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High Withered TB: What saddle do you ride yours in?

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  • High Withered TB: What saddle do you ride yours in?

    I have a typically high withered OTTB. He's always struggled to keep a topline, so also has quite a spine on him. As you can imagine, I had a heck of a time finding a saddle to fit him. (The high withered horse on the Thorowgood website is reminiscent of him, though he has more spine. http://thorowgood.com/types.html)

    Right now we're working in a Thorowgood T4 high wither GP with a medium tree. I am planning to dedicate much more time to riding him this summer, focusing more on dressage and am interested in getting a new saddle.

    Curious what other people who have high withered horses are riding in?

  • #2
    If I were you, I would stick with the thorowgood for 6 months to a year to get his topline built up before you invest in a more expensive saddle that he might outgrow. I just got a TB and am riding him in a thorowgood standard dressage, mw tree, and much as I would LOVE a nice saddle for him, I know his muscling is going to change dramatically over the next year.

    If you want a dressage saddle, why not get one of the Thorowgood dressage models? At least it will be inexpensive, and you can change the gullet as he begins to fill out.

    good luck and have fun!


    • #3
      When I looked at your thread title, I was going to reply re: the Thorowgood saddles. I have a T4 (not a high-wither) for my shark-fin TB, and it fits him pretty well, better than the other leather saddles I tried (Crosby, Courbette, Stubben, Wintec). According to Thorowgood's measuring guide, he was just on the "regular" side of the regular vs. high-wither measurement... in retrospect, I wish I'd have gone with the high-wither model anyway because the clearance is a little closer than I'd like, but it's OK. I'm very thankful for the changeable gullet bars, because he's quite the shape-shifter from winter to summer; he looks narrow at first glance, but I have the W gullet bar in right now and the MW in the winter.
      *friend of bar.ka

      "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


      • #4
        cnvh - thats my boy too, narrow right on top but widens out quite nicely right at hte bottom of the gullet bar, so I am using hte mw bar with some shim padding to fill in his "hollow" until (hopefully) he fills it out naturally. I also wish I had the high wither, but I had bought the standard for my other mare, and it fits him ok, like you he is just on this side of reg vs hi wither.


        • #5
          Will PM you.....
          We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


          • #6
            I just cut a wintec shaped pad in half and then use it to fill the hollow in the front.
            Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


            • #7
              I have had great luck with a Trilogy on my high withered guy. I tried what seemed like countless dressage saddles before finding the Trilogy. It seemed like the saddles that gave enough clearance above the withers didn't give enough clearance on the sides, and vice versa. The Trilogy worked like a charm and has a nice wide gullet. Good luck!


              • #8
                Originally posted by arabiansrock View Post
                cnvh - thats my boy too, narrow right on top but widens out quite nicely right at hte bottom of the gullet bar, so I am using hte mw bar with some shim padding to fill in his "hollow" until (hopefully) he fills it out naturally. I also wish I had the high wither, but I had bought the standard for my other mare, and it fits him ok, like you he is just on this side of reg vs hi wither.
                Yup, that's my guy exactly-- high wither with hollows behind, over a wide shoulder. Right now I use a sheepskin remnant for the bottom layer (a "cheepskin" if you will-- I got it for about $10 at a skeepskin store and cut it the shape I wanted. Much cheaper than a Mattes!), with a Thinline Trifecta half pad with front shims, then the saddle on top. Horse and I recently had a "breakthrough" of sorts re: my riding style, so hopefully I'll be helping him build that topline in the upcoming months.
                *friend of bar.ka

                "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


                • #9
                  Black Country Eloquence with wither gussets for my guy.


                  • #10
                    A Custom Saddlery Victory was the only thing he ever tolerated.
                    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht


                    • #11
                      Niedersuss Symphony. He also liked the Passier PSL. The Prestige was a disaster.
                      "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


                      • #12
                        yep, I use a sheepskin (sometimes?) but have a prolite pad with front shims that fills in the hollows almost perfectly so I haven't used the sheepskin since I got it. I am having trouble getting him really connected (see thread on neck suppling exercises) but the topline is improving slowlyyyy.


                        • #13
                          I have two choices for my TB: Passier or Passier
                          Really they are the only saddles that fit him!!!


                          • #14
                            What model Prestige did you try, kinnip? I have the Optimax (which is made for the Thoroughbred type) and it works well for my Thoroughbred. My guy has large withers paired to a massive set of shoulders, and he's not too narrow anymore; He goes in their 31cm (considered to be about "medium" sized, my horse also has a 26-ish cm Stubben). Prestige saddles are somewhat adjustable, too (up/down 2-3 cm depending on age of the saddle).
                            Originally posted by RugBug
                            Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.


                            • Original Poster

                              Thank you for all the suggestions...I have lots of things to look into now! The posters who described horses with high withers and hollows, coupled with a wide shoulder is my guy exactly!

                              I should have edited my original post with the facts that I've had the T4 for about a year and the horse for almost 3...so while I may be able to (and hopefully will) improve his topline somewhat, I'm mostly stuck with his shark withers.

                              Thanks again, this seemed to be a useful thread for more people than just me!


                              • #16
                                County Perfection


                                • #17
                                  Another vote for Passier, and also, one for Kieffers.
                                  Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

                                  Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs


                                  • #18
                                    I know they don't make them anymore but I had a Collegiate RD for my high withered TB. I subsequently sold it girl who also had a high withered TB. I'm sure there are a few used ones around. It was actually quite good quality for the price.


                                    • #19
                                      Kieffer Orphee
                                      Prestige Optimax
                                      Exselle with cutback
                                      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                                      • #20
                                        Passier PSL Baum
                                        bad decisions make good stories