post-ride pain was interfering with my concentration at work and my sleep at night. I found a narrow twist Henning with small Velcro blocks and it was just the ticket for me.

            Is there a narrow twist saddle out there you can borrow and try? I rode in my trainer's saddle for a while when I was waiting on hip surgery, and knowing that it caused less pain gave me confidence to spend $$ on finding a better saddle for my hips.


            • #7
              Narrow twists make a huge difference for my hip pain.


              • #8
                The other thing that can help on a wider horse is a monoflap saddle because it minimizes the bulk under your leg.

                It might be worth trying a Black Country Equinox. They come in a hoop tree for wide horses, monoflap with a more forward flap and half-panels, so there is no bulk under the leg. They are marketed as endurance saddles, but I trialed one and it is well balanced for dressage.

                I have two Black Country saddles on very similar trees, one being monoflap and one regular flap. The monoflap feels much narrower on the same horse even though it is a hoop tree instead of a regular MW tree on the regular flap saddle.


                • #9
                  The right twist for you makes a world of difference! Narrow twist is what I tend to think, but the question is if you feel stretched? I have plenty of friends who had to find wider twists because narrow was terrible uncomfortable to them.

                  Saddle fitters can also change the feeling of a saddle in how they stuff the flocking. My fitter adjusted my saddle to basically feel like a 2x4 on my big guy, because that's what I needed to be able to ride him. My mares are both a better shape for me, so not as much extra effort has to be made to make me comfortable. (Though one of them goes in the big guy's saddle.)
                  If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                  • #10
                    I know other people with hip and back issues that once they switched to a narrow twist, they felt so much better.

                    I rode in a wide twist once and absolutely hated it. I felt like I was sitting on a block and could feel the edges digging into my legs. I was actually bruised because of the saddle.

                    I/we ride in a Trilogy Verago because it has a narrow twist. But I was also looking at the EQ Saddles that are flapless so I would have less bulk under my legs.


                    • #11
                      I've found it is more than the twist. For my specific hip issues (which held up my riding for a couple years), it is also about stirrup placement.

                      If you look at the link provided in Equibrit post, you'll read that they place the stirrup bar back. It seems a lot of saddle makers are doing that these days, and that is a big no-no for me. For whatever reason, with my hip structure, putting the stirrup bar back - even with a narrow twist - is worse than a medium twist and a "normal" stirrup bar placement. I tried many many Custom (brand) saddles and they all had the stirrup bar placement that was wrong for my hip. So while I liked the twists they offered, that wasn't the sole remedy for my problem.

                      Then you've got your horse's back shape to contend with....saddle shopping sucks!

                      I've ended up sticking with my Frank Baines Capriole because it fits my pony well and even though the twist isn't narrow, the stirrup bar placement is more comfortable for me.

                      "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                      • #12
                        Absolutely a narrow twist makes a HUGE difference.
                        "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM



                        • #13
                          It may or may not make a huge difference because it will depend on a couple of things: what type of hip pain you have, since it's related to an accident and needs surgery to fix; you are still riding a wide horse, and depending on your anatomy you might not find a narrow twist comfortable (I sure don't). Make sure you have a saddle with a wide enough seat to fully support your hip bones also.

                          Do you have friends with saddles that have narrow twists you can try?


                          • #14
                            The twist and the stirrup bar placement are keys to avoiding hip pain. The problem is that there are no standards and no easy way to say that one saddle's twist is wider than another or the stirrup bar is further back etc. You really need to just sit in it and ride in it and see how it feels.

                            When I got my growing horse a new saddle I made sure to also get one that fit me better, as his first saddle really didn't do me any favors. That along with hip flexor stretches really help keep the hip pain away.
                            "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


                            • #15
                              Perhaps you could try an all purpose saddle until you have the surgery?


                              • Original Poster

                                Stirrup bar placement, hmm

                                I think you might be right.
                                ive been told several times that id need a narrow twist, but there is no verifiable difference for me between a very wide (laser 747 i had for awhile) and anything im currently riding in (or since which is a million saddles)

                                The worst saddles for me are deep seat with large knee rolls. The worst i tried was the bates innova which i was immediately immobilised in and in so much pain i couldnt move to get off! The isobel worth is also another bad one.

                                It seems to be in the straighter my leg is the worse i am. As a result i ride reasonably short for dressage.

                                I tried about ten saddles when i bought this one. I had a really nice kentaur but once i had a lesson in it with sitting around, the clearer it was a no-go.

                                Im so sick of saddle shopping. This current saddle is awesome apart from my continued hip pain.

                                x-halt-salute im the same after a dressage comp, cant sleep, walk like a duck etc. Yoga does help a fair bit, but i never seem to get time.


                                • #17
                                  People talk about narrow twist all of the time. However I find that is rarely the complete solution, if the solution at all for hip and back pain. There are really too many factors in a saddle to say that a one specific part is going to solve the problem.

                                  To me from what you are saying, a narrow twist is actually not a solution for you. I would actually love to try you with a broader seat with a less than straight flap with velcro blocks. If you were my client, I would start with that saddle and go from there. I also love putting people into saddles that match what they are saying that they want, so that they can see how much they do not actually like that saddle. There are so many things that I think about when I am saddle fitting, it is really hard to boiling them down to a simple solution.

                                  Unfortunately you are just going to have to keep trying saddles to see what works for you and your horse.

                                  Jacobson's Saddlery, LLC
                                  Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Fitter


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Yes its true. Maybe this is the best it gets for me.

                                    This saddle i have fits my horse amazing, he loves it, i love it. I can ride a fair while in it, i cant sit around in any saddle tbh.

                                    I have the opportunity to purchase the saddle with the narrower twist but its in another state so i cant try first, and im unsure wether im better with 'the devil i know'

                                    I think my dressage career is going to be fairly limited though by it.


                                    • #19
                                      I'd say if you have the money to spend on the other saddle and not care if it doesn't work out then certainly worth the try, provided it is also a great fit for the horse. Otherwise, if you can borrow a similar saddle to try first I would do that. Depending on what problem your pain is caused from the narrow twist may or may not help at all; depends on what was injured in the accident.

                                      Agree with what sheltona01 said, ensure you have a saddle with a wide enough seat to comfortably support your hip bones.

                                      I personally find narrow twists uncomfortable so depends on your normal anatomy as to how it will work for you and if it address your pain issue.

                                      There is nothing wrong with maybe trying an all purpose saddle or going back to riding a hunt seat saddle for now.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by kris0227 View Post
                                        Yes! A narrow twist makes ALL the difference! Well, for me anyway. I don't have the hip issues that you do, but I can't stand a wide twist saddle (or western saddle which don't have a twist, they're just as wide as the horse's back). I've always ridden in a narrow twist on my wide horses (currently riding a fjord). Most people get on my horses and ask how they're "so narrow", the horse isn't, the twist in the saddle is.
                                        With all due respect, I don't think you have described western saddles accurately.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat