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Dressage saddles for pony with ridiculously short back?

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  • Dressage saddles for pony with ridiculously short back?

    My saddle nightmare doesn't seem to want to end. I have so far tried a multitude of dressage saddles, including my ill fated custom saddle (of which I returned, yeah!) and after this weekend's latest saddle fitting attempt I am running into dead ends.

    So far the only saddles that have been recommended as fitting is a $5000 Schleese Link II, and some Euroriding saddles that aren't really available in this country.

    This particular pony has a very narrow weight baring surface along her topline, wide shoulders, and almost no room behind the whithers for the saddle. She needs narrow and short panels but with points that will allow shoulder freedom. he also has a flat back.

    Does a saddle like this exist off the rack? So far the only saddle I have found that she is ridable in is a 17" narrow tree County Innovation jumping saddle. And even with that I now need a Mattes pad to clear her whithers.

    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

  • #2
    I know it's not a very pretty solution, but an old-style County Competitor might do the trick. I think you probably need those swept-up panels rather than the flat...

    Or a Niedersuss Symphony? They have the same kind of panel design.


    • #3
      Have you looked at a Frank Baines custom model? It worked for my hard to fit, short backed horse. They have a few styles for different back types and aren't crazy expensive (depending on the exchange rate)
      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


      • #4
        My experience with Jaguar saddles has been that they have extremely upswept panels in back. That did not work for the horse I saw using the saddle, but he was not a pony with a short back, either. This configuration could possibly be a way to have the saddle be large enough for the rider while still being short enough for the horse.
        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
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        • #5
          PP - look on ebay for an OLD passier, circa 1970's to early 1980-s. They have short points, shorter upswept panels, and fit just about everything!


          • #6
            You might want to look at the Stubben Genesis dressage saddles. Their panels don't extend nearly as far as most current dressage saddles. The panel shape on the Stubben is more like we used to see on the old flat jumping saddles.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Alinera2 View Post
              You might want to look at the Stubben Genesis dressage saddles. Their panels don't extend nearly as far as most current dressage saddles. The panel shape on the Stubben is more like we used to see on the old flat jumping saddles.
              Thanks! I forgot about Stubben, and they also have the Juventus that comes in a 17" seat. I will contact them.

              FYI, I have tried a KN, panels are too wide and long.
              On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


              • #8
                We have 2 such ponies and I ride them with a Verhan. Has upswept panels. Mine is an older version and I love it.
                Friesians Rule !!


                • #9
                  I have the same pony and the Schleese Wave and Schleese Derby both worked for us. Found both used for under 3k.
                  "Shoot low Sheriff! She rides a fast pony!"


                  • #10
                    here here on the old County. I have 3 of them - actually sold one on ebay to buy my WB a big saddle. But the saddle fitter came out and showed me how it seemed of ALLLLL the saddles she had with her and my saddles - the ONLY one that fit my 14.1 Connemara Paint cross' back was the old County. She showed how the rounded back and way the gullet is and how it all sits - that is the saddle that fit and yeah for me so I did not have to buy a new saddle for him!

                    And they are comfy and last a long time.


                    • Original Poster

                      Well I will have to try some with upswept panels then, might be interesting as she has the flattest back ever.

                      here is a picture I took of her yesterday. I will have to see if anyone locally has something I can try on her back. None of the French jumping saddles fit her all all (I tried CWD, Devoucoux, Antares..)


                      Do any of you have pictures of these saddles actually on your ponies?
                      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                      • #12
                        If the County Innovation fits her, is there not a County dressage saddle that will work?


                        • #13
                          Sending you some pictures of pony with saddle to your email.
                          "Shoot low Sheriff! She rides a fast pony!"


                          • #14
                            What about a treeless saddle? They may actually be too long, though... anyone use a treeless on a pony?
                            "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                            • #15
                              A Stubben Tristan may work too. I have had both old Passiers and old Stubbens and the canter panel is more rounded on the Tristan.
                              "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist


                              • #16
                                For some of our German Riding ponies that are shorter in the back we've gone with AP saddles instead of dressage saddles. The flaps are smaller and they are easier to find with smaller seat sizes. The bigger challenge is the width.
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                                "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by ise@ssl View Post
                                  For some of our German Riding ponies that are shorter in the back we've gone with AP saddles instead of dressage saddles. The flaps are smaller and they are easier to find with smaller seat sizes. The bigger challenge is the width.
                                  yes I have thought of that also, especially since it's nicer to ride with a bit of a shorter stirrup since she is narrow through the girth. Some of the AP saddle look more dressage than jumping. Nice to know others have done the same.
                                  On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                                  • #18
                                    I use an Ansur on all my horses, including my 11-12h sec A Welsh pony!
                                    Needless to say he doesn't have a wither, is short/flat backed. He is quite wide for his size, so maybe the fit is easier?

                                    I tried a bunch of wide or XW saddles...nope....pony saddles....nope. My horse's Ansur fit him better than anything I tried.

                                    I would suggest trying to find a rep and at least try one. There are several styles that might suit you and your pony best.
                                    I never thought I'd go treeless, but with my group of horses, ranging from ultra high withered med's to ultra flat xxw...an Ansur made sense. The best part is I adore it and can't imagine riding in a rigid treed saddle again. I even ride in it on the trails, it is so comfy. Was just on a 3.5 hour ride on Sunday and as everyone got off their horse, whining about their sore bums, mine was just fine. =)
                                    I had to dismount to take my horse down a steep ravine by hand...hopped back up from the ground, no slippage.

                                    One horse I have was also a fitting nightmare, and no matter what I tried, his back was always sore, day after riding. As I'd run my fingers down his back his skin would flinch. I was so so frustrated. Tried a few different fitters and MANY saddles with no great improvement. Lots of massage therapy, chiropractic...

                                    Tried the Ansur after a few months of rest....next day, no back quiver. Thought it was coincidental. Tried it again... still no pain.
                                    Not only did he just move more freely in lessons, his back has consistently been pain free, even after lengthy trail rides.

                                    Just something to think about. =)


                                    • #19
                                      I have a Smith Worthington Danzig for my 14hh Arab. He's also short-coupled, and crazy wide through the shoulders.

                                      It has short points. It doesn't have upswept panels, but based on his tracings and photos, they softened the flocking all the way in the back for him. He's been very comfortable in this, and I like how balanced I am in it.

                                      Regarding treeless - I rode him in an Ansur Carleton for the first year and a half. I really liked the flexibility when he was changing shape pretty much weekly . However, at least for us, there was a huge difference in how he went in the Smith Worthington v. the Ansur, especially when we started lateral work. I know they work well for some folks - this was just my experience.


                                      • #20
                                        I second the Frank Baines. I have an elegance for my ridiculously short backed Connemara cross. The panels aren't particularly upswept but are very soft at the back and the weight bearing surface is farther forward. It's the only dressage saddle I found that fit both him and me.