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Saddle for the short backed horse

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  • Saddle for the short backed horse

    I've had a few short coupled horses and they've gone just fine in my Advantage, but I've got a 3 year old that is even more short coupled - do the "curvey" panels work better for these horses, or do they just end up rocking on the horse?

    Although short coupled, she is very swingy and supple through the back - I'd like to keep that quality. I've never tried a curvey paneled saddle before - my horses all tend to have pretty good backs, and I've always thought of them as the saddle for the "dippy" backed horse. But now I'm wondering - would they be better for her?

  • #2
    My advice after going through saddle-fitting !bleep! would be to demo everything you can get your hands on. Even if something seems like a good candidate based on a description, or even a wither tracing, there is no substitute for trying it for *at least a week*.


    Another piece of advice is not to let yourself get talked into a custom saddle. The WORST experience I ever had was going for a custom saddle that the saddle maker said would be ideal for my horse's shorter back. What I ended up with was a bucking bronco when the saddle arrived. An independent fitter and 1/2 dozen people at my barn all said the same thing - looked like it was made for a different horse. Got my money back but what I nightmare!

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    • #3
      Black Country Vinici

      Try to demo one of these saddles with upswept panels covered with serge. I've found it to be a very back friendly saddle for my 15'1" who wears a 74" blanket.

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      • #4
        We're pretty happy with our Stubben Genesis Specials on the short(er) backed horses. One mare is 15.2, wears a 72" rug (so very petite and close coupled) and does fine even in our 18" seat saddles. There are a variety of thigh blocks you can get, from absolutely nothing on the Special to the substantial CL on the Genesis. Not having a big gusset in the back seems to make the biggest difference FWIW.

        Good luck!
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        • Original Poster

          #5
          I'll take a look at the BC Vinici - see if I can find one to try out. I was wondering if those upswept (what I call curvey) panels would cause rocking on a flat backed horse. If they work, that is probably what I have to look for. I do like the BC serge panels!

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          • #6
            The Hermes Corlandus is good for short-backed horses. The photo I found of the Black Country Vincini, and it had gusseted panels (that is the kind that will poke in far back on a short-backed horse).

            http://www.doversaddlery.com/hermes-...us/p/X1-15171/

            But the kind of panels you might want to use on a short-backed horse are the non-gusseted kind--like on the Corlandus that you can find with the link above.

            I think Roosli saddles also have non-gusseted panels. I have a Custom, and I know what you mean about the ends of the panels poking the back. My short-backed horse prefers the non-gusseted panels.

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            • #7
              I have a 18"/31cm Stubben Genesis Special you are more than welcome to try. I adore it and it was the ONLY thing that worked on my short backed Connemara pony who actually had a flat back, narrow-ish topline but super big shoulders (along with the uber short back).

              My new pony is W-I-D-E, a roley-poley with a short and curvy back (sigh). The Stubben is too narrow and bridges
              On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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              • #8
                I second the Stubben idea for short backed horses. My little Arab comfortably wears them (68 blanket) for endurance rides (Aramis, old dressage model) and foxhunting (Roxane, jumping model).

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
                  I have a 18"/31cm Stubben Genesis Special you are more than welcome to try. I adore it and it was the ONLY thing that worked on my short backed Connemara pony who actually had a flat back, narrow-ish topline but super big shoulders (along with the uber short back).

                  My new pony is W-I-D-E, a roley-poley with a short and curvy back (sigh). The Stubben is too narrow and bridges
                  18 is a bit big for me, but I might just have to sit in one to see how it feels. Are you coming to any dressage shows at SVE or MEC in the next few months, hint, hint

                  I hate saddle shopping, hahaha - worse then horse shopping!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                    18 is a bit big for me, but I might just have to sit in one to see how it feels. Are you coming to any dressage shows at SVE or MEC in the next few months, hint, hint

                    I hate saddle shopping, hahaha - worse then horse shopping!
                    I agree. Sent you an email. Maybe you can send me some pictures of the horse? It seemed to fit a flat, short back with moderate to pronounced withers and huge shoulders best. It does not fit my more "baroque" type half-Arab at all (no wither, wide shoulder, curvy, short back).
                    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
                      I agree. Sent you an email. Maybe you can send me some pictures of the horse? It seemed to fit a flat, short back with moderate to pronounced withers and huge shoulders best. It does not fit my more "baroque" type half-Arab at all (no wither, wide shoulder, curvy, short back).
                      Thanks PP, I sent you an email and pics - I wouldn't describe her as huge shoulders - withers are moderate, back is short, flat (no dip), shoulders are normal, neck is high set. She has a lot of rotation in her shoulders when she moves (so they are pretty free), and a lot of swing in her back, which is interesting for how short coupled she is.

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                      • #12
                        I don't think the upswept panels necessarily mean a curvy tree. I had a saddle fitter who agreed that my horse needed the upswept panels due to her short back and my need for a bigger saddle but the curvier trees rocked on her so I had a saddle made on a flatter tree with upswept panels. Black country can do this; I guess any custom saddle can be made this way.

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                        • #13
                          If you can sit a 16.5, there should be a good number that will fit a shorter back - go as economic as you can, as chances are, she is going to outgrow anything that fits at 3 by 4 - which is good, because her back will likely "grow" as well

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by alto View Post
                            If you can sit a 16.5, there should be a good number that will fit a shorter back - go as economic as you can, as chances are, she is going to outgrow anything that fits at 3 by 4 - which is good, because her back will likely "grow" as well
                            No, I have a pretty long leg, I'd be crunched in a 16.5. 17 is possible if it is a roomy flap. I am hoping her back grows in length too

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                            • #15
                              Look at a Lauriche. Even at your height, a 17" would work for you. I'm 5'9" with long legs, and a 17" fits me perfectly. The balance point seems to be farther forward, and the seat isn't very deep so they ride very open. I've had an 18.5" on my short-backed Arab with no problem. It wasn't too long for him in the slightest. It was, however, too curvy in the panels for him and too big in the seat for me.

                              JP Giacomini is another brand to look for. They are made by Lauriche and have much of the same feel. You can sometimes find them for less than a Lauriche just from someone who has no clue what they have.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                                No, I have a pretty long leg, I'd be crunched in a 16.5. 17 is possible if it is a roomy flap. I am hoping her back grows in length too
                                Oh, try a Stubben Juventus! Seriously, a gal at the barn bought one for her pony, it's a 17" seat but pretty flat, has a knee roll. You can get them nearly new for less than $1000, so it's certainly worth trying for a greenie. It won't work for my pony unfortunately but the gal LOVES it.
                                On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                                • #17
                                  I had suggestions on the Kneidersuss Symphonie for my short-backed guy. It has worked out great for him but I think I need a 1/2" smaller seat (my old saddle was a 17 1/2" so that's what I looked for on eBay). I can only imagine that a smaller seat would make it fit him even better.
                                  The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.

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