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Could the pony/short back horse riders please measure their saddle panels for me?!

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  • Could the pony/short back horse riders please measure their saddle panels for me?!

    My 13.3hh pony has been going great in her Schleese JES Elite up until recently. The saddle is at the max length for her back at 18" from front to back where it makes contact. Ideally we want 16-17". My fitter and I are on the hunt for a saddle with super short panels as she's wondering if its just now starting to bother her as she engages her back more. I've seen the recommendations for the Niedersuss, Stubben Genesis, etc but I would love to know if they are significantly shorter than mine. I ride in a 17" and need an open seat in the back and a higher pommel. We're having trouble finding a saddle for her flat and very short back that can also accommodate an adult. It would help to narrow it down if I could find the ones with 17" panels or less! THANK YOU!!
    Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.

  • #2
    Sometimes a more forward-balance saddle can be a help on a shorter back. Amerigo and Prestige come to mind, and Passier makes the Compact, which is designed for a short back.

    Also, most of the UK saddle companies will make a saddle with shorter, upswept panels and a swept-back cantle. That's another solution to short backs that accommodate a "larger" seat size.
    Kitt Hazelton
    Saddle Fitter
    www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
    www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll look when I go to the barn tonight. The thing about the Stubbens that works is the panels are upswept so the entire thing isn't resting on the horse's back. I have an old version of the Genesis Special and it fits my bucks like a bronc if something is too long (including a saddle pad!) 14.3h Arab well.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd really appreciate this, too!
        PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

        Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

        Comment


        • #5
          If you want to spend the $$$, several of the custom saddle makers also provide the option of shorter panels. Both Schleese and Custom Saddlery have that option. Of course, that will cost $4k or so.

          The problem with really upswept panels, especially the more "forward balance" types - on some horses, that curved shape does cause rocking or bouncing on the back (esp in the medium/ext trot work). So they aren't always the answer.

          Comment


          • #6
            i would try a Stubben Tristan (unless you can afford the 3 or 4k for a CH model)

            I ride my pony in the 17 or 17.5" model and it is honestly the most comfortable and easy saddle to ride in and fits his back well.

            Stubben doesn't make them anymore but you can find them at various tack shops. I am absolutely 1000% sold on Stubben saddles and i have ridden in many lol!

            Comment


            • #7
              I JUST bought a used 17" thornhill pro trainer Danube for my 13.1 hand pony. It has extremely short panels. I actually brought home several saddles to try and the panels on this one were actually shorter that the ones on the 16.5" Kieffer Wein that I was also trying and are a bit shorter than the panels on my 16.5" niedersuss symphony. I will warn you though that because of the deep seat the 17" saddle fits me pretty close to the way my 16.5" niedersuss does. I would be happy to get exact measurements for you but I' at work now. I can check tomorrow morning when I'm off

              *edited to add: my girl has a flat back and the panels are quite flat and not upswept or banana shaped like some. This saddle seriously fits both of us like it was custom made with us in mind and I got it for 1k!
              My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
              and her blog

              "Ponies are the new black. Welcome to the darkside!" - Manahmanah

              Comment


              • #8
                I use an older model 17" Stubben Parzival dressage model on my mare (she's 14.1hh). The banana shaped panels won't fit a flatter backed horse properly though (you actually want the full panel to make contact with the horse's back to have proper fit and weight-bearing); it really depends on your mare's conformation what shape panel she needs.

                Schleese does make shorter paneled saddles, either custom or see if they have a used or demo model one if you can't afford new.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks guys! I'm trying to stay under $2000 as that's what I could probably get for my current Schleese JES if I need to sell it. Thanks so much! My fitter is great about finding used saddles but it will help us if we can have an idea of who has REALLY short panels that isn't a custom. Thanks so much for the help!
                  Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    fwiw, there is alot of controversy about the idea that a saddle needs to be evenly weight bearing along the entire panel. Some folks think that the most of the weight bearing surface should be up near the withers and not back behind the riders bum.

                    just fwiw.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      My fitter agrees with that and likes the weight of the rider positioned up towards the withers. However she still like a panel that conforms to the horses back enough to support the saddle. When I school bare back I'm always amazed how close to the withers the horse naturally puts me!
                      Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a 18" thornhill vienna on my short backed 15 hand arabian X. Its based on the Passier Grand Gilbert.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also look into Black Country. I believe they have a model that works well for ponies. I don't ride a pony, but I bought a completely custom Black Country a few months ago and I LOVE it!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Alright I got the measurements this morning. My 16.5" Niedersuss makes contact along 18" of panel and my 17" Thornhill makes contact along 17" of panel. That is on the respective ponies that the fit. The Niedersuss only makes contact along 16.5" of Katai's back but it rocks and makes pressure points over the stirrup bars if I ride in it which is why I was saddle shopping for her. I should also say that the last .5-1" of the panel that is in contact in the Thornhill is very lightly flocked so while ther is contact its not creating much pressure.

                            Please let me know if you have any other questions! It's too bad you are in Southern WI, I'm in WI just north of the Twin Cities and would be happy to let you try my saddles if you were closer
                            My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
                            and her blog

                            "Ponies are the new black. Welcome to the darkside!" - Manahmanah

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Oh thank you!!! That helps so much!! I will get hunting on the ones with 17" of contact and less!!! You're the best!!
                              Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                No problem, hopefully we can get a good list together.
                                My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
                                and her blog

                                "Ponies are the new black. Welcome to the darkside!" - Manahmanah

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Ok, these measured @ 17" panels
                                  Spirig 16 seat
                                  Marcus Krehan 2 saddles panels measured the same 16.5 & 17" seats
                                  Crosby Freestyle 16" seat

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Lilypad View Post
                                    I use an older model 17" Stubben Parzival dressage model on my mare (she's 14.1hh). The banana shaped panels won't fit a flatter backed horse properly though (you actually want the full panel to make contact with the horse's back to have proper fit and weight-bearing); it really depends on your mare's conformation what shape panel she needs..
                                    i have been looking for a stubben tristan for my mare, and almost every one that i can find used has been overstuffed in the back portion of the panel so that it will make contact with the horses back. This type of saddle isn't made to do that - so anyone who over stuffs theses saddles so that it makes contact all along the panel are ruining the saddle.....

                                    strong words, but given the number of Tristans i have seen this done too - it seems epidemic....

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Thank you!!!!!! That's such great news! I really appreciate you measuring them all for me!
                                      Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I second the Thornhill Danube for the short backs. The panels end right under the seat instead of extending back. I have one for my Arab gelding who put me through a long saddle search before he was comfortable. It also has half panels, so he can get his long sloping shoulder back.
                                        Originally posted by piccolopony View Post
                                        I JUST bought a used 17" thornhill pro trainer Danube for my 13.1 hand pony. It has extremely short panels. I actually brought home several saddles to try and the panels on this one were actually shorter that the ones on the 16.5" Kieffer Wein that I was also trying and are a bit shorter than the panels on my 16.5" niedersuss symphony. I will warn you though that because of the deep seat the 17" saddle fits me pretty close to the way my 16.5" niedersuss does. I would be happy to get exact measurements for you but I' at work now. I can check tomorrow morning when I'm off

                                        *edited to add: my girl has a flat back and the panels are quite flat and not upswept or banana shaped like some. This saddle seriously fits both of us like it was custom made with us in mind and I got it for 1k!

                                        Comment

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