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Spin-off on dressage ponies--what saddles do you use??

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  • Spin-off on dressage ponies--what saddles do you use??

    So, I don't have a pony. But I feel like I need a pony-sized saddle for my horse! She is 16 hands but has an incredibly short back. Someone who did my tracings last weekend measured the "useable real estate" on her back at 15" (amount of space between her shoulder and last rib)!! She also has a large shoulder (which makes for less useable area).

    I am fairly short, so I can ride in a 17" or a 16.5" seat. I really prefer a saddle style that is a bit more "old school" (no large thigh blocks or super deep seat). The dressage saddle I use on my other horse is an older Passier GG that I love.

    I saw a pony saddle for sale that had a 15" seat! So I thought, maybe I just need a pony saddle! Obviously, my booty would not fit in that--so looking for some suggestions from the wise COTHer's.

  • #2
    I am going to watch this thread because we have the same damned horse -wide shoulder, short back. Now if you add substantial withers they were separated at birth.

    A saddlefitter online on another forum said I needed upswept rear panels. I'm looking at a Tekna S http://www.actionridertack.com/p-165...e-saddles.aspx with Candy at Action Rider Tack (thanks for COTH recommending her). I've sent her a couple of pictures of my horse -tell me if that looks familiar (granted he's a draft cross).



    Candy sent a bunch of pictures of the panels for me to look at and I have hope they might work. It helps that Action Rider as a saddle demo program where you buy the saddle and try it, and if you don't like it you send it back and get a refund less a $49 fee.

    It helps that the Tekna is a $600 saddle.

    Last edited by paulaedwina; Mar. 29, 2013, 12:25 AM. Reason: Too many Paulas
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


    • #3
      I have an 18 inch Stubben Genesis that I just had fit to my Welsh Cob. It has the upswept panels. I've heard multiple things about upswept panels because they do not make full contact with his back. My saddle fitter said that it allows his back to swing up under him with out pounding into his kidneys. He goes great in it. I require and 18 inch or else my knees go over the flap. Long femur type person here.
      --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--


      • #4
        Prestige Lucky Dressage

        I loooovvveee the Prestige Lucky Dressage. It comes in size 15" and 16". I am 5'4" and rode in the 16" saddle very comfortably. It has way less knee block than many of the prestige models. It has the upswept panels that most prestiges have.
        here are other pony dressage saddles (come in size 16" or smaller):
        Passier Young Champ
        Bates pony dressage saddle
        Détente Pheobe
        Wintec pony dressage saddle
        Thornhill (Jorge Canaves) Vienna II
        Courbette Bernina Jr
        Anky Jr
        Stubben Laurus D

        Hope that helps!
        Das größte Glück der Erde liegt auf dem Rücken der Pferde. Das größte Glück der Pferde ist der Reiter auf der Erde


        • #5
          Originally posted by Justmyluck View Post
          I have an 18 inch Stubben Genesis that I just had fit to my Welsh Cob. It has the upswept panels. I've heard multiple things about upswept panels because they do not make full contact with his back. My saddle fitter said that it allows his back to swing up under him with out pounding into his kidneys. He goes great in it. I require and 18 inch or else my knees go over the flap. Long femur type person here.

          Not my thread, but oh this gives me hope!

          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


          • #6
            I use a Passier GG 16.5 inch seat on my 13 hand pony.
            Ranch of Last Resort


            • #7
              There's no one solution. I have an 18" 31cm Stubben Genesis Special that is my dream saddle and and was the only saddle that fit my former pony...but it does not fit my current pony Now for my current pony I bought a Schleese Link II made on a size "2" tree for a pony. So there is no one saddle sadly.

              Good luck. If you want to try the Stubben let me kow. IT was magic on my last pony...but doesn't come close to fitting the newest one..
              On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


              • #8
                Smith Worthington Danzig on a 14hh Arab. It doesn't have upswept panels, but they made the flocking in the last inch or so very soft.

                My saddle is an 18.5", but this model runs small. It's more like a 17.5", or small 18" in most saddles. Be careful sizing down if the smaller seat doesn't fit you. You'll just put put more pounds/square inch on your horse's back.

                Smith Worthington fit mine remotely from pictures and tracings. I'm pretty sure they used every last inch of "saddle real estate" on my guy's back. It works great for both of us.


                • #9
                  I use a 18" thornhill vienna 2 on my 14.3 hand arabian X. I need at least a 17.5 seat. It does not have upswept panels.

                  I have a harder time finding 18-19" girths then dealing with any saddle issues!!!


                  • #10
                    Some short-backed horses are well suited with a forward-balance saddle, like Prestige, Amerigo and some of the newer Passiers (to name a few). Another option in the "spread the rider's weight across as much area as possible" UK school of fitting is a saddle with a swept-back cantle to maximize seat size for the rider, and an upswept panel to keep the weight on the correct side of T18. If your pony is built like a little propane tank with a tail (and many are), the latter is probably your best choice, since I'm not aware of any of the forward balance saddles that offer a hoop or Freedom head (or dome, or FWB) tree.
                    Kitt Hazelton
                    Saddle Fitter


                    • #11
                      County, awesome saddles that just fit well.
                      It is rare to see a rider who is truly passionate about the horse and his training, taking a profound interest in dressage with self-abnegation, and making this extraordinarily subtle work one of the dominant motivations of his life.\"


                      • #12
                        The Devoucoux's work really well for our ponies
                        Redbud Ranch
                        Check us out on FB


                        • #13
                          I too have an 18" Stubben Genesis for my Welsh large pony. Love my saddle.


                          • #14
                            Well I must add to my original post. I just secured an Albion SLK, 16.5 inch seat for another one of my Welsh. I'm lucky in that while I have and actually prefer 17.5 inch seats due to my long femur, I'm still only 5'2" and as long as the model of saddle accommodates my short-waisted conformation I can go down to 16.5 comfortably. This saddle I just purchased has a slightly adjusted forward flap to do just that.
                            Ranch of Last Resort


                            • #15
                              i ride in a Stubben Tristan. i love it , pony loves it and it was very very nicely priced. Sadly they no longer make them off the rack....


                              • #16
                                Schleese Link II with a #2 tree and a Custom Icon Flight with pony panels and pony cantle (something new they offer)
                                RoseLane Sportponies
                                Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
                                Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
                                Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks all for some great information and ideas. Honeylips--that "pony panel" and "pony cantel" option sounds intriguing! The Schleese fitter that saw my horses tracing and back photos said I would need something called a "relief wedge". But I'm not sure what that is, or whether it's something you can put on a saddle aftermarket, or if it's a feature that they build into a custom made saddle. I'm waiting to hear back on that.

                                  Another saddle fitter looked at my tracings and photos and advised me that I will need a a wide tree, a k-panel (or at least a curvey front to rearshape), probably a hoop tree (or at least a broad tree with an open pommel),and a broad rear panel angle to accommodate her flatter back from side to side. The hoop tree was for rounder shaped wither (I think that was her nicer way to say, "mutton")

                                  Kitt--we aren't quite dealing with a "propane tank with a tail" but you brought up some other good options for me to look into also.

                                  Love all the helpful replies!


                                  • #18
                                    A mutual friend of ours has a round pony with 16.5" of real estate although she has 18" of femur, she went Albion custom. Worked out very well for fat pony.


                                    • #19
                                      I have a 16.5" MW Niedersuss for my 12.3 chubby Welsh/Morgan and a 17" Thornhill Danube in a wide for my more flat backed 13.1 Haflinger cross. She is more like the propane tank shape and the more upswept panels on the Niedersuss made that saddle rock on her back while the Thornhill would bridge on the Welsh Morgan who has a much curvier back.
                                      My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
                                      and her blog

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


                                      • #20
                                        I am using a 17.5" Albion SLK on my 14hh GRP. It is a tad long for her and, as soon as I can afford it, I'll be buying her a Custom Saddle (Icon Flight probably) as they can shorten the panels by about 2". Luckily pony has some back length as she is 1/2 horse.