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Narrow horse with long shoulders, saddles slip fwd.

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  • Narrow horse with long shoulders, saddles slip fwd.

    I have a narrow horse with average withers (not super high or low), long shoulders and a forward girth groove. He fits well in a MN county jump saddle with SR panels, but I've had a terrible time finding a dressage saddle for him.

    My current saddle looks like it fits well, but about 10minutes into the ride it slips enough forward that I can feel it pressing up against the back of his shoulder blades. Watching him on the lunge, he also has a lot of movement through his back at trot. Some dressage saddles bounce up a lot in back because of this, though my current one does not appear to. I've tried many dressage saddles on him and they all slip forward, even with a county logic girth. His shoulder blades finish quite far back and his girth groove is pretty forward.

    Does anyone have any ideas about what may fit this horse best? Specifically what could help with the slipping forward? I've tried narrow trees thru medium trees on him and gullet width doesn't seem to make a difference with the slipping. I believe my current saddle has point billets (the front one comes out from beneath the knee block). This saddle fits the best out of what I've tried so far but it still slips forward. It has a generous flocking area in front though it's not a county so doesnt have the same SR panels that are on his jump saddle (seems similar though). I've tried many dressage saddles now with the same issue of slipping forward so I don't know if a different tree shape would help (that makes sense but You'd think I would have bumped into one that worked better Purely by chance by now). I'm wondering if the longer points on dressage saddles could be part of the issue since I've had no problems fitting him in jump saddles? Or maybe I should get another county since that brand seems to fit him in jump saddles? (new or custom is not an option but a used one is) should I try a Mattes fitter pad first?
    Work - feed - ride - shovel poop - repeat.

  • #2
    Buy a crupper. You probably won't need it forever. As his training progresses he may sit enough to counteract the sliding. When my boy hit 3rd we were able to say goodbye to the crupper.
    They are legal up to I2 I believe
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


    • #3
      I have a tall narrow horse and was having one heck of a time getting my saddle (any of them actually) to fit. My guy has very prominent withers on top of his narrow build. He's 17'2

      What worked for me was getting the saddle fitted to him. The saddle fitter came to the barn, looked at my horse, and my saddle, then got out a big bag of wool. She added padding and the saddle now fits him well. After she did the fitting, she said that the first couple of times I rode in it, the saddle would feel odd - but once the new stuffing settled in, it would fit his conformation. And she was right. Keep in mind, that the basic tree needs to be a reasonable size for your horse. You arent going to take a wide tree and fit it to a narrow horse. The tree on my saddle was ok - so with the restuffing, it now fits him well.

      Contact a tack store near you or ask around at your barn for names of people who can do this for you. The woman who worked on my saddle, had been trained to work on Albion dressage saddles. But once she got into the business, she realized that the process was the same and now she works on all different brands and styles.


      • #4
        Black Country has several panel options designed to help the type of fit you're describing, and they're wool flocked, so further adjustment is always possible.

        Good variety of tree shapes, as well.
        Patience pays.


        • #5
          I have a mare on which the saddle also tended to slip forward. My saddle fitter suggested using foam pads/inserts at the front of the saddle (either inside a pad designed to accommodate them or just on top of the saddle pad) to "block" the saddle from slipping forward. I also use a shaped girth to fit the forward girth groove but fasten to the saddle farther back; the Ovation one has worked well for me. The combination works well; saddle slipping solved.


          • #6
            I had a mare that had the same problem, skid row panels and a county logic girth solved the problem. She was only 4 at the time and eventually filled out enough that I had to remove the sr panels.