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Dressage saddle for a wide, broad backed horse?

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  • Dressage saddle for a wide, broad backed horse?

    Hi ,
    I am having trouble finding a saddle to fit my very wide warmblood. Her back looks like a draft horse or halflinger's back. She has low withers and her back is flat on either side of the spine instead of sloping away like most horses. Also most saddles slide forward or to the side on her. When I first got her I put on a medium tree Hennig because that was all I had and when we cantered it slid COMPLETELY to the side and I fell off. I am now convinced this is because the saddle was WAY too narrow for her.
    I have heard that Duett saddles fit wide horses. Does anyone have any experience with these saddles? The website says they are made by a company with a different name in Germany. Does anyone know which company that is?
    Also, does anyone have any experience with the thorowgood broadbacked dressage? I know its not fancy and pretty, but I have tried so many saddles with no sucess and I would rather have a cheap saddle but have my horse trot like a million bucks than a $6000 Hennig that I wouldn't even get through a walk-trot test in.
    Any other ideas or recommendations for a dressage saddle for wide horses would be great. Thanks!
    Das größte Glück der Erde liegt auf dem Rücken der Pferde. Das größte Glück der Pferde ist der Reiter auf der Erde

  • #2
    Google Duett. From what I gather, that is specifically the type of horse their saddles are designed for. And not TOO expensive, although more than a synthetic.

    Missed the part where you asked about Duett! I don't have any first hand experience with them. I have seen their Foxhunter model, I liked it. Didn't sit in it though.

    I am also curious about the Thorowgood.
    Last edited by spacehorse; Sep. 21, 2008, 11:19 PM. Reason: Didn't read entire post!


    • #3
      My experience- I have the widest back horse I have ever seen.

      Wintec with the XW gullet- not a good fit, needs to be wider at the top for his mutton wither and large shoulder.

      Duett with hoop tree in 39cm tree- nice saddle, but didn't fit me quite right and the gullet was not quite wide enough all the way back- he is wide right back to his fat butt.

      Finally, I got a Schleese used on e-bay and took it down to have it fitted by Jochen Schleese. Finally, a good fit for him! And as he fits up, I can have it re-adjusted! The gullet is very wide all the way back and the panels were swept up to accomodate his short back.

      The duett WAS nice, though, and the Schleese, even used, was quite a bit more expensive. If that was my price range, I'd still go with that. Other options in the hoop tree (wider at the top) are the Lovatt and Ricketts ellipse, the Black Country Eloquence X, and the Albion can be special ordered.

      Good luck!

      eta: Go to the website for Trumbull Mountain and follow their directions to do a wither tracing. You can send it to them and they'll tell you what saddles might fit.


      • #4
        Wide horses

        My Dressage Trainer recommened a Duett saddle for my broad mare. I haven't got one yet but did check them out online.
        I looked into the Synthetic saddles including the Thorowgoods and tried one out. I didn't like them myself, but that is me. I have heard others LOVE them. Plus the price is sure good. It is an personal choice. Find what works for you.
        Dover saddlery has Wintec and Thorowgood dressage in stock (and in store), so you can check them out.



        • #5
          My mare is wide and I tried a Duett and a Rembrandt on her that were wide enough, but she needed a hoop tree. So I ended up with an Albion instead. www.equusnow.com has a some used dressage saddles with a good trial policy, you might want to look there to try some different brands.


          • #6
            I have a Duett Encore and it fits my draft crosses quite well. It is a well made saddle and the customer service was great. Its definitely worth a look and test ride.
            Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


            • #7
              Tanker chick here does well in her County WB XW. Her momma (built the same) had a County Competitor XW.
              Wintec: didn't fit right in the cantle
              Passier I have here: fits my other horses here well up to what I call a "medium wide" (saddle is marked wide) which would be the stock horses and the beefy built TB but not tanker chick WBs (whom I call the sofas).
              Providence Farm


              • #8
                I did a lot of saddle shopping for my wide-backed PercheronX.

                I ended up with an XW tree, Passier Relevant.

                I also tried the Passier Grand Gilbert XW tree, which I also liked and seemed to fit.


                • #9
                  I have a Duett Largo for my superwide draft cross and it works great for us. It also fits well on my young very wide warmblood.
                  The Duett Fidelio did not fit at all.
                  You will probably need to go up a seat size in the Largo or Fidelio - they run small.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lwk View Post
                    I have a Duett Largo for my superwide draft cross and it works great for us. It also fits well on my young very wide warmblood.
                    The Duett Fidelio did not fit at all.
                    You will probably need to go up a seat size in the Largo or Fidelio - they run small.
                    I went from the Duett Fidelio to a Schleese and I will never go back. I found that saddle to be nicely made for the price, but the difference the Schleese has made in my horse's movement and my position is astonishing. Furthermore, I found the panels sat very very wide across her back (like, more onto her sides because it was so wide).

                    My caution to you is that if you go with a Duett, have the saddle fitter out ASAP to make sure that it isn't too wide.
                    Luna's Equine Designs - Custom stall signs and more! https://www.facebook.com/LunasEquineDesigns


                    • #11
                      I have Haflingers....

                      My mom had a Duett Encore that fit the horses well, but didn't fit ME at all. I was constantly fighting to keep my leg back, and the twist was so wide it hurt my hips.

                      I did ride in Duett Rondo (jumping saddle) that I LOVED.

                      My mom has a Dominus that works okay, is comfortable for me, but isn't QUITE wide enough for the girls.

                      I ride in Custom Saddlery Royal Star that fits all of our Haflingers beautifully, and somehow is wide enough for them, but quite narrow in the twist which I need. I bought it used for $1200.


                      • #12
                        going by SHAPE here- not width- becuase one can have a very broad back- but not be 'wide' (or vice versa)

                        Bates innova
                        Albion with the low head option...

                        most of the 'semi custom' brands have a wide horse option/panel set up etc... you may want to see saddles that use the term 'hoop' tree- (which is the albion's low head) but something wider across the pommel..
                        Qualified Saddle Fitter with the S.M.S.


                        • #13
                          My Duett Largo has been checked by the County saddle fitter and she said it is a great fit for both my horses.
                          Now that is real saddle karma!!
                          I believe the Largo does have the "hoop tree". I tried an XW Albion with low head and it was too narrow. Albion rep told me that my horse needs the "hoop tree".


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lwk View Post
                            I believe the Largo does have the "hoop tree". I tried an XW Albion with low head and it was too narrow. Albion rep told me that my horse needs the "hoop tree".
                            The Largo does have the "hoop tree." I've gotten different information from different sources about the Fidelio, but the end result is that it is not as suitable for the broad backed horses as the Largo.

                            I am not sure if it is still the case, but I was told that Albion could be special ordered with a hoop tree- it was a rare order, so finding one used would be very difficult.

                            These are the other saddles I know of with a hoop tree:

                            Black Country Eloquence X


                            Lovatt and Rickett's Ellipse

                            And I've seen the photos NeVar has shown me of the Innova, and indeed it's a much different shape than the other Wintec/Bates saddles I've seen, even though it uses the same gullet plate. Go figure


                            • #15
                              A vote for Thorowgood

                              Not exactly a dressage rider here, but I have a Thorowgood dressage saddle (wide width) that fit my old horse (Paint tank) and current horse (QH cross tank) really well... and it's extremely comfy for me... It cost me about $100 used on ebay.


                              • #16
                                Not a "true" dressage saddle I have a Thorowgood WB Wide Selecta that fits the WIDE with withers WB I am currently riding and I find it comfy and it puts me in the correct position.

                                BTW, I don't know if it is still made, but the Selecta came with interchangeable knee rolls. There is a straight dressage pair, a more forward pair with moderate knee rolls for all purpose, and a pair for jumping with minimal knee rolls. I generally use the all purpose pair.



                                • #17
                                  We have draft crosses and all of them ride in stubbens - 31 cm width - we use 18 and 19" seats on the saddles.

                                  Never had any problems.


                                  • #18
                                    Full draft, 32cm (wide tree) Stubben.

                                    All those "hoop" and "Draft" saddles had NO wither clearance. Fine for mutton-withered horses, but just because a horse is wide doesn't mean it is flat. My girl also has a significant shoulder angle that some of the hoop-y saddles didn't accomodate.

                                    Then again, my girl has such a curvy back and pronounced wither that you don't really even need a saddle...maybe not the best example.
                                    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


                                    • #19
                                      Send a PM to TouchStoneAcres here on CoTH. She breeds Lipizzaners and sells Duetts.

                                      I use an Ansur Classic on my Lipizzaner mare. Love it.

                                      Mad Mare™ Studio
                                      Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.


                                      • #20
                                        my fatlinger is in a Warendorf monoflap wide....I had my saddler drop the panels, completely reflock in real wool, then custom fit to my beast. He has had many duetts, all 36 cm, but they did nothing for my seat....we did have good luck with an Anky wide for about a year....
                                        he's a big horse with short legs...really!