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Dressage saddle for horse with huge shoulders?

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  • Dressage saddle for horse with huge shoulders?

    I have a horse that has massive shoulders and they go far back also. What is a good saddle for this kinda shoulder, one that is cut back? And which models, saddle makers make them? Thanks

  • #2
    I have a mare built like that and ended up with a Schleese Wave with maximum possible cut back. We tried a wide variety of saddles, but this was the only one that worked for her; her progress since getting this saddle has been amazing.

    I'm sure there must be other options, but we don't have many saddle makers willing to come out to Arizona and none of the off the shelf models worked.


    • #3
      If you don't want to go fully custom, there is a new (ish) Prestige saddle made for horses with large shoulders.



      • #4
        interestingly Schleese couldnt fit my pony who also has massive laid back shoulders--unless going full custom with reverse tree points etc--was going be pretty hefty price tag. I have worked with Shcleese before and respect him--he even commented my little guy has shoulders to rival most warmbloods. I ended up buying a Devoucoux Monoflap that has wonderful freedom of movement in the shoulder area...I love it and my pony does too. I was at a dressage clinic 2 weeks ago and the instructor (USDF Gold Medalist) commented on how well my saddle fit both me and my pony and how very rare that is to see
        Redbud Ranch
        Check us out on FB


        • #5
          Thornhill Danube

          The Thornhill Danube works on my big shouldered horse. He also has a big wither with a slight dip in his back. It wouldn't work as well for a flat as a pancake back.

          What you need is the short panels on the front, rather than the ones that go all the way down. You can find it used for ~$900. I'm a big fan of inexpensive saddles that can be replaced easily, as I'm in an area without saddle fitters.

          The leather on this one is decent. My trainer likes it.


          • #6
            Mare with big shoulders very happy in (custom) Schleese Derby. Admittedly, we didn't shop around much. The saddle has been working and reflocked/shaped several times over the last 6 years as she's grown and developed.


            • #7
              Originally posted by shall View Post
              What you need is the short panels on the front, rather than the ones that go all the way down. ...
              Search for saddles with "half panels". That's what this is actually called.

              Some of them will also do well in FLAIR panels, since the air will redistribute to allow the shoulder room to move. Also make sure you're putting the saddle far enough back. My boy with huge range of motion in his shoulders needs the saddle pretty far back. I've never put them up on their necks like some people do, but this still looks too far back to my eye.


              • #8
                100% recommendation for County. I have fought for YEARS with saddles and most work for a while and then make my horse sore. We also have a few others (round ponies, youngsters, etc.) that the saddles have made a huge difference for, as well. The company has been fantastic to work with, as well.
                http://www.imajica.net/stallion/olivier/profile/ Dutch Warmblood stallion, Olivier.


                • #9
                  I agree that Countys are great. In this case, you may find a saddle fitter who sells saddles and maybe she/he can go through a bunch of saddles to see what fits your horse. I recently bought a custom JRD I think - had never heard of this saddle. Mainly because I was having trouble finding a pure wide in the county - another horse in the barn, a Belgian WB - has a #3 county that is new and it fit her but my horse needed wider to my dismay.

                  But anyways - another horse in the barn is built like yours and a Passier worked for him which was a surprise - its a wide too. But she puts a sheep skin half pad with it. The horse has never moved more free and happy.

                  I have that luxury now to be able to call a saddle fitter who brings 30 saddles with her.


                  • #10
                    Another vote for schleese. it was the only one that worked for my (17.3hh) beast with massive shoulders.
                    In my opinion, a horse is the animal to have. 1300 pounds of raw muscle, power, grace, and sweat between your legs - it's something you just can't get from a pet hamster.